Weren’t you just picking Cheerios off the floor and suffering through the greatest pain known to humankind, aka, stepping on Legos with bare feet? It hardly seems possible that the little toddler once running around and making a mess everywhere could be ready for college.
If you’re stuck in too much denial about your baby growing up, you might not have time to focus on making sure your child’s vehicle needs have been addressed. Here’s a checklist of a few things to cover before sending your kid and their car off to college. Better yet, show them this list and be sure they know the responsibilities that come with vehicle maintenance!
Make An Emergency Kit
In the chance that your daughter or son’s car breaks down at some point, pull together a few items necessary to weather a hot (or cold) wait by the side of the road until help can arrive. You can probably find most of these things around the house. A couple of water bottles, blankets, non-perishable food, flashlights, jumper cables, and a first aid kit are all important to have on hand.
Check Their Spare
The last thing you want is for child’s car to get a flat tire only to have them realize that the spare is flat as well. Check the tire pressure of the spare before they head off to college. Another good time to check is when they are home for winter break.
Working Windshield Wipers
You never want to gamble with visibility. Give the wiper blades a quick inspection to be sure they are in shape to get them through the months ahead. Look at the rubber edges for cracks, tears, rounded edges, and to be sure they are still flexible. Inspect the metal frame for any corrosion or loose joint connections. Also be sure to fill the windshield wiper fluid.
Do a full checkup on the tires. Check the tread and the air pressure. The owner’s manual should specify the appropriate pressure for the vehicle’s tires. Properly inflated tires will optimize both miles per gallon and tire life. If the tire tread is worn or you notice any tire bulges, replace the tires as soon as possible.
Get Your Oil Changed
Get your child’s oil changed now so you don’t need to worry about it later. Not only is it a relatively easy and inexpensive way to extended the life for the vehicle, but poor oil habits are notorious for causing breakdowns.
Take the Car for a Test Drive
Properly working brakes are a non-negotiable for obvious reasons. Take the car out for a drive and pay attention to any signs when using the brakes such as noise, pulling to one side, vibration, a sharp grabbing, or a loose or hard feeling when pressing on the brakes. When in doubt, bring your vehicle in for a professional brake inspection. This is also a good time to pay extra attention to the alignment and steering. Does your vehicle pull to one side? Does it vibrate, bounce, or sway?
Check the Air Filter
The engine’s air filters have been working all summer to remove dust, dirt, and debris before it enters the engine. Inspect and replace air filters, when needed, to ensure the proper air/fuel mixture and keep dirt from causing corrosion.
Need help? The certified technicians at Jiffy Lube of Indiana are here to help you maintain your (and your child’s) vehicle in its best condition. Whether you choose prepare the car for the trip to college by yourself, or enlist the help of an automotive professional, be sure to make sure to give your kid’s car a thorough inspection before you see them off.