Guest Post: Household 6 Diva’s Surviving Separation: Know Your Vehicle
Household6 Diva’s Ann Marie has graciously accepted the invite to guest write today’s blog post for me. She chose to add to my Surviving Separation series. Being stationed in Germany, pregnant and subsequently giving birth to their third child while her husband was deployed makes her an expert on surviving separation.
Surviving Separation… Know your Vehicle
Here is a list of some important things to remember while your spouse is deployed or away for an extended period of time.
Check your Registrations. Will your State Registration need to be renewed while Hubby is away? Will your Post/Base Registration need to be renewed? Do you need a Special Power of Attorney to do these things in your husband’s absence?
Lease/Loan payments. Are you planning to pay off a vehicle while your spouse is away? If the vehicle is in their name only – you may need a General Power of a Attorney or a Special Power of Attorney. Call the company and find out what you will need when the time comes!
Insurance rates. During our first deployment together, my husband was 21 years old. By making him a “Non-driver” on our insurance, I saved a TON of money each month! He was still on our policy, so it was easy to add him when he came home.
Always Be Prepared.
Make sure the routine maintenance has been done. My husband either does the oil changes or takes it somewhere BEFORE he deploys. That way I only have to remember to do it once while he is away.
Know what maintenance NEEDS to be done and WHERE to get it. Once again, sit down with your spouse and write a list of things you might need to have done while they are away. What mileage do they need to be completed at? What Garage/Business does your spouse suggest? Is there a specific person there that he trusts? Is there a specific type of oil he wants you to use/not use? My husband has SERIOUS feelings on this subject. I don’t know why – but he does. And he WAS NOT happy with me when I had the WRONG type of oil put in HIS truck during our first deployment.
Carry a Cell phone. This does not require you to go get the most expensive one on the market! Any fully charged cell phone will call 911 in an emergency. However, I WOULD, encourage you to carry a cell phone with at least these few handy numbers already programmed into it.
-Get a AAA membership for roadside assistance/towing.
-Your referred Local Garage where you do most of your maintenance.
-Your Rear Detachment Office phone – Use this SPARINGLY! It is NOT their job to take care of every tiny problem you have – but in a serious jam, it is invaluable to have the number with you!
In Case of an Accident. Make sure the Insurance Card in your wallet is not expired. Carry a small emergency kit with extra diapers, snacks, a blanket, a flashlight, jumper cables, etc. Also keep a disposable camera (WITH a flash) in your glove box to take pictures of your vehicle, road signs, and other people involved. I was in a fender bender in college and my mom took a picture of the other guy leaning under his car to show the officer the damage. 6 months later he tried to file a lawsuit claiming serious injury to his right shoulder. Too bad we had a picture of him leaning on his “bad” arm.
And ask yourself:
Do you know how to change a tire and do you have all the parts? I had a good friend last deployment, who got a flat tire, and drove the rest of the way to daycare to drop off her three little girls (what would you do in winter?). When she went outside to change the tire, she discovered she didn’t have all the pieces! Luckily, we found another van with the same jack system! What a nightmare if she had been on the highway!
Do you know how to check your tire pressure? This is so easy! Have your hubby or a good friend show you how to do this! Keeping your tires inflated properly will help your gas mileage and could also help you detect slow leaks! Usually there are places with “Free Air” that already have a simple tire gauge on their hoses.
Do you know how to check your fluids? Another good friend of mine didn’t know how to add washer fluid. She thought she needed to go to a garage to have it added. Have your husband point out and explain how to check the oil, transmission fluid, and washer fluid.
The most important thing to remember, especially if your spouse is not there to ask for help, is…
It will all be ok.
If you get a flat tire or are in a fender bender – Your family’s safety will be all that matters.
Your spouse will be proud of you for handling the situation the best you could.
Even if you had the wrong oil put in his truck…
Do you have any stories/ideas/suggestions to add? Please leave a note in the comments!
I hope you enjoyed this guest post from the beautiful and very awesome Ann Marie. Thanks again for filling in for me. It is really appreciated.
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Before I went to college, my roommate’s dad gave us a crash course in car fluids and tires… I will never forget us packing to come home that first weekend, and spending 20 minutes checking out our cars!
My grandad recently nagged me about looking for a product that will plug into your adapter in your car, and inflate your tire. We were out late and our low tire pressure light came on. Luckily we were near a gas station, but here in Germany, if you’re on the autobahn, gas stations can be few and far between. When my grandad heard that we didn’t have one, I’ve gotten emails every few days asking if we’ve bought one yet! :) I haven’t searched for one yet, but I will.
Thanks for the information, and the reminders!
Great post! I hate dealing with the car but it is a must if he is going to be away for a whole year or longer.
This is a great post for any lady, even us non-military wives! Thanks!!!