October is National Car Care Month After racking up the miles this summer, it’s important to make sure the heat hasn’t taken a toll on your car. Run through this checklist on the top ways to take care of your vehicle before temperatures start to drop this fall.

1. Battery: Hot temperatures can evaporate the liquid inside your battery, which can lead to failure later in the year. Visually check for corrosion on surfaces that need cleaning and have a professional test if the battery is weak. Many local auto parts centers will perform this test free-of-charge.

2. Lights: As the hours of daylight shorten, make sure all of your lights are working. With a sponge or car cleaning cloth and your car cleaner of choice, scrub the built-up road grime to ensure you are getting the brightest beams.

3. Brakes: Summer travel is tough on brakes and can start to wear them down. Turn down the music to listen for any noises while stopping, and have an auto professional check all parts of the brakes during your next service visit.

4. Filters: Contaminants can often get caught in air filters during the summer and fall. Make sure to replace the filter if you see debris built up so it doesn’t get into your car.

5. Tires: Air pressure will be lower in colder weather, so make sure your tires are inflated to the recommended level. Tire pressure affects gas mileage and safety.