Mainstreet Transmissions

and Auto Repair

7 Basic Car Care Tips for College-Bound Students


It’s that time of year. Summer is coming to a close and students have begun to head back to school. For some, summer marks the end of their high school career, as they gain greater independence after heading to college, taking the first step toward adulthood.

But with greater freedom also comes more responsibility, especially when it involves taking your car to campus.

It wasn’t too long ago that August meant at least one of my daughters was heading back to college.  When it came to helping them prepare, I always made sure their cars were ready to go. It gave me great peace of mind knowing they were driving around in cars that were safe and reliable. I must admit, it was probably the only thing on their college agenda I could control. If your college student is getting ready to drive back to school, I have 7 basic car care tips that will help make sure his or her vehicle is safe and reliable… and you have some peace of mind.

  1. At least two weeks before your college student drives off to school, have the engine oil and filter changed in their vehicle and the tires rotated and balanced. While it’s in the shop, you may also want to have the fuel and air filters replaced and a tune-up done.
  2. Check all the other vital engine fluids and top-off or replace those fluids, as needed.
  3. If the battery is about 4 years old, have it replaced before they leave for school.
  4. Replace old hoses and belts. Over time and with wear and tear, hoses and belts become dry and brittle. You want to avoid having a belt or hose break while your student is on the road as serious engine damage could result.
  5. Have the wiper blades changed and replace any lights that aren’t working. If there’s a crack in the windshield, have it fixed or replaced.
  6. Prepare an Emergency Kit for the vehicle and include a flashlight, a first-aid kit, jumper cables, flares, and extra windshield washer fluid. Also make sure the vehicle has a tire jack and that there is a spare tire and it is in good condition.
  7. Check the air pressure in all the tires. Also, inspect the tread depth and condition of the tires. If they show excessive or uneven wear, have them replaced.

By following these tips, your college-bound student should be ready for the trip.