How to Maintain Your Car in Portland, OR

5 Ways to Increase the Longevity of Your Car

Do-It-Yourself Tips

Purchasing a car is a big investment. Some people keep cars for 10+ years, while others trade them in only after a few years of driving. Either way, taking pride in your vehicle and keeping it properly maintained is crucial for increasing the longevity of your car. Here are five key tips to keeping it maintained properly.

Wash Your Car Often

Some people are great at keeping their car clean, while others may let it go until someone writes “Wash Me!” on the window. Keeping your car clean is crucial for resale/trade in value because contaminants like dust, pollen, tree sap, bugs, bird droppings, salt and more damage your paint and finish.

Heat, rain and air pollution can also affect the longevity of your paint and finish.

When should you wash your car immediately? If newly splattered bugs, bird droppings, and tree sap appear on your car. If you have a long commute to work each week, consider washing it weekly since dirt, pollen, gravel or air pollutants can have an impact on your car’s paint.

When to wash your car 1-2x a month

If you have mild weather, if you don’t drive your car much where it wouldn’t be exposed to tree sap, bugs, and bird droppings or if your car stays in a closed garage most of the time.

Fill The Gas Tank Before It Gets Too Low

Gasoline can act as a coolant for your electric fuel-pump motor. When your gasoline level is very low, the pump sucks in air, which can create heat and cause the fuel pump to work harder. There is a chance the fuel-pump motor could wear prematurely or fail if you always drive your car when it’s near empty.

Don’t rely on your car telling you how many miles are empty. When your tank is ¼ full, fill it up.

Check The Air Filter

Look to replace your air filter once a year or every 20,000 miles. It’s fairly inexpensive and can actually benefit you by increasing your fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and prolong your engine life.

Check the Fluids

Fluids play an important role in your engine and car health. While most of us leave it to the professionals to check the different fluid levels, there are some you can do yourself on a monthly basis.

Check your windshield wiper fluid. Your windshield wiper fluid reservoir is typically a large, white plastic container with a windshield wiper image on it. You can always check your owner’s manual to make sure it’s correct. If the fluid level is less than the line shown or less than three quarters full, fill it up.

Check your oil. Once you’ve found your dipstick, pull it all the way out and wipe the end. Then, reinsert the dipstick. When you pull it out again, see where the oil level lines up on the line. It should be near the full line. If it’s not, add more oil.

Replace the Fuel Filter

Your fuel filter catches particles, debris and impurities in your gas tank before the fuel reaches the pump. This makes sure only clean gasoline reaches your engine. You want to avoid any debris clog up over time. Replacing your fuel filter may be different depending on the on the car and what the manufacturer recommends.  Check your owner’s manual to find out the timeline for your vehicle and leave this one to an expert unless you’re especially handy.

While we can’t help you maintain your vehicle, we can find you great rates on your home and auto insurance.

If you have questions about your home or renters insurance, call the insurance agents at Hukari Insurance in Beaverton, OR. They have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or motorcycle. They live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so they can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out their website, 24/7.

Rock Chip Claims in Portland, OR

Do Rock Chip Claims Impact My Insurance Rates? Our Insurance Agency Weighs In.

Answers To Your Rock Chip Claims

Rock Chip Claims in Beaverton, ORWe’ve all seen the tents around claiming, “Free rock chip repair!” but clearly there is a hidden cost somewhere. Sure, the insurance companies will pay the people at the tent to inject an epoxy into the chip in hopes that it doesn’t run and turn into a non-repairable crack. After all, the insurance company clearly sees that $40 is better than the $250 to have the windshield replaced.

So the question is: Can a rock chip claim impact my insurance rates? Short answer is yes, it is possible.

Depending on your insurance company you may upset a delicate balance of claims loss. Most insurance companies use rating factors into their algorithms such as age, zip code and certainly previous losses. Some insurance companies claim that people who turn in multiple glass claims have an overall higher loss rate and cost them more money in future claims. Furthermore, it depends on how many claims you have over a certain period of time. For instance, if you file a theft claim, then you have a rock chip claim the next week, this may flag your policy for filing too many insurance claims over a certain period of time generating a rate increase. This happens because when you stop at a rock chip repair tent they will ask you for your policy number and turn in an insurance claim so they can get paid (if you have comprehensive insurance).

Not all insurance companies do this and telling which ones do and which ones don’t can be very difficult. Trust your local insurance agent to place you in the best place for your insurance needs. If you’re a heavy commuter and typically need a new windshield every year, perhaps your agent can determine what company they offer that is a bit more lenient about this than others. Some companies even offer zero deductible glass replacement. Regardless of your situation, always discuss your insurance options with your licensed insurance agent.

If you have questions about your home or renters insurance, call the insurance agents at Hukari Insurance in Beaverton, OR. They have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or motorcycle. They live where you do and are an independent insurance agent, so they can help you find the right company to fit your needs. You can also check out their website, 24/7.

auto maintenance Portland, OR

Simple auto maintenance: A how-to guide

When it comes to auto maintenance, there are some things that are best left to the professionals. While you may not be able to repair issues with your engine, transmission or other vital systems in your vehicle, you can perform some simple maintenance and save yourself at little bit of money!

Standard car maintenance you can do yourself in Oregon:

  • Fluids: There are a number of fluids a car needs to keep running. Changing some of these fluids are as easy as filling up a reservoir, like water or antifreeze in your radiator or refilling your windshield washing fluid. Others, like changing your oil, can be a bit more time consuming. Before you embark on changing your own oil, make sure to read your cars maintenance manual to see what type of oil you need (synthetic, blend and the weight of the oil) and how often the manufacturer recommends the oil be changed. Oil and oil filters can be purchased from auto supply stores and even some one-stop-shopping retailers. You’ll also need to locate an oil disposal center. Some auto supply store will take used oil and dispose of it for free. While you are waiting for the oil to drain, you can also check your spark plugs! YouTube or websites like howstuffworks.com have great examples of how to change your plugs and what the condition of your old plugs may mean about the condition of your vehicle.
  • Tires: Tire maintenance is pretty simple and improperly maintained tires can affect your cars handling ability and gas mileage. Keeping your tires at the proper pressure level and having them rotated at a regular interval helps keep them in good condition. At some point though, you will get a flat tire. They usually happen at the most inopportune times, at night and while it’s raining. Tossing a spare tire on is actually fairly simple. You’ll need a jack, a tire iron and a container (or use your pocket) to keep track of the nuts/bolts that you will take off the deflating tire. You can often get all of this in a tire changing kit, if one is not included with your vehicle, which can be expensive upfront (typically between $100-$180) but cheaper than a tow. Once you’ve replaced the damaged tire with a spare, you can get yourself to a tire repair center to get the flat patched.
  • Brakes: Brakes in good working order are extremely important to your safety and the safety of others on the road. Brake pads can wear over time, which causes them to be less effective when slowing your car. If your brake pads wear too thin, an element on the back of the pad can come in contact with your rotor disc. Metal on metal grinding is never good and can result in having to replace the rotor (which could require the work of a professional). The average life span for brake pads is roughly 40,000 miles, however this can vary greatly depending on your driving style and your daily driving conditions. If you hear that telltale “squeak” of your brakes, it is time to give them a look. This is actually a built in “warning system” from your brake pads telling you they are running low. Your cars maintenance manual will let you know the type (size) of brake pad you need for the front and rear of your car. Changing out your brake pads requires you to remove the tire and the old pad. Other than that, it is fairly simple and can take under 20 minutes from start to finish per wheel. You should be cautious when breaking in new pads, it usually takes about 200 miles before the pads are working at “full strength.”
  • Keep it clean: Both the inside and outside of your vehicle should be regularly cleaned. Regular washings help keep dirt and other nasty stuff that can damage your paint, off your vehicle. A regular waxing can help extend the “shiny” look of your paint. Washing the exterior of your car on a regular basis also gives you the opportunity to check for dents, rock chips or damage that the layer of dirt was covering. Keeping the interior of your vehicle clean is not only sanitary, but it can diminish a safety hazard. Having things floating around your car like soda bottles, books, shoes, etc., can become projectiles and potentially dangerous if you are in a car accident. It is very easy to do a quick clean out, vacuum and wipe down of your interior when you clean the outside of your vehicle. A shiny car inside and out will put a smile on your face!

Another element of standard auto maintenance is a current auto insurance policy. Talk to the experts at Hukari Insurance in Beaverton, OR. Your local, independent insurance agents can walk you through your current auto insurance policy or assist with setting up a new policy. Because they live in the Beaverton area they can recommend auto repair shops should your vehicle need a professional. You can visit their insurance website 24/7 for more information about auto insurance or to check the other insurance products they offer, like renters insurance.