Is Your Car Back-to-School Ready?

In August it’s easy for students to remember to get new clothes, school supplies and dorm or apartment furniture, but what about preparing the car that’s going to haul all that stuff? We want to remind students and their parents not to overlook Vehicle Maintenance 101.

Making sure the college-bound vehicle gets a passing grade will give both the student and their parents peace of mind for the drive back to school and the first semester of crusing around. It’s always a good idea to inspect a vehicle and have any repairs done near home, at a familiar repair shop.

We recommend that the following items be checked before hitting the road:

•  Tires and tire pressure
•  Hoses and belts
•  Air filters
•  Wipers
•  Exterior and interior lighting
•  Fluid levels, including engine oil, power steering, brake, transmission, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant

In addition, a 21st century tune-up should also be performed, which includes inspecting the following systems: battery, charging and starting; engine mechanical; power train control; fuel; ignition; and emissions.

The Car Care News Service also recommends that college-bound students have all important phone (ICE) numbers in their cell phone in case of a breakdown or emergency. Vehicles should have a roadside emergency kit that includes items such as flares, a first aid kit, a tire-changing jack, a tire pressure gage, jumper cables and a blanket.

Vehicle Components and Systems: