Have you taught your child (or almost adult) about the importance of proactive maintenance their car while they’re off at college? Although road services like AAA can help in many situations, teaching your child what to look for before an issue happens is better than them having to react to a problem. If kid knew these five simple car maintenance tips, parents would have fewer big repair bills and our kids would be safer on the road.
1. Don’t Run on Empty
Sure, money may be tight but do your college students know that leaving their tank nearly empty can negatively impact the engine? If they’re heading north for college, they may not know that when the temperatures begin to dip, condensation can form in the tank which eventually turns to water. Water in your gas leads to big problems. Teach them to keep their tank at least half full during cold snaps. Alternatively in the hot climates, it’s best not to fill up on a very hot day because you’ll actually get less fuel.
2. Proactive Maintenance is Cheaper than Reactive Repair
Most parents send their kids off to college with a recently maintained car, however, we don’t always know how many road trips they’re taking or where they’re going. Sit them down and explain theses proper maintenance tips, your car repair bill will be a lot less:
- Oil Changes – most newer cars recommend between 5,000 – 10,000 miles
- Tire Rotations – about every 6,000 miles so most every oil change
- New Spark Plugs – anywhere between 60,000 – 100,000 miles
- Air Filters – this is one that should be checked with every oil change and replaced as needed.
- Brake Services – depending on the car, driving habits, and quality brakes on the car, this varies from 25,000 – 70,000 miles. Teach them the signs that their brakes are worn.
3. Tire Maintenance
According to a survey by The Wall Street Journal, over 50% of teens report they don’t know how to change a tire. Nearly a third don’t know how to check the tire pressure and 44% don’t know the simple trick to check tire tread depth. Teaching your teen this simple bit of proactive maintenance with how to check tire pressure and tread depth will reduce the chances that they have a blow out or accident due to poorly maintained tires. Knowing how to change a tire may save them from sitting on the side of the road until a passing motorist stops to help.
We recommend that you bring your car to your local mechanic before you send it and your child off to college. They can make sure that everything looks good before you child leaves. Oldsmar Automotive, located in Oldsmar at 3166 Tampa Road, will perform a complete check and make any necessary repairs or a complete tune up if that’s what’s needed on your child’s car before you send them off to school. Stop in or call 727-784-3501 to schedule your appointment.