It was only a couple of months ago that you walked down the aisle to receive your high school diploma. Hopefully you had a little time to relax before the whirlwind of activities of college preparation began!
Preparing for college is a big milestone in a persons’ life. It can be exciting, planning your future by choosing the courses you will be taking, ordering textbooks, and stocking up on supplies for your dorm. One preparation you don’t want to overlook is making sure that your vehicle is running optimally, and that you know how to keep it that way.
This is our advice if you’re getting your vehicle ready to go off to college.
- Begin with an inspection. A thorough vehicle inspection with the automotive experts at Meridian Automotive is the best place to begin preparing for the journey to college. We will examine all aspects of the vehicle. The results from the inspection can reveal any problems, large or small, that your vehicle may have. We can then offer you recommendations for getting your car back into its best shape. We can also give insight on repairs or problems that may arise soon down the road and will need to be addressed before winter or spring break travels so that you may plan and budget accordingly.
- Check the vehicles essential fluids. When your vehicles fluids are low they can cause the engine to stop running, damage the engine, and/or make the vehicle difficult to drive. Making sure that these fluids are fresh and full is an easy way to keep the vehicle operating as it should. Important vehicle fluids to pay attention to include:
- Motor oil
- Radiator fluid
- Transmission fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Brake fluid
- Windshield wiper fluid
- Make sure the battery is clean and charged. A car that won’t start on exam day is not a scenario we see anyone being overly thrilled with. Before you head off to college, make sure you avoid this potential by having our experienced technicians check the charge of your battery and check to make sure the terminals are clean and free of corrosion or debris. If your battery is older than four years old, you may want to consider investing in a new one.
- Inspect all your tires, including the spare. Tires are an extremely important safety feature of the vehicle. Checking the tire pressure and tread regularly is a cost-effective way to make sure you are safe on the road. Before you leave, and at least once a month after, check that your tires are at their recommend pressure and check for signs that you need new tires including tread wear, damage, bulges, and leaks. Tires that are old and worn out do not perform as they are meant to and can increase your risk of safety hazards such as blowouts or hydroplaning.
- Keep a roadside emergency kit in the vehicle. Include things like jumper cables, flashlight, folding shovel, portable air pump, show chains, blankets, and Fix a Flat. You may also want to consider having a roadside emergency service like AAA. For a longer list of safety items that can be included in your kit please see our blog post, How to Create a Roadside Emergency Kit for Your Vehicle.
- Give yourself a crash course in auto care. U.S. News & World Report states that two in three teens don’t know how to change a flat tire, check or change the oil, or jumpstart a battery. Give yourself a leg up and ask a someone to help you learn the following things before you leave:
- How to change a flat tire
- How to check the oil level
- How to jumpstart a dead battery
- How to check and refill tire pressure
- How to check tire tread
- What to do if a dashboard warning light comes on, and what each one means
- What to do in the event of a breakdown
- What to do when you hear certain sounds, smell odd things, or notice a fluid leak.
If you need help preparing your vehicle for a safe journey to college, give Meridian Automotive a call. we provide complete automotive repair in Meridian, Idaho, for most cars, light trucks, and SUV’s. For over 20 years we’ve been Meridian’s auto repair experts. Don’t just trust anyone with your automotive repair needs, trust the experts at Meridian Automotive. Call us today (208) 297-5573 or schedule an appointment online.