Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Classic American Muscle Cars?

By John Laszkow | May 22, 2018

Quiz: 10 Movies That Have Unbelievable Car Scenes

By Dante Christensen | May 9, 2018

Graduation Day Essentials

By Kris Pedersen | May 8, 2018

As you gear up and get ready for the big day that you’ve spent countless hours working towards, make sure you have all the essentials to make Graduation Day that special day you will never forget. Here at DriveSmart Warranty we know the anticipation leading up to Graduation may feel like a lifetime, but the excitement from that moment will make the day come and go in the blink of an eye. Take a look at these tips and tricks so you remember this day forever.

During this time of year, the chance of sitting outside in the blaring sun for Graduation is a fact. Do yourself a favor and bring some shades with you. Not only will you be able to see but you’ll also look cool. Depending where you live, we recommend putting on some sunblock too.

Light Clothing
What you wear under your cap and gown can play a huge part in how much you enjoy your day. Wearing heavy, bulky clothing will not only make your gown look awkward, but also make you sweaty. As the weather for May and June are heating up, do yourself a favor and wear light, breathable clothing. The more you show in this instance is a good thing as your gown will cover you up.

Disposable Cameras
Although you may have never used one of these in your life, a disposable camera is a great way of making sure you capture every moment of the day. Pick up a few at your local drugstore – you can pass them down the aisles, give some to your friends, and you won’t have to worry about your phone dying throughout the day. When you go to get your film developed, you can have your pictures saved digitally on a UBS drive as well. A disposable camera will capture your big day in a way that you never could with your cell phone.

Graduation ceremonies can be a very long process. Make sure to grab a little snack and water to keep those sugar levels up. No one wants a picture of themselves looking like a Diva because, “you’re not you when you’re hungry.” So please at least grab a Snickers.

Bobby Pins, Makeup, & Deodorant
Make sure you keep these essentials on you or with your family. You don’t want to smell like you just played four quarters of Football or look like Chewbacca.

Plan a road trip with your friends
Whether you’re graduating high school or college, you may be saying goodbye to your closest friends as you go to explore the new opportunities life has ready for you. But before that happens, we strongly recommend hitting the open road and make one more great memory. Road trips are the best way for a group of friends to explore new horizons, spend quality time together, and create new experiences.

Important Tip: Never go on a long-distance road tip without the right coverage. All DriveSmart Warranty plans come standard with roadside assistance, trip interruption, and national coverage.

How to Keep Your Car as Eco-Friendly as Possible

By Kris Pedersen | May 2, 2018

Maintain properly inflated tires
Having deflated tires, even at the slightest bit can directly affect in your cars performance and gas mileage efficacy. Under-inflations can put unnecessary strain on your tires causing friction which will eventually lead to a rupture. An US average price of a new tire is anywhere from $80-$150 per tire depending on the quality of tire you choose. On the high end some tires can cost up to $300 dollars. On the other hand under-inflated tires can decrease your fuel economy by 0.2% for every drop in psi (pound per square inch), increasing additional fuel waste over a year time which exponentially adds up to a staggering amount over your lifetime. USA Today Reports, “A tire 25% below its recommended pressure is three times as likely to be involved in a crash”. So buy a tire pressure gauge at your local auto supply store for a few bucks and check you tire pressure weekly. Standard recommended psi inflation range from 30-34 psi depending on your make and model so everyone should check their owner’s manual before inflation.

Remove extra weight
Each additional 100 pounds in your vehicle can reduce your miles per gallon by about 1% (fueleconomy.com). It’s important not to use your trunk space as a storage unit and only keep the essentials in there such as jumper cables, road flairs, spare tire, jack, tire iron and any emergency/first aid kits. Comparable to excess weight, adding cargo roof accessories can significantly decrease the fuel consumption efficacy by increasing aerodynamic drag and overall weight to a vehicle. Fueleconomy.com says the reduction in fuel economy in city areas are between 2% – 8% and from 6% – 25% depending on highway speed.

Drive smoothly
The way we drive directly affects how much gas we burn, especially off the highway. Be delicate with the pedal and the brake and don’t drive aggressively. Fueleconomy.gov states “Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic.”

Air Conditioning
Air conditioning is a important function in our cars which can help people, especially the elderly avoiding complications from the scorching heat throughout the summer time. Although they add benefits to us, it also has harmful negative effects on the environment as well. Running the air conditioning requires a vehicle to produce more energy which results in burning more gas.

Tune ups
As a car gets into its later years, the importance of getting a tune up is enormous. Cars in need of tune ups will sputter, choke, and guzzle more fuel than necessary. Tune ups include replacement of spark plugs, testing compression of each cylinder, inspect and replace distributor cap if needed, timing and idle setting (if applicable) and the usual replacement of filters, belts, hoses, and fluids.

10 Tips to Keep Your Car Running Forever

By Kris Pedersen | April 26, 2018

As millions of Americans rely on their cars from day to day without a second thought, we would like to remind you there are ways to take care of your automobile so it can continue serving your needs for years to come. With basic maintenance, care and diagnostics one can prolong the life of their vehicle for several extra years than someone who neglects their wheels. Below are 10 easy steps that if done regularly will put extra life into your most valuable, underappreciated asset; our Vehicles.

The Basics

Keeping it Clean – Washing your car regularly not only keeps your vehicle looking nice, it also prevents rust, build-up and cracks. As many of us wash their car themselves it is important to get out to a car wash about once a month to get the undercarriage rinsed as well. As we travel on the road dust, debris and salt kick up underneath our cars into every nook, cranny and crevasse which can lead to damaging rust, withering away our chassis, frame and exhaust system which can lead to thousands of dollars in repair bills.

Watch the Road – Keeping your eyes on the road is not only imperative to your safety from getting into an accident, but for your cars protection as well. Curbs, cracks and potholes can be devastating to your vehicle if not avoided. These obstacles can cause flat tires, alignment issues, suspension damage, and CV axle breakage which can total up to $3000 in repairs.

Weekly Check-in – A weekly walk around of your vehicle to check on tire pressure, lights, turning signals and engine belts are commonly dismissed practice for millions of drivers. This easy practice can help avoid blowout and breakdowns that could lead to more serious problems that could have been avoided.

Performing regular maintenance – Between oil and filter changes at every 5,000 – 7,500 miles, timing belt changes at every 60-80,000 miles and performing tire rotations, brake pad and rotor replacements when necessary, these regular maintenance practices will help keep your car on the road for many more miles to come.

Complete Repairs Right Away – Putting off automotive repairs are a danger to yourself and the life of your vehicle. While people will tell you to set aside a repair fund of a few thousand dollars, here at DriveSmart Warranty we will pay those repair bills for you. At a low monthly cost, DriveSmart will provide roadside assistance, towing services, and pay your mechanic directly the next time your vehicle needs repairs. Feel free to call us today at 888-535-9825 or click here for more information.

Start Slow – When you first start up your car, let the engine warm up a little. As your car ages it’s important to let the engine idle for a few minutes so all the fluids can flow through all moving internal parts. When you get out of the road ease into your acceleration, this will allow your engine, axle, and transmission time to warm. Once your car is warm feel free to accelerate at a faster rate so you engine can burn off any carbon buildup that can clog valves, chambers, and exhaust manifolds.

Listen – A car enthusiast can tell the difference noises, movements and feels their car makes when its in tip top shape. For the rest of us, we just insert our keys into the ignition and go along our daily lives without concern. Listening carefully to noises that you car makes that aren’t familiar can be the first line of defense in preventing major damage to your vehicle. Today when you go home, turn the music off and just listen. Listen to what you car sounds like when you turn it on, when you step and the gas, brake and lastly when you go around corners. If you can address a problem from “well that doesn’t sound right”, you may be able to prevent major issues.

Carpool – The less you can drive your aging vehicle the better off you will be. Not only will you be saving your cars youth but you can help reduce CO2 emissions significantly, especially for the daily commuter. So ask you co-workers that live by you to drive in together, start a carpool sign-up at your company information board; your car and mother nature will thank you.

Grease and Lubricants – Obviously we all know how important engine, transmission and coolant fluids are to keep your car running at its best. But there are several other areas of your vehicle that needs constant lubrication. Many joint creating the durability of our automobiles are created from steel that connect with bolts and bushings. Regularly greasing and lubrication of engine mounts, suspension joints, door/hood hinges, axle joints and any other metal on metal contact areas are imperative for keeping your car in good shape.

Avoid Extra Weight – The more weight a vehicle carries the harder it will have to work. Not only does it add extra strain on the suspension but on the engine, transmission and braking system as well. So clean out that extra clutter and just keep the essentials in your trunk, every little bit helps.

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5 Fun Car Games for Kids to Play on Road Trips

By Kyle Loreti | April 18, 2018

Taking a road trip to your family vacation destination always seems like a good idea at first – you can save money on airfare while not stressing about getting everyone packed and to the airport on time. But a few hours into the road trip, once the kids are fully rested, is when you’ll start to regret your decision to drive. The kids become rambunctious and begin asking the dreaded question: “are we there yet?” One way to keep the kids calm and make time move not so slow is with car games! Here are some fun car games to keep everyone occupied.

20 Questions
One person thinks of a noun (person, animal, vegetable, etc.) and keeps it a secret. The other players take turns asking yes-or-no questions, such as “Do they have brown hair?” or “Is it orange?” After the players have asked 20 questions, each player gets to guess what the noun is.

The Animal Name Game
One person starts off by naming an animal. Without repeating animals, each player must name another animal that starts with the last letter of the previous animal named. There’s no real winners or losers in this game, but it’s fun to pass the time. You could also try this game with TV shows, movies, etc.

Restaurant Race
Each player chooses a restaurant (McDonald’s, Subway, Wendy’s, etc.) and earns points by spotting their chosen restaurant off the road, on a billboard, or on signs. After 20 minutes, add up the points and whoever has the most wins.

The Theme Song Game
Just as the name suggests, this game involves TV show theme songs. One person hums the tune to a theme song, and everyone else guesses the name of the show. The first person to guess correctly gets to hum the next song.

The Alphabet Game
This game is only for two players. One player takes the left side of the road and the other player takes the right side. Each player is going to look for letters of the alphabet on their respective sides. The letters could be on signs or license plates. The first person to spot all the letters of the alphabet in order, from A-Z, wins!

Car games are a great way to turn long, boring road trips with your children into fun ones! They will also keep your kids out of your hair for a while. If you’re driving a super far distance, having an auto warranty from DriveSmart may be a good idea. With a plan from DriveSmart, the repair bills for any unexpected breakdowns on your car will be covered. DriveSmart also offers 24/7 roadside assistance, complimentary car rentals, and helps pay for food and lodging if you break down away from home. These can be huge lifesavers if you’re on a road trip – especially if there are children with you.

Quiz: What If Dave Chappelle Was an Auto Warranty?

By Dante Christensen | April 17, 2018

9 Tips for Preparing Your Car for Warm Weather

By Kyle Loreti | April 12, 2018

You always hear of everyone prepping their cars for the harsh winter months, but what about the vicious summer sun? Heat is as big of a threat to your vehicle as the cold and snow are. Whether you’re just driving to the store down the road or taking a road trip, you’re risking the possibility of a break down if you don’t follow these nine tips before heading out in high temperatures.

1. Test your air conditioning before it gets too hot outside. There’s nothing worse than no AC in the scorching sun. If you notice the air is coming out but not cold enough, there may be something wrong. You most likely need more refrigerant or need to replace your air filters.

2. Check your tire pressure. Drastic temperature changes can cause your tire pressure to fluctuate. If the pressure is over or under your car’s recommended PSI, your tires will begin to wear unevenly. Also, if you have summer tires, now would be the time to put them on.

3. Make sure your radiator has enough coolant. If you notice your car is running too hot by the temperature gauge on your dashboard, your coolant could be low or there may be a leak. Keeping extra coolant in your car may be a good idea if you have an older vehicle prone to breakdowns.

4. Keep up with oil changes. I know it always sneaks up on you at the most inconvenient times, but oil changes are vital to the upkeep of your car. The more you drive, the more often you should be getting an oil change. If you don’t regularly change your oil, you should at least keep extra oil in your trunk in case of a breakdown.

5. Test your battery. Car batteries can fail any time of the year, but the rise in the temperature can take a significant toll on your battery. Bring your car to your local auto store and they will be able to test it for you – most stores do it for free!

6. Double check your brakes. You don’t want to be driving around with worn out brakes. If they feel funny or make weird noises while you’re driving, you should try replacing the brake fluids or take your car to a mechanic to be checked.

7. Replace your windshield wiper blades and fluid. Your wiper blades have most likely been worn down from scraping off ice and snow. It’s also a good idea to top off your wiper fluid as more bugs will be flying around in the warmer weather and crashing into your windshield – you’re going to want to be able to see where you’re going!

8. Get a car wash. Road salt and grime from melted snow can cause severe damage to your car’s paint and undercarriage. There’s no better time to wash your car than in the warm weather. If you don’t want to spend the extra money, you could always detail your car yourself (or trick the kids into doing it).

9. Update your emergency kit. You may have tapped into your supplies over the winter and forgot to replenish them. Some essential items include a first aid kit, flares, water, and phone charger.

Even if you’ve taken all the precautions listed but still want some extra peace of mind, DriveSmart is here to help. With an auto warranty from DriveSmart, you’ll be covered for the parts and labor costs if your car ever breaks down. DriveSmart has other perks such as complimentary car rentals, 24/7 roadside assistance, and car payment reimbursement if your vehicle is in the shop for a week or more. Get a free quote from DriveSmart and don’t let the sun ruin your summer fun!

What to Do After a Car Accident

By Kyle Loreti | April 10, 2018

You see it all the time while driving: two damaged cars on the shoulder of the road with their owners yelling at each other. You can’t help but stare as you pass by, thinking how foolish they look screaming their heads off. But what would you do if you were in their shoes? Would you stay calm or would you blow up in their face? Here are some quick tips on what you should do if you were to find yourself in a car accident.

1. Stay calm / Pull over to a safe location
If you ever get into a car accident, the most important thing to do is stay calm. Nothing good will come from you getting overly upset. If your car is physically able to, pull over to the side of the road; if it’s too damaged to drive, exit the vehicle and move to a safe spot away from traffic.

2. Contact the police
Your next step will be to call 9-1-1. The police will safely direct traffic around the accident if needed, as well as take your statement and write up an accident report. Be sure to get the report number from the responding officer – you’ll need this in the future to get a copy of the accident report for your insurance company.

3. Exchange information / Document any damage
Before leaving the scene of the accident, be sure to exchange contact information with the other party: name, license plate number, insurance company, and policy number. You should always keep an insurance card in your wallet or glove box for quick reference. Also, be sure to take photos of all vehicles involved and the accident scene.

4. Notify your insurance company
Your insurance company is going to want all the information you’ve gathered: names, photos, police report, etc. They’re going to handle any communication with the other party’s insurance company.

5. Get any damages on your car fixed
The most frustrating part of being in an accident is getting your car fixed afterwards. Depending on the damage, you could be without your car for a couple weeks. But if you have an auto warranty from DriveSmart, you’re automatically enrolled in their CPR program. This means that if you’re still making payments on your car and it’s in the repair shop for a week or more, DriveSmart will pay up to 300% of your car payments. There’s no reason for you to be making payments on a car you’re unable to drive.

Of course, there are some things you can do beforehand to ensure you’re ready for the unpredictable.

  • Keep an emergency kit in your car.
  • Have all critical documents in your wallet or glovebox (ID, insurance card, vehicle registration, etc.)
  • Make sure you have your fully-charged phone before hitting the road.

Being in a car accident isn’t fun, but it doesn’t have to stress you out for weeks on end. With the help of your local police, insurance company, and an auto warranty from DriveSmart, you’ll be back driving on the road in no time.

Darth Vader’s Guide to Millennials Buying Cars

By Dante Christensen | April 3, 2018

Unless you live in a place where public transportation is reliable and convenient, you need a car to maintain your day-to-day routines. Millennials have many stigmas: they’re entitled, they want a trophy for showing up, they’re easily sidetracked by technology, they’re job hoppers, and they want special privileges. There’s even research that establishes baby boomers are better at driving cars than millennials. However, there’s a new discovery, an imputation depicting millennials as the generation that avoids buying motor vehicles.

Believe it or not, technology has helped fuel millennials’ car purchasing habits. The millennial generation is typically between the ages of 21 and 34-years-old. Millennials have developed a condescending reputation. Some senior workers would consider millennials as ladder climbers because the younger workers are advancing more rapidly than previous generations. This generation is accustomed to getting more frequent feedback. It’s easy to blame them for being on their cell phone or computer when they’re at work playing Candy Crush or browsing the internet, but every generation is guilty of this. Job hopping has always been one of worst stigmas for the nomadic generation of millennials. In most cases, millennials travel from job to job because they are being promoted. Research by Wharton management Professor Matthew Bidwell found that external hires get paid 18% to 20% more than internally promoted workers.

Online shopping has provided convenience, variety, and better prices – so millennials wholeheartedly embrace it. Because of technology, you can easily find cars to purchase across the country. The online shopping technology allows shoppers to be less compulsive and more financially responsible. Technology provides a better flexibility when you’re shopping around for a car at the price point you want.

Ezra Becker, senior vice president of global research and consulting for Chicago-based TransUnion, said, “When Gen Xers were in their 20s and early 30s, the longest term available was five years. Now, you can get a seven-year loan, which lets a lot of consumers manage their cash flow better.” Recent studies have shown Uber’s customer base is made of more than 50% millennials. Just because the younger generation is savvy enough to use Uber more frequently, it doesn’t mean they don’t like to buy a car they can one day own. And with a DriveSmart warranty, you can purchase the car now and have peace of mind so when you break down you never pay for a repair bill again. The only exemptions that are usually not covered would be your regular maintenance which is scheduled by time and miles inside your owner’s manual. This typically includes oil changes, tire rotations, brake pads, and rotors. With a DriveSmart warranty, 100% of all the parts labor and diagnostics are covered at your favorite licensed repair facility anywhere within the United States and Canada. The only expense that is required from you, at the time of service, is a small $100 deductible and that’s not per item it’s per repair visit. What sets DriveSmart apart from other warranty companies is the fact that Drive Smart offers a car payment reimbursement program. If your automobile is in the repair shop for a week or more, DriveSmart will reimburse you for your car payment for up to 3 months.

Finally, when you make a necessity more affordable and accessible to consumers, they will make an emotional and logical decision to buy your product. There are many stigmas about the millennial generation and their buying habits. What is assumed about millennials is they’re self-entitlement, they’re easily sidetracked by technology, and they’re job hoppers. Based on my research, studies have shown millennials are utilizing technology for its value and convenience. Many years ago, you had to go to storefronts to shop around for cars. These days you can find the best car at the best price point online. In conclusion, you don’t have to worry about scarcity when there’s variety. Because of technology, millennials can focus on their nomadic lives which do require a lot of traveling. And of course, if you’re planning on owning a car, don’t forget to at least get a FREE QUOTE from DriveSmart. One day in the shop can cost more than your entire policy – don’t take any chances.