BACK TO SCHOOL MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR YOUR CAR
It is Back to School season, and what better time to prepare for busy mornings and after-school activities? Or maybe you're sending your child off to college? No matter what, back-to-school is busy for everyone and now is the perfect time to make sure your car is at the top of its class. Be prepared and get ready for this busy time by following these simple guidelines!
Keep Up with Basic Maintenance:
- Check Fluids: Fluid levels of engine oil, coolant and transmission, and brake and power steering fluid-your owner's manual will illustrate where everything is located and the proper levels to maintain. If your car is leaking fluid, its color may help you determine what it is and locate the source.
- Battery: Consider testing the battery with a voltmeter and replace it if it shows signs of reduced performance.
- Check the Owner's Manual: Familiarize yourself with the recommended maintenance schedule. If it is time for a 60,000 mile service, take the time to have the vehicle serviced. Most major repairs can be prevented by following manufacturer recommendations. These services are inexpensive in the long run and help ensure you and your family are safe on the road.
- Check Your Dash Board: Have you grown accustomed to a warning light? Don't ignore it! Have it checked out sooner rather than later. Again, catching a problem early will prevent costly repairs in the future.
- Be Prepared: Make sure the vehicle has basic safety equipment including jumper cables, a pair of gloves, flashlight with extra batteries, washer fluid and other items. A pre-packaged auto safety kit is also a great choice. They are compact and provide everything you need. Some other good ideas include granola bars, compact winter shovels, ice scrapers, blankets and bottled water.
- Stay Organized: The cars of busy college students and parents with children in school often resemble cargo trucks after the start of school. Books, sports equipment, gym shoes, etc. often find a permanent home in vehicles. So stay organized! There are a number of bags and organizers which can help maximize the space in your trunk. Carve out some space just for your safety equipment so you will always be prepared.
- Know Your Car: Pay attention to your car and familiarize your child with the car as well. Make sure they know where they can find the safety equipment, spare tire and owner's manual. Familiarize yourselves with the particular noises of your car so you are more aware of anything unfamiliar and different.
- Check the Lights: This is a good time to get your teen involved in the preventive maintenance checklist review. Have him or her get in the car and turn on the headlights, turn signals and emergency flashing lights as you walk around the vehicle to make sure they are working. Check the brake lights by having him or her press the brake pedal, too. Vehicles can have many different types of bulbs and they have varying lifespans, according to Firestone. Inspect your vehicle regularly to ensure your lights are working properly.