Rebecca Stutts Hovater

Rebecca Stutts Hovater

Here’s how to spruce up and maintain your vehicle, inside and out.

On the highway or off the beaten track, here’s how to spruce up and maintain your vehicle, inside and out.

  1. Check all fluids: An overheated car can bring your vacation to a screeching (and steaming) halt. Regularly check your coolant level (as well as power steering, brake and wiper fluids) and ask your mechanic if the system needs to be flushed.
  2. Inflate the tires: Under-inflated tires can overheat and increase the chances of a blowout. Follow the air pressure guidelines in your owner’s manual, rather than the numbers on the tire sidewalls, or more conveniently, open the driver’s door and check the label on the pillar (referred to as the B-pillar).
  3. Monitor the tire tread: Air isn’t the only important factor in tire safety. Make sure your tires still have enough tread to effectively grip the road, even in wet weather. Try the penny test: Insert a penny into one of the tire’s grooves, with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, you may need new tires.
  4. Clear out the trunk: Wintertime equals lots of extra stuff in the trunk — portable shovels, stray snow boots and extra blankets. Clean it out to make room for road-trip luggage and ensure you can access your spare tire should you need it — it might even boost your gas mileage. While you’re at it, check that your emergency kit is well stocked.
  5. Test the battery: Car batteries don’t just fail in the winter: If your battery is more than three years old, ask your mechanic to test it.
  6. Get your car waxed: Worried about the summer sun fading your car’s paint? Either do it yourself or visit a car wash for a summertime clean and shine to help protect against grime, scratches and sun damage.
  7. Fix the little things: Pay attention to your car’s overall health, including peeling wiper blades, dirty headlights or alerts on the dashboard (time for a mechanic visit for sure).
  8. Follow oil change guidelines: It’s obvious but easy to forget while you’re prepping for a trip: Check your oil and follow manufacturer guidelines about mileage and changes.
  9. Reduce or eliminate in-car eating: Crumbs attract pests like ants, and spills may damage upholstery. This is harder with kids or long trips, but try it for short trips.
  10. Empty trash regularly: Keep a trash bag handy. Even a repurposed plastic shopping bag can keep gum wrappers and parking receipts from finding their way under the seats.
  11. Always clean out the car: Always exit the car with something. Grab any travel mug or soccer ball in sight. Over time, you’ll build it into a clean-car habit.
  12. No matter what, prep: Even if you’ve individually checked every spark plug, emergencies and accidents can happen. Pack an emergency kit: a gallon of water (and bottles), non-perishable snacks, sunscreen, a blanket and some simple tools and duct tape. 

State Farm® Insurance Agent

Rebecca Stutts Hovater

501 S Montgomery Ave, Suite C   Sheffield