5 Maintenance Tips to Get Your Kid’s Car College Ready

May 26th, 2022 by
Intricate hubcap design of old tire.

Spare Wheel.” By rawdonfox licensed under CC BY 2.0

When your kid goes to college, you want to make sure they have everything they need to succeed. That includes a vehicle that’s ready for the drive, and to get them through the semester without problems. Before your child returns to campus, take your car in for some routine maintenance to make sure that all issues are addressed before they go. You can stop by our Eskridge Chevrolet Dealership in Oklahoma City for any service needs. Here’s a checklist of items to check before your kid’s car is ready to head to school.

Check Their Tires

Before sending the car off to college, check the tire pressure in each of the tires. If the tire pressure is low, it can affect the handling of the car, which can be dangerous for the driver. To properly check the tire pressure, you can refer to the owner’s manual about how much air each tire requires. You may need a tire gauge to get an accurate reading. If it’s low, you may also need a pump for your tire to reinflate it.

While you are checking your tires, make sure you also check the tread. The tread is the texture on the surface of the tire that creates friction between your wheel and the road. Tread is essential to driving safely and making sure your car doesn’t slide on the street, especially in rainy or snowy weather. It can impact how quickly you brake and how steady turns are. If your tires don’t have enough tread, you may need to get new tires.

Additionally, while you’re checking all four tires on your car, you may also want to make sure your car is equipped with a spare tire. A spare nail on the road or an, unfortunately, impact with a curb can pop a tire and create a dangerous situation for a driver. Driving on a flat tire can also impact the structure of your vehicle, so you want to make sure your kid has all the tools they need to change to a spare.

Go one step further and perform the same tests on the spare that you perform on the four in-use tires. Make sure it’s appropriately inflated and that it has the tread it needs. That way, you can trust that even if your child needs to change a tire, they are still taken care of.

Change the Oil

Check to see if it’s time to change the oil. Your child’s vehicle should have a schedule for how often their oil needs to be changed that you can follow. You can take the vehicle to the dealership, and they can let you know if the car is running low on fluid or change the oil if needed.

Changing the oil is an essential aspect of car maintenance, so it may be better to get it out of the way before your child takes theirs to college. That way, you don’t have to worry about it needing any maintenance during the semester. Changing the oil according to a schedule can be a simple way to extend the life of the vehicle. Not changing the oil often enough can cause various problems with the engine and even cause breakdowns.

Update Windshield Wipers

Another quick and easy way to make sure the car is ready for its new life at college is to update the windshield wipers. Windshield wipers can warp with age and lose their ability to keep the windshield clear during inclement weather. A dirty or rainy windshield can decrease the driver’s ability to see, making it more dangerous to drive.

Changing the windshield wipers ensures your child has the best chance of seeing through a crazy storm. You can purchase windshield wipers at auto stores, and may be able to change them yourself. However, if you have any concerns about the mechanics of the windshield wiper frame, you may need to take it to the dealership to have the parts looked at. You can also have them refill the windshield fluid while you’re there. This fluid helps melt ice and clean off dirty windshields.

Get an Emergency Kit 

If you want your child to be safe and feel confident on the road, you may purchase an emergency kit for them to keep in their car at all times. These can include essential tools in case of a breakdown, including wheel wrenches and tripod jacks in case they need to change a tire.

They also include jumper cables, high-visibility signage, and a fire extinguisher. Your child can use jumper cables to restart a dead battery. High-visibility signs are a great way to get attention from someone who can help or warn off other drivers from getting too close to the car where people may be standing or working.

Along with purchasing the kit, make sure that you also walk your child through items in the kit, so they feel confident using it if their car breaks down. They may be safer if they know how to change a tire, rather than waiting for someone else to come help. Have a conversation about what can go wrong as a driver and what tools you need to fix it.

Wash the Car

Once you’ve prepared the car and your child for their trip to college, the last thing to do is give the car a wash. Removing any dirt from the car sends it off to college with a fresh start, and can instill a sense of pride in your child. Be sure to clean the outside and the interior of the car, as dirt can get stuck under mats and in hard-to-reach places. Cleaning out the car before your child leaves ensures they are taking it to college in the best possible condition.

If you have any questions about the safety or capabilities of your vehicle, be sure to bring it into Eskridge Chevrolet, where we can take a look at it and ensure it’s in good condition for college. You can contact us or stop by to make an appointment, and we would be happy to change your windshields, oil, and tires to make sure your child has everything they need to start the year off right.

Posted in Service