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Getting the Car Ready for Your Back-to-School Student

Worrying about your child’s education can be stressful enough without also being concerned about their car and its readiness to head back to school this fall. Whether your child is driving to the University of Florida, Santa Fe College, or another area high school or college, City Auto Repair is here to keep them on the road — when they’re not studying, of course. Read on to learn some easy but important ways to ensure your student’s vehicle is in the best possible shape to avoid them getting stranded when they need it most. 

Student Car Care Tips

Before you send your student off, verify that any documentation they may need is in the car, such as in the glove compartment, for easy access when needed. Also, check that the seatbelts are in proper working order before inspecting the following engine components. 

Tires

It may surprise you that improperly filled tires are not just a blowout hazard — they also negatively affect your car’s gas mileage. And we all know students have limited budgets, so it’s essential to check your student’s tires and replace them as needed once they become noticeably worn or bald. Outfit your child’s car with a tire pressure gauge (and teach them how to use it) and perform the penny test often. If Lincoln’s head shows when a penny is placed upside down between the tread grooves, the tires need to be tossed. Having your car’s tires routinely rotated can help extend the life of the tires and help you know when it’s time for a new set.

Fluids

Getting regular oil changes is a no-brainer, but a car has many other systems that use fluid. These should be checked and topped off as often as possible.

  • Air Conditioning
  • Washer and Wiper
  • Transmission
  • Brakes
  • Power Steering
  • Radiator
  • Oil

These may not seem like a big deal, but fluids affect how smoothly your car runs and can damage your engine if not kept replenished and clean. 

Brakes

Everyone knows that brakes are an essential part of a car’s safety and reliability. Having a knowledgeable mechanic check your brakes as part of your regular maintenance can help prevent dangerous accidents that could have been avoided. 

Lights 

Having working lights is especially important for visibility when driving at night because, without them, your child may run over something that damages a tire or hit or be hit by other vehicles. 

The headlights are important but don’t forget about the other lights on your car, such as the rear lights, turn signals, and hazards. If you find any broken bulbs when you inspect these, you should replace them as soon as possible. 

Battery 

Batteries should be replaced every 3-5 years, but that doesn’t mean they will always last that long. Your mechanic should check your car’s battery charge regularly during oil changes or tune-ups, or you can test it yourself between maintenance visits. 

Pack an Emergency Kit 

Keeping a well-stocked emergency kit in your student’s car will help them be prepared should something unexpected happen on the road. A basic kit includes the following. 

  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First Aid kit
  • Basic tools and a multipurpose utility tool
  • Window breaker
  • Inflated spare tire and tire repair kit
  • Blanket
  • Flares and hazard triangle 
  • Jumper cables
  • Cash 
  • Water bottles and non-perishable food items 

Enjoy Peace of Mind All School-Year Long With City Auto

The experienced, honest team at City Auto Repair makes it easy to send your student off to school confidently. Our routine maintenance and repair services let you trust that your child will be as safe as possible when on the road, whether on their school campus or driving home to see you when they need their laundry done. Contact us today to schedule an appointment so we can take the worry out of back to school for you and your family.