Your Car’s New Year Resolution

The new year is a chance to strike in different directions that are encapsulated in your resolutions. Why not make some resolutions for your car? Here are a few suggestions from Preston Hood Chevrolet in Fort Walton Beach, FL.

Clean Your Vehicle

Nobody wants to clean their vehicles during the cold days of winter. And yet, keeping your car tidy both inside and out will make it more appealing and prevent damage to the finishes. Start by removing everything from the vehicle that doesn’t belong there like sports gear, children’s toys, and old water bottles.

Wipe the interior of the windows and the solid parts of the interior, such as the door panels and dashboard. Give the interior a good vacuuming to get rid of excess dirt. Outside, you can wash your car yourself with an automotive cleaning solution, a sponge, and a chamois to dry off the exterior. Don’t forget the exterior lights and under your vehicle, which may be caked with road salts.

Go for Regular Servicing

When you’ve owned your vehicle for a while and it’s been driving great, it’s easy to forget that regular servicing is the key to your car’s longevity. Don’t just come in when something goes wrong. Prevent those bad things from happening by following the regular maintenance schedule listed in your owner’s manual.

Bring your vehicle into our service department and our factory-certified techs can spot issues when they are still easy to control. And don’t forget that your first maintenance visit during the first 12 months of owning a Chevy is free.

Avoid Distracted Driving

In the USA, distracted driving injures over 1,000 people and kills about 8 every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Avoid being part of the statistics by not changing the music, entering GPS instructions, turning to the kids to tell them to behave, eating or drinking, or grooming.

One well-known cause of distracted driving is smartphone use even through the audio system of your vehicle. Before you set off on your drive, turn off your phone and set its volume to zero. It then won’t get your attention with various noises and signals. If you think you still can’t resist the temptation to look at the tiny screen, store your smartphone in your trunk before you take the wheel. You can then get it out of the trunk when you reach your destination.

Create an Emergency Kit

You never know when you’re going to have a breakdown or some other emergency on the road. A car emergency kit can help you survive until someone arrives. You can create your own kit by putting the following in a backpack that you can easily take with you if you have to go for help.

• Jumper cables to revive a dead battery.
• Flashlight and extra batteries for locating things in the dark.
• Multi-tool to make minor repairs.
• First aid kit to take care of minor injuries.
• Warning devices such as road flares and hazard triangles.
• Non-perishable snacks and water to keep you satisfied.
• Smartphone battery and charging cable.
• Seasonal gear such as sunblock, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses for the summer. In the winter, pack a blanket, mittens, a cap, scarves, snow and ice scraper, a bag of ice or sand that you can use for traction around the wheels.
• Fire extinguisher to take care of car fires.
• Duct tape because it’s useful.

Check the Tires

Properly inflated tires improve gas mileage and help give you a smooth ride to your destination. Every time you stop for gas, inspect your tires for any nails, bruises, or signs of damage. Insert the coin with the top of Lincoln’s head into the tread. If you can see the top of his head, your tread has worn down too much and your tire must be replaced.

If your vehicle doesn’t have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, buy a tire gauge from an auto parts store. Read the instructions to learn how to use it to check your air pressure. The recommended number is listed on either your driver’s side door jamb. If the gauge is showing low air, fill up the tires using the air pump at your gas station.