How to Prepare your Car for Fall like a Pro

Auto Smarts

Welcome to the Inside Track. In our continued dedication to making you a smarter and safer driver, Farmers went to some of the smartest drivers we know, Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 Farmers Insurance team, and asked for their professional advice. Here’s what they had to say:


The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competes on many tracks and surfaces over a 10 month season. The Farmers Insurance team prepares their No. 5 Chevrolet SS to perform on all types of racetracks in all types of weather. For us everyday drivers though, it’s just as important to properly prepare our cars to operate at their highest performance levels.

Keith Eads, tire specialist for Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS team, shares his expert tips on how to get your car ready for the upcoming fall and winter seasons:


1. Check belts, hoses, and fluids

“The first thing you should do to prepare for fall and winter is to check all of your belts and hoses,” says Eads. “It’s important to keep up on your oil changes, make sure your heat is working properly and ensure the fluids have been replenished.”

Before the weather starts to turn, take your car in for regular maintenance. Your trusted mechanic can spot problem areas, change worn belts and hoses, fix any heating issues, and change your oil before the fall.


2. Check your antifreeze

“You need to keep tabs on the antifreeze in your vehicle so that it’s equivalent to the temperatures you are going to be driving in,” says Eads. “Checking is important because it may have gotten diluted during the summer months.”

When temperatures get colder, a vehicle’s antifreeze becomes vital for operation because it regulates your engine’s temperature and ensures it runs properly.


3. Check fuel lines and tire pressure

“As the cooler weather gets closer, being aware of how the temperature can affect your vehicle is important. Your fuel lines and tire pressure are both areas that need extra attention in the changing temps,” says Eads. “Fuel supplements are a great way to keep the ice out of your fuel lines and checking your vehicle’s tire pressure is important for safety and the handling of your car.”

Changing temperatures can condense or expand air in your tires, and cooler weather can leave you with low tire pressure. Keep an eye on your car’s tire pressure indicator, and make sure to refill any tire that looks low before you start driving.


4. Keep an eye on your fuel levels

Another area you want to keep an eye on when the temperature drops is your fuel levels. During a race, proper fuel management can be the difference between winning and losing. While driving in your own car, keeping up on your fuel levels is essential for performance and making sure you won’t get stranded out in the cold.


5. Stay safe in colder weather

Along with vehicle maintenance, it’s smart to properly prepare for traveling in the elements and for an emergency.

“In the winter, you should have things like gloves, an ice scraper, a blanket and candles in your car,” according to Eads. “Other items that should always be kept in your vehicle are a first aid kit, flares and jumper cables.”


Whether you’re preparing for a race or preparing for driving in the harsh winter months, having a car prepared for success will keep you confident behind the wheel.


With 11 Sprint Cup Championships, Hendrick Motorsports is the most successful racing organization in NASCAR history. Kasey Kahne's No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS is supported by some of the most talented engineers, mechanics and race strategists.


The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only, and is not meant as professional or expert advice. Every attempt is made to ensure accuracy and timeliness, however all content is presented without guarantees.