Car Maintenance Checklist for Sending Your Kid Off to College

Car Maintenance

Whether it is college, a gap year, a year abroad, or some other life adventure that lies ahead; when your ‘not-so-little baby is ready to leave the nest and go to college, this time can be filled with much emotion for both you and your child. 

But before they leave, here is a helpful car maintenance checklist to make sure that their vehicle is ready for the road ahead. Because when your child takes a car to college, it is good to know that the vehicle is in perfect working condition.

Car maintenance to-do’s before sending your kid off to college 

1. Get an inspection

If there was ever a time to get a full-service inspection, it is right before your child takes a road trip to school on his or her own for the first time. A service station will be able to check the belts, brakes, shocks, coolant system transmission – and of course, change the oil. You’ll sleep easier knowing that an expert has looked over your kid’s vehicle. Moreover, sticking to a car maintenance schedule, and keeping good records of what you’ve done, can help extend the life of your vehicle and protect you against breakdowns, expensive repairs, and other unwelcome surprises.

Reliability with a Car Dealership

2. Check your fluids

When your child takes a car to college, no matter how responsible or organized they are, there is a good chance they will forget to regularly check the fluid levels in their vehicle. Make sure the car’s engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid are full.

And check to make sure there isn’t a leak anywhere either, or you’ll be refilling much sooner than you might have hoped.

Add coolant

3. Test the car battery

Do not let your child run the risk of missing a big test or a final exam because their car will not start. Before your child takes a car to college, test its battery lifespan with a voltmeter – analog will do if that is what you have, but a digital voltmeter will give you a more accurate reading. 

If you have never tested your car battery before, we recommend having a professional do it for you the first time.

jump-start your car

4. Inspect your tires

A flat tire will not slow you down – it could potentially cause an accident. Before your child takes a car to college, test the tire pressure on all four of your tires (plus your spare if you have one) with a pressure gauge, but make sure you do the test before driving rather than right after. 

And if you want to test the tread depth of your tires, all you need is a penny. Slide the penny between the grooves, and if Abe Lincoln’s head is covered up, you are good to go.

5. Check your lights

This one is quick and easy, but it can save you a lot of headaches before your child takes a car to college (and potentially a traffic citation). Have your child turn on their car, and then stand outside as they turn on the headlights, turn signals, brake lights, and emergency flashers. Given that each light comes in a pair, it is pretty easy to overlook when one has burned out.

6. Pack a roadside emergency kit

One of the best things about your vehicles is that they are sort of like mobile storage units. It is always a good idea to pack a roadside emergency kit, including a first aid kit, a tire jack, a tire pressure gauge, flares, jumper cables, and other basic essentials like a blanket, gloves, non-perishable snacks, and a bottle of water. 

To make it easy to keep track of your car maintenance schedule, we’ve created a simple car maintenance checklist to help you keep on top of your automotive maintenance. Have your child’s vehicle inspected by trained professionals at one of  Car Factory’s Miami, Hollywood, or West Palm Beach locations. You can check out our website or call us at 786-406-6234 for any inquiries!

Recommended Read: What Are The Benefits Of A Car Inspection?

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