With fall well underway, you’ll no doubt have dug out your woolen sweaters and switched your cold water bottle to your insulated thermos. One thing that many people fail to consider during the fall, however, is how the change in temperature and weather might affect their vehicles.
For most, a car is a lifeline to work, school, social activities, and much more. So, keep your car in tip-top shape this fall with these easy tips — including some tips for applying for a loan should an unexpected issue arise.
In this article
Test Your Lights
As the evenings get darker, the clarity and functionality of your headlights become even more critical. Test all your lights pre-trip and clean them with a specialized cleaning solution if they appear cloudy.
Get Your Brakes Tested
Wet leaves, damp roads, and cooler temperatures — you want to be sure your brakes are up to the job. Check your brake fluid and get your mechanic to test your brake pads and cylinders if it’s been some time.
Run Your Vents
The vents inside your car aren’t simply for comfort; they also play a vital role in de-steaming your windows. A foggy windscreen on a dark highway is a recipe for disaster. Open the vents and make sure they’re all running as they should.
Check Your Tires
While you might not have felt the need to move to your winter tires yet, know that with every 10-degree drop in temperature, your tire pressure falls between one and two pounds. With that, test your pressure at a gas station and be on the lookout for bulges or bald patches.
Even with pre-emptive steps like these, vehicles have a lifespan. If you own an older car showing signs of age, it’s a good idea to be prepared. Building an emergency fund is an excellent place to begin.
What Is an Emergency Fund?
It’s exactly as it sounds! This is a fund that can get you out of a financial bind. By creating a standalone bank account for unexpected costs — money that you don’t factor into your everyday expenses — you’ll have a source to pull from that won’t have a knock-on effect on your other finances.
In Case of the Unexpected
If you don’t have enough in savings or your emergency fund, an emergency car repair may very well be worth borrowing. But making an informed decision that won’t add to your already mounting stress is essential.
Shop around. Do your due diligence, but don’t apply to multiple lenders simultaneously. Compare your options.
- Ask About Fees: Query the amounts and see if a lender will charge late, processing, and prepayment fees — to name just a few.
- Understand Plans: Some lenders offer strict minimum and maximum loan amounts and draw limits that might not suit your personal needs.
- Know the Timelines: Make sure you have a solid grasp of the repayment timelines. Timely payments avoid potential late fees, which will harm your credit rating.
- Monitor Interest Rates: An interest rate will impact how much your loan costs you in the long run.
While the financials are vital, finding a lender that values their customers is also a good idea. Check reviews and connect directly with them if you have any questions.
Why Not Start an Emergency Fund Today?
It’s possible to set your car up for a successful fall with routine maintenance and consulting the pros for their insights. It’s always worth being prepared financially. Keep in mind that a personal loan is a good option if your credit is maxed, you’ve encountered a financial emergency, and you don’t have an emergency fund waiting in the wings.