Is a Hardtop or Soft Top Convertible Right for You?

convertible carHere at PermaPlate we can hardly believe that the official start of summer is just a month away! With the weather heating up and the sun shining until long after dinnertime, there is no car more enjoyable to cruise around in than the convertible. When it comes to shopping for one of these beautiful vehicles, there are a variety of different features to take into consideration – one of the most important of which is the type of top you choose.


If you are worried about someone breaking into your vehicle during evening hours or are interested in driving your convertible with the top up on chilly fall days, a hardtop is the better bet for you. More durable than the soft top, a hard top convertible will warm up more quickly when the top is up and will offer a much quieter drive in wind and rain.

For individuals who often use their trunk for storage, the hardtop convertible does have one drawback – the top of the vehicle typically stows itself away into the trunk space.

Soft Top

Typically less expensive in price than hardtop convertibles, soft tops have the well-loved, completely unmistakable “convertible look” about them even when the top is up. Perfect for hot summer days, soft top convertibles are lighter – and therefore faster – than their hardtop counterparts.

They can be a bit loud to drive in when it’s rainy, and they are not ideal if you plan on driving your convertible through the cool fall months, as the fabric top does not contain heat as well as a metal one would.

Regardless of which type of convertible is right for you, PermaPlate can provide your beautiful new vehicle with the protection you need to keep it looking its best, regardless of what Mother Nature throws at you during your summer travels. From windshield protection to paintless dent repair, we have a wide variety of protection programs available to suit all of your vehicle needs.

Get Your Vehicle Summer Ready

vehicle packed for summerEveryone talks about the importance of stocking your vehicle full of winter supplies, but keeping the summer essentials in your trunk is just as important! As the school season nears its close and you prepare for a summer of afternoon adventures with your family, we recommend taking a quick inventory of the supplies in your car – adding these summer essentials in with your jumper cables and first aid kit.

Summer Snacks

Whether you are taking a day trip or just driving home from soccer practice, chances are your children will be hungry for a snack. We recommend keeping a stash of heat resistant snacks – like crackers, granola bars and dry cereal – to keep your passengers happy.


Children and dogs alike have a tendency to end up in mud puddles and bodies of water during summer adventures, making a couple extra towels necessary for keeping your vehicle clean. After a day of hiking or an impromptu trip to the beach, you’ll be glad you added these items to your summer checklist.

Sun Screen & Insect Repellant

Sunburn and bug bites are two of the biggest pains of summer, so keep your family protected from day to night by storing sunscreen and insect repellant in your vehicle. A can of each is sure to come in handy.

Spare Change

From lemonade stands to farmer’s markets and ice cream shacks, there are a few important summer stops that may not take credit cards. Ensure you and your family can enjoy all the best treats of summer by stocking your center console full of spare change as the weather gets warm. Your children and your stomach are sure to thank you.

As you store these important items in your vehicle, be sure to check your first aid kit to ensure that it is stocked full of band aids and allergy medicine. Summer is one of the most enjoyable and exciting times of the year, and we at PermaPlate hope you have a fun and safe summer on the road with your family!

Whether you are looking to provide your family with extra protection from the sun or are hoping to keep the interior surfaces of your vehicle free of stains, PermaPlate has a wide range of protection programs for you to consider. For more information, visit us online or contact us by phone at 800-453-8470.

Learn More about Our Window Tints

tinted windowsTinted windows are a great way to increase privacy while protecting your family from the sun’s harmful rays. Tinted windows also reduce glare and heat for a safer, more comfortable ride.  PermaPlate offers two different types of window tints, both of which are available in five levels, depending on your state laws and preferences.

SolarPlate IR Premium Window Tint

Able to reduce heat levels in your vehicle up to 60 percent, SolarPlate IR Window Tints create a more comfortable ride while reducing stress on your air conditioning unit. These tints are available in a variety of color options and come with a lifetime guarantee, ensuring that they won’t bubble or peel.

IR Window Tints block up to 99 percent of UV rays from the sun for maximum protection during travel. This window tint is made from non-metalized and nonconductive materials, ensuring that you won’t have any trouble with your GPS, keyless entry or cell phone.

SolarPlate SPC Classic Window Tint

Similar to the IR Window Tints, SolarPlate SPC Window Tints are made from non-metalized materials and are able to block up to 99 percent of UV rays. The biggest differences between the SPC and the IR Window Tints are that the SPC Window Tints reduce heat up to 47 percent instead of 60 percent and are available in slightly different color options.

The SPC Window Tints are available in a variety of soft charcoal shades, pairing well with any vehicle color.

Both options will never turn purple and will keep you and your family safe from prying eyes and the sun’s harmful UV rays, and are backed by a lifetime warranty.

For more information and to find a dealership near you that can apply PermaPlate’s window tints, contact us by phone at 800-453-8470.

Stick Shift in 2016

standard transmission 2016Although stick shift is common in vehicles across Europe, these third-petal cars have all but disappeared here in the United States. According to, manual transmission vehicles only made up about 7 percent of sales in 2012, and this number may have dropped even lower in more recent years. And if you are searching to purchase a new car this year and one of your “must-haves” is a stick shift, your options may be limited.

Luckily, there are still a number of auto makers offering a manual transmission version of their most exciting 2016 models.

2016 BMW M5

An incredible vehicle that was only available with manual transmission until 2005, the BMW M5 is the sport sedan all others compare themselves to. Unfortunately, BMW has decided to get rid of the manual transmission option in future models of the M5 and M6, leaving the M3 and M4 as your only options for driving stick in years to come.

2016 Chevy SS

If you are searching for a full-size sedan offering stick shift in 2016, the Chevrolet SS is one of the only options available. With a four-star rating from Car and Driver, this vehicle is definitely worth a look.

2016 Dodge Viper

An exhilarating reminder of the muscle cars of the 1960s, what would a Dodge Viper be without standard transmission? Another Dodge favorite that offers a six-speed manual transmission: the 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

2016 Jeep Wrangler

What would the Jeep Wrangler be without manual transmission? All two-door Wranglers come equipped with this option, because there is nothing more fun that traversing uncharted terrain with a six-speed stick shift and four-wheel drive.

2016 Dodge Ram 2500

Just like the Chevy SS, the 2016 Dodge Ram 2500 is the last of its kind. If you are searching for a heavy-duty pickup truck with a stick, this American-made vehicle is your only option.

Regardless of if you prefer to drive stick or automatic, PermaPlate understands just how important your new vehicle is to you, which is why we offer such a wide range of protection programs.


Five Tips for Keeping Your Vehicle’s Interior Clean

cleaning vehicle interiorRegardless of if you typically drive alone or have a back seat filled with children, your new vehicle can get messy in the blink of an eye. With a few simple tricks you can keep your vehicle looking almost as perfect as it did when you drove it off the dealership lot.

Take Out the Items You Bring with You

The easiest way to keep your vehicle clean is to make a point to take out every item you put into it. For example, instead of leaving your sneakers in the back seat after your trip to the gym, take them out to ensure the stinky shoe odor doesn’t linger. The same goes for your morning cup of coffee, your child’s snack wrappers and the bills you set on the seat next to you.

By taking out everything you bring into your car as you get out of it the next time, you will prevent clutter from building up while reducing the likelihood of spills and foul odors.

Keep Trash Bags On Hand

Another way to keep things clean in your vehicle is to keep a couple trash bags on hand. Placed in your glove compartment, these will come in handy quickly. Don’t have many passengers in your front seat? Secure a bag to your passenger’s side door handle and fill it with the little pieces of garbage – like straw and gum wrappers – that typically litter your floor.

Wipe Down Surfaces

While you are stocking up on vehicle cleaning supplies, you may also want to add sanitizing wipes to your arsenal. It is common for surfaces inside your car to get dusty, and wiping them down every week or so will keep your interior clean while also adding a fresh scent!

Perform Monthly Cleaning

If daily cleaning isn’t for you, another great way to keep the interior of your vehicle in top shape is performing a monthly cleaning. Vacuum the carpets, wipe down surfaces, and clean out all the clutter that has been stashed in cup holders and beneath seats. Regular cleaning will breathe fresh life into your car, making every day you drive more enjoyable.

Add a Layer of Protection

Whether it is made of leather or cloth, add an extra layer of protection to your vehicle’s upholstery with an interior protection program from PermaPlate. Learn more about our Fiberguard and Leatherguard products here, and contact us by phone at 800-453-8470 to find a dealer that offers PermaPlate protection near you.

Learn More About Our Windshield Protection

windshield protectionFrom road debris to water spots, there are many different things that can affect the windshield of your vehicle. And there is nothing more important than being able to see clearly when you are behind the wheel of your car. PermaPlate understands how important it is to keep your family and your vehicle safe while on the road, which is why we offer windshield protection for new and used vehicles.

Our windshield program helps keep your windshield free from chips and cracks, also ensuring that covered damage will be repaired without additional out-of-pocket costs. Our glass treatment involves a unique molecular coupling agent that creates a protective coating that strengthens the glass on your vehicle and creates a protective shield against propelled road debris.

Creating a molecularly stronger surface, PermaPlate windshield protection lowers the friction coefficient of the glass, deflecting road debris with ease and improving glass clarity even during rain and snow. Other benefits include:

  • Protection against acid rain and water spots
  • Water, ice and snow repellant
  • Improved rain vision
  • Reduced night glare
  • Easy removal of bugs

If windshield damage does occur, there are no out-of-pocket expenses to worry about, and no unnecessary claims to file with your insurance company. PermaPlate works with Safelite, the only national company with an internal certification program that insures compliance with the American National Standard Institute auto-glass replacement safety standards. This ensures that your repairs are done correctly and quickly, with one hour drive-away time adhesive for windshield installation.

To learn more about PermaPlate’s windshield protection and to find a local dealership that can apply it for you, contact us by phone at 800-453-8470.

8 Safety Tips For Your Next Road Trip

family road tripWith summer drawing near, the whole family is excited for your next road trip. But how can you make sure that the trip will be the family fun event you’re all expecting it to be? Most large family cars come with plenty of safety features nowadays, but the old saying “you can never be too prepared” is certainly one to pay attention to.

If you want everyone to enjoy their vacation as much as possible, then it’s best to be prepared. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

1. Make Sure Your Car is Well-Maintained

Get a tune-up a few days before the journey to ensure your car is in good condition and that there won’t be any sudden breakdowns on the open road.

2. Plan Your Route and Driving Schedule

Bring a map (or consult your GPS) and decide on which roads to take and what places you will visit ahead of time. Schedule breaks in between long drives to help you rest and avoid falling asleep while driving.

3. Have an Emergency Kit on Hand

Bring everything you need for emergency car repairs, including a flashlight with batteries. A first aid kit with medicine and bandages is also ideal in case any family members get sick.

4. Be Dressed to Go

Before getting on the road, make sure to dress comfortably and pack sunglasses and a bottle of sunscreen. Driving into the bright sun can impair your visibility, and although your tinted windows protect against UV exposure you are sure to be stopping regularly for bathroom breaks and opportunities to stretch. Especially in the hot summer sun, these breaks from your vehicle can result in sunburn – and there is no worse time to experience this pain than while sitting in your vehicle during a long trip.

5. Organized and Safe Back Seat

Clean out the back seat of your vehicle before your trip, checking to ensure that there are no items that could be choking hazards or injure your children by accident.

6. Strap Everyone in Securely

The most basic of all car safety rules can save your lives. Older children and grownups should be wearing their seatbelts all the time, while little ones should be properly secured in their car seats.

7. Pack and Stow Properly

Pack your items neatly in your bags and arrange everything properly in the trunk of the vehicle so that nothing gets spilled or broken while you’re driving down bumpy roads.

 8. Be Prepared for Bad Weather

You never know when the weather might change, so bring waterproof items and clothing and keep them inside of your vehicle within reach in case you need to get out into rain or snow.

Now that you’ve got everything and everyone ready, take a deep breath and relax.  Unforeseen circumstances can always occur, but with this advice you will be able to deal with them as they arise and have an incredible family vacation.

Regardless of what experiences you face out on the open road, PermaPlate offers the protection you need to keep your vehicle in top shape. Learn more about our products online or contact us at 800-4553-8470 to find a dealership near you that offers PermaPlate protection.

Five Tips to Improve Your Driving Skills

woman drivingRegardless of your age and driving experience, there is always room for improvement. Whether you just got your license or you are looking to make some improvements now that you have your little ones in the back seat, PermaPlate has some words of advice for you to follow.

Maintain your skills as a safe and attentive driver with these five simple tips.

Stay Alert

Whether you are in the middle of a long drive or just heading home after a busy day at work, it is important to pay attention to how your body feels while you are behind the wheel. Driving while fatigued can be very dangerous, slowing your reaction time and increasing the chance that you fall asleep.

If you begin to feel tired behind the wheel, pull over for a cup of coffee or to take a quick nap. When driving long distances, it is also better to travel with a companion, so you can take turns driving, ensuring you don’t have to stay on the road when you get tired.

Position Your Hands Correctly

For years, driving instructors taught that you should keep your hands on the steering wheel where the 10 and 2 positions are on the clock. This guideline was changed by AAA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a few years ago, and these groups now recommend placing your hands at 9 and 3 or 8 and 4.

The lower placement of your hands on the steering wheel provides extra stability, also protecting your arms from injury in case of an accident. In this lower position, it is less likely that your hands and arms will be hurt if your airbag goes off.

Map Your Route Ahead of Time

To help make sure you are paying attention to the road – and not your map or GPS system – while driving somewhere you have never been before, we recommend taking some time to map your route ahead of time. Pull out your map or phone a couple days or hours before you head out, reviewing the route you will be taking so you are aware of any quick turns you may have to make.

Take a Defensive Driving Course

Fairly inexpensive in price, defensive driving courses do more than just lower your car insurance rate. These courses are the perfect way to refresh yourself on the rules of the road, reminding you to be attentive to your surroundings and wary of other vehicles during your travels.

Be Aware of Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Just like everything else in life, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to driving. Pay attention to the way you drive, noticing which skills you excel at and which you could use some help with. Whether you always notice yourself speeding or you have trouble parallel parking, pay attention to the areas you need to work on for a conscientious and safe drive.

No matter your driving capability, accidents happen, which is why PermaPlate offers an array of automotive protection products. Whether you would like to protect the inside of your vehicle from spills or your windshield from rocks and road debris, we have a program that can fit your needs.

Learn More About Our Interior Protection Programs

dog in carFrom the muddy paw prints Fido tracked into the back seat to the coffee stain you made when taking your turn into the parking lot just a little too fast, interior damage can happen quickly. And if you’re like us here at PermaPlate, you want your new vehicle to look its best for as long as possible.

There is plenty to think about when purchasing a new vehicle, and regardless of what material you decide on for your interior upholstery, PermaPlate has an interior protection program to keep it looking its best. Fiberguard® and Leatherguard® provide protection against the everyday mishaps your vehicle is bound to face, including stains and damage from:

  • Food and beverages
  • Oil-based spills
  • Water-based spills
  • Ink and dye spills
  • Pets
  • Lipstick and makeup
  • Leather/vinyl fading and cracking
  • Leather/vinyl accidental rips and tears
  • Leather/vinyl accidental burns


Fiberguard specifically covers your interior cloth upholstery, carpet and fabric door panels, making spills easy to clean. This fabric protection product bonds to the individual fibers of your interior, creating a barrier that is tough for oil and water based products to penetrate.


Leatherguard protects your interior leather and vinyl, creating a barrier that prevents the fading, discoloration and signs of aging commonly caused by sun and temperature extremes.

Both services ensure that your interior surfaces remain in top condition through everything you and your family throw at them. For more information, visit PermaPlate online or contact us by phone at 800-453-8470 to find a dealership nearest you that offers our protection products.

What is Lidar?

autonomous vehicle with lidar sensorsThe successful evening drive performed by Ford’s autonomous Fusion has the auto industry buzzing, as nighttime driving is one of the biggest hurdles that self-driving cars face. Tested in complete darkness on a test course in Arizona, the vehicle relied completely on its Velodyne LiDAR technology and 3D maps of the area.

According to Ford researcher Wayne Williams, “…I was following the car’s progression in real time using computer monitoring. Sure enough, it stayed precisely on track along those winding roads.”

This incredible success has brought one particular question to the minds of individuals across the country: What is lidar?

The primary sensor system used by Ford, Google and other manufacturers working to create autonomous vehicles, lidar technology is rather different from the optical sensors used in the semi-autonomous vehicles Audi and Tesla have on the roads today.

The word “LIDAR” stands for the phrase “Light Detection and Ranging” and is essentially a laser light that analyzes its surrounding to create a high resolution digital image.

These laser sensors are located on the top and front of the vehicles, acting together to gather information on objects both near and far, constantly transmitting this information to the computer system inside the vehicle.

Ford’s successful nighttime test drive is being attributed in part to the high-resolution of the area, leading researchers to believe that autonomous, lidar-enabled vehicles will be restricted to well-mapped areas for testing over the course of the next few years.

Here at PermaPlate, we are interested to see where autonomous technology will take us, and are proud to keep your vehicle – autonomous, semi-autonomous or driver required – looking its best with our appearance protection programs.

Learn More About Our Exterior Appearance Protection

7457028_SPurchasing a new vehicle is a big investment and one that you will want to protect as best as you can. From road salt to bird droppings and tree sap, there are many corrosive substances that can cause damage to the painted surfaces of your vehicle. If you are looking to provide the outside of your new car with the best protection possible, PermaPlate offers Paintguard®, an exterior appearance protection program.

With the latest technology advancements in surface treatment products as well as a network of authorized technicians, PermaPlate’s appearance protection program defends the exposed surfaces of your vehicle from a variety of damage including:

  • Fading
  • Oxidation
  • Loss of gloss
  • Road salt
  • Bird droppings
  • Tree sap
  • Hard water spotting
  • Acid rain
  • Industrial fallout

Instead of worrying about repair costs down the road, purchase PermaPlate Paintguard® with your new vehicle. Unlike car insurance, there are no deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses and no per-occurrence limit.

For more information about PermaPlate’s exterior appearance protection program, Paintguard®, visit us online or contact us by phone at 800-453-8470 to find an authorized dealership near you.

Please refer to your warranty for specific coverage details and exclusions.

Are Our Cities Ready for an Increase in Electric Vehicles?

electric car chargingThe unveiling of Tesla Motors’ Model 3 vehicle has caused quite a stir throughout the automotive community. Starting at $35,000 with a battery range of 215 miles, Model 3 sedans have the potential to change the marketplace. But Tesla’s new vehicle, along with the increase of other electric vehicles on the market, has many individuals wondering if cities across the US are ready to handle an influx of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).

Especially in the country’s largest cities, many car owners do not have garages of their own where they can charge their electric vehicles at night. This makes the placement of charging stations throughout the area a key factor in the purchasing of an electric vehicle, and according to an Indiana University study, Portland, Oregon is the major city most ready to accommodate PEVs.

Portland and other top-rated cities have each taken a unique approach to help encourage the use of PEVs, offering good ideas for other cities looking to increase their number of PEV drivers. For example, PEV drivers in Honolulu, Hawaii are exempt from parking fees and those in Austin, Texas pay less than $5 a month for unlimited charging at more than 250 public stations.

With the Tesla Model 3, revamped versions of the Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf, and a new electric vehicle Hyundai entering the market, there are many different options for car owners to consider when purchasing a new vehicle. And with the introduction of autonomous vehicles drawing nearer, accessible PEV charging stations may soon serve more than one purpose. The perfect place for autonomous vehicles to park between customers, these areas can serve as a hub for the companies that own self-driving cars.

Here at PermaPlate, we are interested to see where the future will take the auto industry, and happy to provide protection services for your new electric vehicles! For more information about our services, visit us online or contact us by phone at 800-453-8470 to find a dealership near you that offers PermaPlate protection products.

Theft Protection Advice and Statistics [Infographic]

theft protection infographic

At one point or another, every car owner has worried that their vehicle may be stolen. And it may surprise you that it isn’t the brand new luxury car that is in the most danger of being taken, but the older, more ambiguous vehicle. Vehicles you see everyday – like the Honda Accord and Ford F-150 – have some of the highest theft rates, which is why it is important for all drivers to brush up on theft prevention tips.

Play it Safe

Although almost 80 percent of drivers always lock their vehicle, 33 percent admit to leaving their vehicle unattended while it is running and 47 percent don’t always park in well lit areas.

Small adjustments can greatly reduce your risk of car theft. We recommend never leaving your vehicle running (or leaving your key in the ignition), even if you are just running across the street to the mailbox or inside a convenient store for a couple minutes.

Pay attention to your surroundings when parking your vehicle, searching for a spot in a parking garage or a well lit parking lot. For vehicle owners who don’t park in a garage at home, we recommend installing a motion activated light near your driveway.

Avoid leaving valuables like your purse or wallet in your vehicle – and if you must leave them behind, place them somewhere out of view. Even bank statements and bills can put your vehicle at risk for theft, so pay attention to what you have lying around before getting out of your car.

Install Anti-Theft Technology

While most new vehicles come with a car alarm, don’t forget to set yours every time you get out. The ringing of this alarm should draw enough attention to your car to stop a thief in their tracks, but if your vehicle does not have an alarm installed, there are plenty of other protections to consider.

With steering wheel locks, ignition kill switches and tracking devices all available – and able to get you a discount on your car insurance – there is a safety device that will help prevent the theft of your vehicle regardless of your price range.

Consider Window Etching

A theft deterrent option recognized by The National Insurance Crime Bureau and various law enforcement agencies, window etching is a simple way to reduce your chances of vehicle theft. When a vehicle has a traceable code etched onto its parts, it is difficult to salvage for money, making it useless to thieves.

PermaPlate offers an etching service called Etchguard, installing a traceable security code to various parts of your vehicle and making it much less desirable to thieves. Etchguard also adds your personal registration to a national database available to law enforcement in case your vehicle is stolen and provides you with a Replacement Vehicle Allowance if it is not found.

To learn more, visit us online or call us at 800-453-8470 to find a dealership near you that offers PermaPlate Etchguard.

PermaPlate Teams Up With Keys To Success Again This Spring

PermaPlate Keys To Success ScholarshipHere at PermaPlate, we believe that it is our responsibility to give back to our local community, especially our community youth. Today’s high school students are tomorrow’s leaders; one of the many reasons we have formed a partnership with Keys To Success.

A program that works to enhance academic initiatives in local high schools and reward students for their academic improvements, Keys To Success’ core values include character, commitment, respect and self esteem.

Based in Utah, the organization has spent the past 10 years helping high school students to continue their education and become members of a well educated and capable workforce. This year alone, more than 300 scholarships are being offered, helping give teens across the state the means to succeed.

One of Keys to Success’ main goals is to achieve the highest percent of high school graduates pursuing post-high school degrees in the country, and each year between the months of March and May PermaPlate teams up with this incredible organization to award students with scholarship money to use towards their college education.

A proud business sponsor of Keys To Success, PermaPlate was happy to present our first scholarship of the season on March 21, 2016.

Learn more about Keys To Success and find out how you can help support your local students here, then visit PermaPlate online to learn about the other community organizations we serve.

Three Services Autonomous Technology Will Rely On

woman in autonomous vehicleWith autonomous vehicle technology constantly improving, automakers are putting more and more thought into how they will be used. Both General Motors and Uber have shown interest in the idea of corporations owning fleets of autonomous vehicles that can be rented by individuals in need of transportation on a regular basis.

ABI Research believes that 400 million people will rely on self-driving vehicle by 2030, and that many of these vehicles will be owned by corporations instead of individual drivers. The transition from owning a vehicle to renting an autonomous vehicle’s services is expected to occur in three different phases, outlined below.

Street Rental Service

A type of membership service that is expected to be popular in cities where individuals can walk or use public transportation most of the time, using a street rental service is like signing up for a club membership. By paying a set amount each month, you can reserve an autonomous vehicle for use just when you need one. All you have to do is pick it up at a designated location and return it when you are done, whether this is after a couple hours or the whole day.

Ride Sharing Service

The next type of service expected to become available as autonomous vehicles become more popular is the ride sharing service. Similar to carpooling or hailing a taxi, this service will allow you to get into an autonomous vehicle, be driven to your destination and then pay the vehicle’s owner a fee.

Robotic Service

The third and final service outlined in ABI’s study, robotic service is expected to occur as more trust is put into fully autonomous vehicles. A combination of ride sharing and car sharing – a service where a vehicle’s owner allows you to borrow the car when they are not present – robotic services will allow you to hail autonomous vehicles on the street, call them to your home to pick you up and more.

Without a driver behind the wheel of the vehicle, ride sharing and car sharing will merge into one simple, robotic service.

Here at PermaPlate, we are interested to see where autonomous technology takes us and how it will impact all of our daily lives. To stay updated with auto news and advice for maintaining your vehicle, check back on our blog frequently or “like” us on Facebook!

AEB Systems a Standard Feature By September 2022

auto emergency brakingA feature that goes by many names, you have probably heard of auto emergency braking, or AEB, if you have been paying attention to recent car commercials. Called “Active City Stop” by Ford and “PRE-SAFE Brake” by Mercedes-Benz, AEB systems use sensors, lasers and cameras to monitor for potential collisions, alerting drivers to danger on the road and applying the brakes independently if needed.

A popular addition that more and more manufacturers are offering in their vehicles, research has found that 35 percent of rear end crashes could be avoided completely with the help of AEB systems. And a recent announcement ensures that this feature will be available for everyone in the years to come.

On Thursday, March 17, twenty auto makers and the U.S. Department of Transportation announced their commitment to making auto emergency braking a standard feature in all vehicles by September of 2022.

An agreement that will reduce rear end crashes by 40 percent, the addition of AEB systems as a standard feature will help to improve safety for drivers across the country as we draw nearer to the start of completely autonomous vehicles. Almost all vehicles with a weight of less than 8,500 lbs. will be affected by this ruling, and trucks about 8,500 lbs. will have to include AEB systems as a standard feature by 2025.

Called, “…a win for safety and a win for consumers,” by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the addition of AEB systems into all new vehicles is something that we at PermaPlate are very excited about.

Whether your vehicle has an AEB system or not, PermaPlate is here to ensure that it is running its best with our pre-paid maintenance program. To learn more about this and other PermaPlate programs, visit us online or call us at 800-453-8470 to find a dealership near you that carries our products.

Will Your Vehicle Reach 200,000 Miles?

vehicle maintenanceWhile some car owners prefer to upgrade vehicles every few years, others like to stick with the vehicle they love for as long as they can. If you are the type of driver who would like their car or truck to reach 200,000 miles, regular maintenance is an important factor to keep in mind, as is the particular vehicle you own. has mapped out which sedans, SUVs, trucks and luxury vehicles are most likely to go the distance, and PermaPlate has some tips that every car owner looking to get the most of their big purchase should try.

Perform Monthly Checks

Instead of waiting for warning lights to pop up on the dash, be proactive and take the time to check your vehicle’s tire pressure and fluid levels monthly. We recommend keeping a couple quarts of oil and some extra windshield washer fluid in the trunk, just in case you are low when you check.

Follow Maintenance Recommendations

Instead of only changing your oil when your annual inspection takes place, follow maintenance recommendations, having it changed every eight months (about 7,500 miles) to extend the life of your vehicle. When you have your oil changed, spend the little bit extra to have your tires rotated as well. This will help to ensure a smooth ride and even wear – which will save you money on new tires in the long run.

One maintenance check many drivers forget about is the filters. This extra step can add miles and many years onto your vehicles lifespan, recommends changing the passenger compartment air filter at 36,000 miles.

Pay Extra Attention at 100,000 Miles

Around the time your vehicle reaches 100,000 miles, there are some extra precautions you should take to protect its health. Start by checking to see if you need a wheel alignment to ensure that you aren’t wearing down your tires more than you need to be. Also have your timing belt and all of the other belts and hoses that make up your vehicle checked to ensure they are all in good shape. If any have begun to weaken, swap them out for new ones to keep bigger repair costs at bay.

As the mileage on your vehicle increases, so do the chances that you will need to have repairs made, making Prepaid Maintenance extremely helpful. For more information, contact us at 800-453-8470 to find a dealership near you that carries PermaPlate products.

Can You Drive On Your Snow Tires Year-Round?

summer tiresAs the weather begins to warm up and snow melts away across the country, many drivers are wondering if they really need to take their snow tires off. Not only will you have to head to your local auto shop to wait in line and have them removed, but you will also have to make space in your garage or basement to properly store them. And while these discouraging factors may have you thinking about leaving your snow tires on year-round, PermaPlate is here to remind you why it is so important to swap them out for your summer tires.

Excess Wear

Created from a more flexible rubber than all season and summer tires, snow tires provide extra traction in the winter, gripping to the snow and ice on the road better than other tires can. As much as it helps you in the winter, this pliable tread works against you in the summer, wearing down very quickly on the warm, dry pavement that doesn’t require extra grip.

Decreased Performance

Another problem caused by the soft rubber of snow tires is the inability to quickly maneuver your vehicle. The harder all season and summer tires provide a crisper response than the flexible snow tires can, making them a safer choice when the weather is warm.

Additional Fuel Costs

Along with decreased performance and excess wear comes an additional problem: a decrease in gas mileage. No one wants to fill up their tank more often then they need to, and with summer vacation approaching, the extra money you spend on gas can take away from your fun in the sun!

Winter tires are expensive and ineffective during the spring and summer months, so make yours last and ensure a safer drive by taking them off promptly after the snow and ice melt away. Your vehicle and your wallet will thank you!

PermaPlate offers tire and wheel protection along with a wide variety of other automotive protection programs to help ensure your vehicle looks and drives its best. Learn more about them here and visit our blog regularly for more vehicle advice.

Three Year Study Highlights the Biggest Driver Distractions

texting while drivingDriving is an activity that requires your utmost attention, and it comes as no surprise that distracted drivers are a leading cause of accidents on the road. Accidents happen in a matter of seconds, and just a moment with your eyes away from the road can be dangerous.

So what distractions are the worst? Virginia Tech Transportation Institute explored this question in a three year study that gathered information from more than 3,500 drivers using onboard video cameras and sensors.

During the course of the study, almost half of the participants were involved in some sort of driving incident, and while some accidents were small – like the little bumps into stationary objects – others were rather serious, and distraction played an important role in both types.

An unexpected driver distraction that researchers noticed was mood. Whether subjects were crying, angry or agitated while behind the wheel, these strenuous emotional conditions increased the risk of a collision up to 980 percent. And even more frightening than this was the fact that drivers were distracted more than 50 percent of the time they were on the road!

One of the study’s most interesting findings was that interacting with children in the back seat of your vehicle is nowhere near as dangerous as expected. Why? Researchers believe that driving in your children’s presence actually has a proactive effect, since you are paying closer attention to the road and making more careful decisions to help ensure their safety.

For drivers getting behind the wheel after a difficult day, we recommend taking a few deep breathes to calm yourself for the drive ahead. Interested in brushing up on your defensive driving skills? Check out PermaPlate’s recent article about our top five defensive driving tips here.

Accidents can happen to anyone, which is why it is so important to keep your vehicle protected. Here at PermaPlate, we offer a variety of protection packages to ensure that your vehicle will stay looking like new throughout your time together.


Microsoft Testing Unique Solution to Combat DMV Woes

computer conferencing One thing that everyone can probably agree on is that it isn’t fun to have to go to the DMV. Whether you are applying for your learner’s permit, renewing your license or trading in your license plates, the office is always busy –and no one wants to take time out of their busy day to wait in line. Lucky for us, an interesting solution to the problems associated with the DMV and other municipal offices may be on the horizon.

Microsoft is currently working in India to create a program that hooks up India’s national identity system (similar to US social security numbers) to a video service like Skype. In theory, this program will allow you to video chat with public offices – like the DMV and City Hall – to handle your business without dealing with the hassle of driving across town and waiting in line. A great solution for individuals who don’t want to take time off of work or wake up early on Saturday to handle paperwork, this video service has the potential to become immensely popular.

Although Microsoft is still in the early stages of the creation of this program, questions have already arisen about security. Microsoft President Brad Smith has mentioned the use of facial or fingerprint scanners in conjunction with an ID number to prevent identity theft, but even with security questions still buzzing around close to one billion Indian citizens have enrolled in a voluntary program to try out this new video technology.

Here at PermaPlate, we are interested to see where these interested developments will lead and how they will help to make obtaining and completing driver-related permits and paperwork easier for our customers.