April is National Car Care Month. It’s a reminder to take time to make sure your vehicle is safe, dependable, and ready for the demands of our unpredictable spring and summer weather. Conditioning your car now can mean peace of mind for those summer road trips and whatever drives you to travel.
At Farm Bureau Insurance in Arkansas, we know you can’t wait to get out there and go, and we wish you a great season of happy memories on the road!
For starters, a reliable handbook you’ll want to download and refer to often is the Car Care Guide, produced regularly by the Car Care Council, a national non-profit organization whose mission is to educate consumers about the benefits of proper vehicle care, maintenance, and repair.
Warranties, Receipts and Reliability Keep Your Car Ready
The Car Care Council recommends a few tips that can steer your car care plan in the right direction:
- Become familiar with your warranty – what it covers, when it expires, and what you can expect when repairs are needed. Take advantage of regularly scheduled maintenance check-ups to prevent problems before they start.
- Keep records and receipts of car maintenance and repairs, and that goes for do-it-yourselfers, too. Having a history of past repairs and maintenance means you’ll know who did what, and when.
- Find a reliable shop and stick with it. Top-grade shops will employ certified technicians and offer written estimates and warranties on their work.
The Car Care Council offers a list of suggested maintenance procedures to keep your car running smoothly.
CCC Maintenance Recommendations
- Check the oil, filters and fluids, and continue these inspections by following your vehicle’s owner’s manual’s recommended intervals.
- Inspect hoses and belts to make sure they are not brittle, leaking, cracked or rusted. Hoses should be checked for looseness, fraying, or showing signs of excessive wear.
- Check the engine brake system every year and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.
- Check that the battery connection is tight and free of corrosion. If it is three years old or more, have the battery tested and replaced if necessary.
- Inspect the exhaust system for potentially dangerous leaks, damage or unusual noises.
- Scheduling a tune-up can improve fuel economy and engine power, while producing the lowest level of emissions.
- Check the HVAC system to make sure your car’s cooling system is ready for those long, hot summer days. It can also ensure that your defroster is working properly.
- Inspect the steering and suspension system annually. This includes shock absorbers and struts, and chassis parts (such as ball joints and tie rod ends).
- Check tire pressure on all tires, including the spare, at least once a month. Inspect treads for uneven or irregular wear and possible cuts. Checking your vehicle’s alignment (at least once a year) helps reduce tire wear and improves fuel efficiency.
- Test exterior and interior lights for faulty bulbs, and replace windshield wiper blades every six months or when cracked, torn or streaking.
Two More Tips for Comfort and Peace of Mind
AAA Exchange offers excellent reminders to keep your car safe, clean and looking good.
First, keep the interior of your car fresh by regularly going over the upholstery, dashboard, and side panels with a compatible cleaner that can protect it from the sun. Take out the floor liners for a thorough washing, making sure they are fully dry when you replace them. Remove the clutter from the interior and trunk, and start fresh by vacuuming all floor carpeting.
Also, remember that the number one reason for summer breakdowns is overheating. You can avoid this unwelcome seasonal surprise by making sure the coolant level is checked with every oil change. Take an extra minute or two to check your owner’s manual and strictly follow its recommendations on HVAC upkeep.
Protect Your Investment with Quality Auto Insurance from Farm Bureau Insurance
Focusing on your vehicle’s maintenance needs now can have you driving safely and comfortably during the spring and summer travel season. Protect the investment you’ve made in your vehicle with high quality, affordable auto insurance from Farm Bureau Insurance. Get a free quote from an agent near you using our Agent Finder.