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Car WashMany people don’t perform regular maintenance on their car due to the cost, but this can lead to more expensive repairs in the long run while increasing the chance of vehicle failure and being in an accident. A small burnt-out taillight bulb, brake fluid leak or worn tires may seem like an inconvenience to deal with at the time but can all lead to serious accidents, leaving you with bigger headaches in the future.

To make sure you have safe, reliable transportation for you and your family throughout the year, here is a helpful checklist to keep your vehicle in its best shape every season:

Winter:
  • Check tire pressure: Colder weather tends to have an effect of your tire pressure and will cause it to drop. This drop in pressure could cause harder handling of your vehicle and a decrease in fuel economy.
  • Check tire tread: Make sure the tread on your tires is still in good condition. If the tread is less than 2/32 of an inch, it is time to replace your tires. Don’t forget, as a Farm Bureau Insurance member-policyholder, you have access to The Farm Bureau Products Program for discounts on tires and other car equipment.
  • Check your windshield wipers: Ensure your windshield wipers are in good condition to take on the wet winter weather. If your windshield wipers are leaving streaks or not clearing your windshield, it is time to replace them.
  • Check your breaks: Because winter weather brings slippery, hazardous road conditions, you want to make sure you have reliable breaks. Consider when your last break check was, if it was over six months ago, take them in to get checked.
  • Check your battery: Make sure your battery is in good condition and that its connections are free of corrosion. Check how old your battery is, if it is four years or older, bring it to a shop to have them test how well it is able to hold a charge.
  • Wash your car: Cold winter temperatures and grime can reduce visibility and cause damage to your car’s paint job, so consider taking your car to get a good wash before the spring season comes.
Spring:
  • Check your tires: Rotate and align your tires.
  • Check your windshield wipers: With a rainy spring season approaching is it important to ensure that your wipers are in good condition. Also, with possible pollen build up, it is important that your wipers are able to thoroughly clear your windshield.
  • Check your battery: With the harsh temperatures that come with the winter season, it is easier for your battery to drain, so it is important to have it inspected and make sure your battery is in good condition by spring.
  • Check your car’s fluids: Get your car’s fluids refilled and topped off. Specifically, make sure you have the proper amount of windshield wiper fluid, engine fluid, and brake fluid.
  • Check under the hood: check your car’s belts, hoses, and air filters. Make sure your air filters are clean and in working condition so your air conditioning is ready for the approaching warm spring weather.
  • Wash your car: You may not have a yellow car, but with spring’s pollen you will. Dirty windows and mirrors can reduce visibility and cause damage to your car’s paint job, so consider taking your car to get a good wash several times throughout the spring season.
Summer:
  • Check your radiator: Make sure your radiator has the right amount of coolant. Monitor your car’s radiator temperature to make sure your car is running at the right temperature and not too hot.
  • Check your oil: Make sure to keep up with oil changes according to your vehicle’s owner manual, especially if planning any long summer road trips.
  • Check your windshield wipers: Check to see if your windshield wipers are worn and need to be replaced.
  • Check your battery: Have your battery tested to make sure it is still in good condition to get you through the hot summer months.
  • Check your air conditioner: Test your vehicle’s air conditioner. If it does not feel cool enough, consider taking it in to get checked. You may just need more refrigerant. Also, regularly replace your air filters to improve the air quality inside your car.
  • Wash your car: Keep your car’s exterior clean and consider a good wax, to protect your vehicle’s paint from the sun’s harmful rays.
Fall:
  • Inspect lights: Properly working lights are essential to your safety – and they’re also mandated by law. Unfortunately, this is an area that’s easily overlooked, as you cannot notice when lights are out when you’re the one driving the vehicle. You can check your headlights, taillights and turn signals on your own, but you’ll need a family member or friend to tell you whether your brake lights are working.
  • Check your windshield wipers: Ensure that your windshield wipers are in good condition to take on the coming hurricane season and changing fall weather. If your windshield wipers are leaving streaks or not clearing your windshield, it is time to replace them.
  • Check your car’s fluids: Check and change your fluids as the temperatures drop. Make sure your vehicle’s fluids are clean and topped off. Lower temperatures tend to make fluids thicker, which may cause them to move slower throughout the engine. Also, consider draining and replacing your coolant.
  • Check your tires: Make sure the tread on your tires is still in good condition. If the tread is less than 2/32 of an inch, it is time to replace your tires. Don’t forget, as a Farm Bureau Insurance member-policyholder, you have access to The Farm Bureau Products Program for discounts on tires and other car equipment.

Maintaining your car on a regular basis can reduce your chances of an accident and unexpected breakdowns. If an accident does occur, click here to learn what to do in the event you are in a car accident and always keep our emergency roadside assistance number (1-866-291-0188) on-hand.