After a summer of road trips, it is time to settle into the cooler temperatures and leaf raking of the fall. Any time there is a change of seasons, you should consider a tune up for your car. Here are 5 fall maintenance items to add to your “to-do” list:

1. Check Brakes and Tires

More rain, sleet and snow means more cautious driving. Your brakes might not be squeaking because they’re wet but that doesn’t mean they’re not worn down. They should get checked. And when the car is up on the rack with the tires removed, then get those tires rotated and properly inflated.

2. Check the Lights

The only time we know if a light goes out on our car is if some passing motorist tells us or we get pulled over by the police. It helps to do periodic checks of your car lights. This is probably a two-person operation that has to happen when the sun goes down.

3. Replace Wiper Blades

When was the last time you had your windshield wipers replace? Did you know most car makers recommend getting them replaced every three months? Even if you live in a state without a lot of rain, those wipers can get dried out and cracked. The worst time to replace the blades is when it starts raining. Don’t wait.

4. Check Your Defroster

It might have been several months since you turned on your car’s defrosters or heater. Now is the time to check and make sure they’re working properly. If there is a bad smell coming from the heater when you turn it on, then you’ll want to get the system checked.

5. Check the Charge on Your Battery

If it has been three years since you replaced your batter, then you could be driving on borrowed time. That is the average lifespan of a car battery. Back in the day, the only time to know when a battery didn’t have a charge was when it “died.” Now there are computer diagnostics that can tell you in seconds how much charge is left on the battery and when it should be replaced. Very easy to check.

By taking care of this fall auto check list now, you won’t be stuck with a broke down auto.