4 Essential Summer Safety Items for Your Vehicle

Whether you’re staying close to home or venturing out a bit farther for some fun day trips in Hutchinson, Kansas, keep your family safe by storing emergency supplies in your vehicle. Here are four essential summer safety items that you won’t want to do without.

First aid kit

A first aid kit is one of the first things you should have on hand when you’re driving. You can purchase a pre-assembled on online or at a local retail store. Or put one together yourself, including items like gauze, bandages, antibacterial ointment, and tweezers. Make sure to include seasonal items like bug spray and sunscreen.

Sun shelter

You might also want to pack a portable sun shelter. This will provide welcome shade in the event that your vehicle breaks down on an extremely hot day and you have to wait a long time for roadside assistance to arrive.

Portable battery charger

Summer heat can take a toll on your car’s battery. Help prevent dead battery scenarios by stowing a portable car battery charger in your glovebox or somewhere in the trunk area.

Bottled water

Avoid dehydration by storing a case of bottled water in the trunk for emergencies. This will help you stay healthy and comfortable if you’re stranded on the road, especially if the breakdown happens in a remote area where convenience stores are few and far between. 

Midwest Superstore wishes you and yours a safe and healthy summer. Remember to call us with any car care questions you have or to schedule a maintenance appointment for your vehicle.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Car

As we put winter behind us, it’s time to look forward to warm weather and salt-free roads. With sunny days and a bright, blue sky comes the motivation to clean, leading many people to deep clean their homes in the spring. But what about your car? After the hard winter months, it likely needs a good wash too, and we’ve put together these spring cleaning tips for your car to help you out.

Exterior cleaning

There are a number of things you should do to clean the exterior of your car:

  • Wash the entire body with a carwash product. Use two buckets — one for clean, soapy water and the other for dirty rinse water.
  • Scrub your tires. Use a firm brush and tire-cleaning spray.
  • Clean the underbody with a hose.
  • Dry the body with a clean, microfiber towel.

Interior cleaning

When you’re done with the exterior, move on to the interior (although it doesn’t really matter which order you do it in).

  • Remove all the clutter in the car.
  • Vacuum the rugs, floor mats, seats, and trunk.
  • Use a cleaning spray and microfiber cloth to clean the dash and console, as well as other non-seating and non-leather surfaces.
  • For leather upholstery, use an approved cleaning agent.
  • Clean the windows by applying glass cleaner directly onto cloth.
  • Clean the floor mats, even if you’ve vacuumed them. Use carpet cleaner on carpet floor mats, and soapy water on rubber mats.

When you’re done cleaning the car, the next step is to take it to Midwest Superstore to make sure all of the mechanical parts are in good working order!

3 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Car

As you think about your priorities for 2020, consider New Year’s resolutions for your car and your driving habits. These three suggestions are a great place to start.

Prioritize regular maintenance

Staying current on car maintenance is crucial if you want to avoid excessive wear and tear. Three of the most important things to keep up with are checking brakes and tires, changing the oil, and cleaning your car. Brakes and tires keep you in control, while fresh oil keeps things running smoothly. And, if you regularly clean your car (inside and out), you’ll maintain resale value.

Don’t drive distracted

Distracted driving leads to an average of nine deaths per day in the U.S. In 2020, resolve not to contribute to the problem. Putting your phone out of your reach is a start, but distracted driving can also occur when you’re changing the radio or using apps, taking photos, checking email, eating and drinking, and putting on makeup. Resolve to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road at all times.

Take a road trip

Want to mix things up? Try taking more road trips in the new year. You can take day trips to areas in Kansas, such as Clinton State Park, Tallgrass Prairie National Park, and Wichita, or you can try a long-distance road trip to see a part of the country you’ve never visited. Road trips are often more affordable than flying, and they’re a great way to get off the beaten path.

Here at Midwest Superstore, we wish you a happy 2020 and the best of luck in achieving your resolutions.

Fun Holiday Events in Hutchinson, KS

The holidays are right around the corner, which means it’s almost time to trim the tree, hang stockings, and start your holiday shopping. Amid all the bustle, take some time to enjoy the season with your loved ones at these holiday events in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Nights Before Christmas at the Hutchinson Zoo: If you have little ones who love animals and the holidays, the Hutchinson Zoo’s Nights Before Christmas event is the place to be. Your family can enjoy a beautiful light show, photos with Santa, cookies with cocoa, and a festive train ride. The event opens Dec. 7 and is free for zoo members.

Sing-A-Long and Cookie Exchange: If you’ve got a penchant for baking and a song in your heart, consider attending the holiday Sing-A-Long and Cookie Exchange on Dec. 10 at the Hutchinson Recreation Commission. You’ll love swapping cookies and singing carols with your Hutchinson neighbors at this holly jolly event.

Robinson’s 11th Annual Free Craft Show: On Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., attend Hutchinson’s largest craft fair in the Sunflower North building at the Kansas State Fairgrounds. The show is free for all to attend and will host 104 booths. Find the perfect trinkets for your loved ones or just enjoy being surrounded by the creative works of your Hutchinson neighbors.

The holidays are one of our favorite times of year here at Midwest Superstore, and these local festivities are the perfect way to celebrate the spirit of the season.

Preparing Your Car for Winter Months

With winter right around the corner, now is the ideal time to get ready. The winter months can lead to poor driving conditions, bad weather, and cooler temperatures, which can drastically affect your driving ability. Preparing your car for winter is simple, as long as you keep some basic things in mind, such as maintenance, an emergency roadside kit, and so forth.

According to US News, one of the first things you should do is check the coolant/antifreeze system. You should generally mix a 50/50 blend of water and antifreeze to prevent your engine block from cracking. Coolant will maintain proper temperature levels within the engine, but it’s important to remember to add antifreeze.

You’ll also want to check the tire pressure and tread. Air pressure can change with temperature, which means your tires may lose inflation as the weather gets cooler. While you’re checking the pressure, be sure to look at tire conditions as well. If you notice any cracking, bulges, or bald spots on the tread, you need new tires before the weather gets bad.

Next, put together an emergency roadside kit. You should keep blankets, a first-aid kit, gloves, and an extra ice scraper. Many people prefer to keep an empty gas can in case they run out of fuel, as well as high-energy, shelf-stable snacks and drinking water in case you get stranded.

For all your winter maintenance prep, give us a call or stop by and see us at Midwest Superstore so we can keep you safe throughout the entire season.

Celebrate Halloween in Hutchinson

Are you looking for some family-friendly ways to celebrate Halloween in Hutchinson throughout the month of October? Here at Midwest Superstore, we have a few fun ideas for you to try out.

“Boo”seum Spook Walk

On Oct. 15, head to the Reno County Museum with the kids to explore the museum and ghosts from Reno County’s past. Dress your children up, bring a bag or bucket for candy, and watch your children make friends and learn at the same time. The cost is $2.50 per child; adults accompanying children enter for free. Learn more here.

Space Out Saturday: Halloween in Space!

In honor of the 50th anniversary of our lunar landing, the Cosmophere Lobby will be hosting this event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 19. Kids can learn about the International Space Station and create their own spiders using Styrofoam cups. The day includes an Innovator’s Workshop (ages 5 to 10), Storytime (ages 5 or younger), and Space Trek (ages 5 to 10). Learn more here.

Boo at the Zoo

Take the family to the Hutchinson Zoo on Oct. 26 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Kids are encouraged to wear non-scary Halloween costumes. They can enjoy candy, prizes, games, and bounce houses. Learn more here.

Fall Festivals Near Hutchinson

Here at Midwest Superstore, one of the things we like best about fall is all the local autumn fests. Nearly every city and small town in Kansas hosts its own celebration, and each of these four fall festivals near Hutchinson is worth a visit.

Oktoberfest Wichita

Each year, the Church of the Blessed Sacrament hosts an Oktoberfest celebration. One of the highlights is the Run for the Poor 5K. This year’s race and festival will be held on Sept. 28.

Rod Run

The 12th Annual Rod Run Classic Car Show is coming to Hutchinson on Oct. 4-5. A free barbecue dinner will be offered on the evening of Oct. 4. On both days, there will be live music, craft beer, and fun activities for kids.

Oktoberfest Stafford

The town of Stafford will celebrate its 30th annual Oktoberfest on Oct. 5. The festival includes delicious food, fun activities, and live music. It all happens downtown.

Bethel College Fall Festival

Head east to North Newton and have fun at the annual Bethel College Fall Festival. This year’s event will take place Oct. 12 and coincide with the school’s first home football game of the month. The fun really starts Oct. 10 with the Taste of Newton, with fun activities across campus Oct. 11 and the festival itself the next day.

Best Places to Vacation in Kansas

Here at Midwest Superstore, we’ve found many lovely places to vacation in Kansas. From natural wonders to hip, culturally rich college towns, there’s plenty to see in the Sunflower State.

Wichita, Kansas

When the ideal vacation is one packed with museums, arts, and gardens, Wichita makes a great destination. This city is home to 33 museums, including Old Cowtown Museum, Exploration Place, and the Wichita Art Museum. The Botanica botanical garden is located on the Arkansas River and offers a breathtaking display of plants and butterflies.

Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark

This national landmark may require a little detour, but it’s worth a vacation day for anyone interested in geology and fossils. The site includes gorgeous spires, pinnacles, and buttes, plus many fossils from Cretaceous marine animals.

Lawrence, Kansas

Lawrence is located on the eastern end of Kansas and is packed with culture and history. With frequent live music, live theatre at the Black Box Theater, and lots of pleasant outdoor spaces, this college town is a great place to spend a weekend.

Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area

The Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area is a great vacation destination for birdwatchers. This 41,000-acre natural land sink is beneath the Central Flyway, making it an amazing place to watch migratory birds.

For more information on our favorite vacation spots or to upgrade your vehicle for your upcoming road trip, stop by Midwest Superstore!

Prepare Your Car for Spring with These Easy Tips

Preparing your car for spring is key for maintenance and retaining resale value. From basic service to cleaning, there are a range of easy things you can do to greet the warmer weather.

First, check the tires. Look for bulging, cracking, and bald spots, each of which is a sign you need new tires. Check the tread as well. Take a penny, flip it upside down, and place it in the middle of the tread. If you can see above Abe’s head, you need new tires. While you’re at it, check the tire pressure, too.

Next, give your vehicle a good cleaning. It’s always important to remove clutter that’s built up over the winter. Be sure to vacuum to preserve the upholstery and carpet. If you have leather, condition it once the weather is warmer.

Top off fluids in the spring as well. You’ll want to get an oil change, but, in addition to that, check the coolant, brake fluid, power steering, and transmission oil. Your local auto parts store should have all the fluids your car needs.

Finally, check your wheel alignment. Most garages will check it when you get an oil change, but you’ll also want to be sure they do a thorough job centering everything. If your vehicle pulls to one side as you drive, it may be a sign of bad alignment — and the spring is a good time to fix it.

If you are in need of some spring maintenance, give us a call or visit our website to schedule your service appointment today!

Saint Patrick’s Day in Hutchinson

If you’re looking for fun ways to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, we’re here to help! Here are some festive Saint Patrick’s Day events in and around Hutchinson, Kansas.

ShamWalk 2019 (Hutchinson)

This yearly event lets you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in a fun, group setting. This pub crawl is a group event that will give you a “Punch Card” to use at participating establishments. There are giveaways, activities, and t-shirts. The event typically takes place the weekend before Saint Patrick’s Day, meaning the bars you visit won’t be too crowded.

Saint Patrick’s Day Parade (Wichita)

If you’re up for a short drive, you’ll love the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on March 16 in Wichita’s historic Delano neighborhood. This parade is full of vintage cars, lively bands, and plenty of floats. A “Paddy’s Parade Pit Stop” will take place at 810 W. Douglas, where you can enjoy food trucks and games.

Aero Plains Brewing St. Paddy’s Day Block Party (Wichita)

Enjoy this block party thrown by Aero Plains Brewing, where the festive-colored beer will be flowing. Huffy and the Night Train and Ten Day Wish will perform live music. Five different food trucks will be on hand to serve yummy local eats. This event will take place on March 16 and runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To find out even more about some Saint Patrick’s Day festivities, or to celebrate with us, stop by Midwest Superstore!