It may seem like you sent your little one off to kindergarten just yesterday, and all of a sudden, they’re off to college. If your college-bound kid is taking their car with them, here are our top safety tips for preparing your student’s car for college. You may not always be able to prevent the unexpected, but a few safety measures can make all the difference in the world.
Top Tips for Preparing Your Student’s Car for College
1. Put an Emergency Gas Card in the Glove Compartment
College students are often strapped for cash. Help your student avoid the cost of towing a car that’s out of gas. Plus, it’s unsafe to walk along the side of the highway to the nearest gas station. Tuck an emergency gas card in the owner’s manual to make sure your student doesn’t push the ‘E’ line too far.
2. Sign Up for Roadside Assistance
If you can sign up for roadside assistance, make sure your student has a dedicated card. From replacing dead batteries to towing a dead vehicle, roadside assistance is invaluable when the unexpected happens.
3. Check the Spare Tire (If Your Car Has One)
If your car has a spare tire, you first want to make sure the tire is even there! This is especially important in used cars, where there’s a space for the tire but the tire may have been removed at some point. Replace the tire if it’s missing; otherwise, inspect the spare tire, make sure there’s no damage, and ensure it’s filled and ready to go just in case.
4. No Spare Tire? Keep a Tire Air Kit in The Car
DIY tire repair kits may not be a favorite of tire mechanics, but sometimes there’s just no other choice when a tire has gone flat or sprung a bad leak on the road. A tire air kit can be the difference between having to get a car towed and being able to get to a tire shop.
5. Put an Emergency Kit in the Car
An emergency kit is a small but valuable kit of supplies for those occasions when you find yourself stranded on the side of the road. Most emergency kits include road flares, reflective caution signs, oil, jumper cables and other roadside safety essentials. Learn what to put in a car emergency kit here.
6. Change The Car’s Oil
Oil is one of those things that is easy to forget about. Out of sight, out of mind, right? After all, unlike gas, it doesn’t seem essential. In fact, regular oil changes are crucial for your car’s health. Change the vehicle’s oil before your student takes off for school or while they’re home for winter break for the peace of mind that all of the vehicle’s components are working smoothly.
7. Check the Battery in the Car
Any long-time car owner has been there: you get in the car, turn the ignition, and hear a click instead of the engine starting. That’s right, your battery has died overnight. Check the battery in your student’s car for corrosion and damage.
You can get the remaining charge tested at a tire and battery shop to see how much life is left in it. Even if you don’t replace it, you can at least be aware of how much life is left in the car’s battery.
8. Be Snow Ready
Send snow-preparedness gear with your student’s car if they’re going to school in a snowy northern state. Do your research to see what the city’s law is about snow chains or snow tires and pack accordingly.
9. Replace The Car’s Windshield Wipers
Windshield wipers are a crucial part of any vehicle’s safety. After all, they’re essential for visibility in bad weather. Change out the vehicle’s windshield wipers if they’re old or leaving streaks on the glass when in use.
10. Make Sure Your Maintenance Is Up to Date with T3 Atlanta
The best way to prevent a car from breaking down is to make sure your vehicle’s maintenance is up to date. T3 Atlanta can help. Our friendly, knowledgeable mechanics provide great service at two convenient metro-area locations in Smyrna and Decatur.
Whether your student is about to leave for school or is back for the holidays, bring their vehicle in. We’ll inspect the car and make sure everything is in top condition. You can have peace of mind that whatever college life may throw at them, your student’s car is safe and road-ready.