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Simple tips for owning and maintaining a car

On the road or in the garage, there are simple things you can do to maintain your car.

Mechanic working under a car hood

You know how much your car means to you. It brings you and your family freedom and security. So whether it's on the road, or in the garage, there are simple things you can do to minimize the risk of crashes, breakdowns and theft. While your vehicle owner's manual can provide you with some of this information, here are some helpful tips from us to you.

Tips while shopping for a vehicle

You realize how important it is to make an informed decision. So before buying a used vehicle or new car, truck or SUV that will transport you and your loved ones, you'll naturally want to do research. Some of the things to look for include how the vehicle performed in crash tests and a list of its safety features. Here are a few other areas:

Steps to take if you've experience a crash

Even the safest driver can get into a crash. You do your very best, but sometimes, trouble can't be avoided. If it should happen to you, be aware of the traffic, and, if safe to do so, do the following:

  • Check for injuries and give first aid. Necessary supplies should be in your vehicle's roadside emergency kit.
  • Call for an ambulance if necessary.
  • Call police.
  • After looking for a fuel spill and confirming there's no risk of fire, warn traffic by signaling (while in a safe portion of the roadside).
  • Write down other drivers' names, license plate numbers, vehicle descriptions and insurance companies.
  • Get names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses.
  • Use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the scene and damages if it is safe to do so.
  • Report the crash to your insurance agent.
  • Don't sign agreements or make any commitments with others involved in the crash.

Possible ways to prevent auto theft

Your car is more than the thing that gets you from point A to point B. Here are some tips to help keep it safe from theft.

  • Park in well-lit areas, roll up the windows, lock the doors and set the emergency brake. Be sure to always take the vehicle keys with you.
  • When home, lock your car in the garage.
  • Never leave your vehicle unattended while the engine is running.
  • Keep valuables out of sight, and never hide a second key in or on your car.
  • When buying a new vehicle, look for anti-theft devices like a factory immobilizer or a locking steering wheel.

The road to safety starts here

By taking some of these steps to safeguard your loved ones and yourself, you can help avoid some potential issues, and provide more opportunities for family car trips and other memorable moments.

State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites hyperlinked from this page. State Farm has no discretion to alter, update, or control the content on the hyperlinked, third party site. Access to third party sites is at the user's own risk, is being provided for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any of the products which may be referenced on such third party sites.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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