The fall semester is in swing now across the nation, and for many older students this means the daily commute to school. Whether they’re driving from home to school every day, or making the trip home on weekends from college, making sure their vehicle is safe to drive is a top priority. With a few easy steps, your older students can make sure that they can focus on school work and not costly auto repairs or accidents. Here are 5 essential car tips for going back to school.
Keep an Eye on Your Tires
Tires can do more than almost anything else to keep money in your wallet. Improperly inflated tires can decrease your overall gas mileage and with the price of gas being what it is this can add up quickly. Under or over inflated tires can cause your tires to wear unevenly as well meaning that you’d have to replace them sooner than normal, putting even more of a drain on your wallet. Make sure your tires are inflated to recommended levels which you can find in your manual, and check for signs of wear or balding.
Check Your Seatbelts
Not only is it the law for you to wear your seatbelt, but properly functioning safety belts are the number one life saver in an accident. Seatbelts save thousands of lives every year, and to be effective they need to fit properly and the locking mechanisms need to be fully functioning. Make sure the belt is secured tightly around the pelvis and ribcage. If you drive an older car, your mechanic can retrofit your belts to more modern Safety Standards.
Check your Brakes
If your brakes are worn, then simply put, you won’t be able to stop as quickly making it more likely you’ll be in an accident. A professional mechanic should inspect your brakes regularly, and if you notice that your car isn’t stopping as fast as normal then get them replaced ASAP.
Top Off All Fluids
There’s more than just engine coolant under the hood. Your car has oil for lubrication, brake fluid to provide stopping power, power steering fluid to help you turn, and transmission fluid to keep your engine shifting (just to name a few). Dirty fluids can cause damage to your cars systems, and if they go dry your can stop functioning all together. Have your fluids checked and topped off every time you get an oil change.
Stock an Emergency Kit
As an added safety measure, it’s always good to keep a basic emergency kit in your car just in case. This can consist of things like a Flashlight, a jack and tire iron, a blanket, or even a small amount of cash in case you need a tow or run out of gas.
There are so many variables when you’re driving back to school, It’s best to be prepared for the worst. As the old saying goes, and ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and it’s good to address minor problems before they become major issues.