8 Tips to Protect your College Driver
As the summer months draw to a close many young adults are moving away from home on onto the next stage of life…college. There is more to prepare your student for this move than just decorating a dorm room and choosing classes. Many students are planning on taking their car with them and parents and students alike forget the importance of making sure your student’s vehicle is in safe working order. Here is a list of important things Road and Track and the Car Care Counsel recommend doing to protect your college student on their journey.
Wash the Car with your College Driver
Washing the car allows you and your student to check the car over and check for existing dings, dents and scratches. While none of these affect the functionality of the vehicle it allows everyone to make a note of pre-college damage. Getting the dust, dirt and potential chemicals off can prevent corrosion or rust which can become a big problem. If your car will be parked outside and exposed to all types a weather, applying a good coat of wax can help keep your car’s paint job looking good.
Inspect the Windshield with your College Driver
Driving with a chipped or cracked window can be very dangerous. Chips can lead to cracks and cracks can spread and decrease the structural integrity of the windshield. Your vision can be impaired by cracks and chips making it difficult for the driver to see other vehicles or hazards on the road. Getting chips filled, cracks sealed or even replacing the windshield is an important safety measure before saying goodbye to your student.
Check the Cooling System with a Mechanic and your College Driver
The inspection should include a visual inspection of the cooling system, including belts and hoses. Performing a radiator cap pressure test can indicate whether the system is within the recommended pressure specifications. It’s also important to check that the thermostat is opening or closing properly. Your mechanic can perform a pressure test on the entire system to identify any external leaks and internal leaks for combustion gas leakage into the cooling system. Having the cooling system checked can prevent your student from getting stranded with costly repairs away from home.
Teach your College Driver how to check their Vehicle’s Tires
Learning to use a tire gauge is an important skill. Knowing how to check your tires including the spare on a regular basis is a good way to save yourself a whole lot of trouble. Checking the tread for wear (uneven and irregular) and cuts and scuffs along the side wall is also important when assessing the life of your tires. Rotating the tires every 6000 miles and replacing any worn or damaged tires is key to prevent a flat leaving them stranded on the side of the road.
Remind your College Driver about the Importance of Regular Oil Changes
Making sure your vehicle gets regular oil changes in one of the most important things you can do for it. We recommend getting your oil changed every 3 months or 5000 miles, whichever comes first. Regular oil changes helps keep your engine lubricated and avoids friction and wear. Surprisingly, clean oil also keeps your engine cool by removing dirt and sludge allowing your car’s engine to run more efficiently. Poor engine lubrication can also increase your car’s gas mileage which can cost your starving college student more money (that they’ll probably have to borrow from you). Finally, sticking to a consistent regime of changing the oil in your vehicle can add years to the life of your car.
Checking the Interior and Exterior Lights is Easy for your College Driver
This task is pretty simple, but no less important. Headlights, taillights and brake lights are all obviously part of your vehicle’s safety system, but so are the interior lights. The lights in the front and back of your car help other driver’s see you and having those lights in good working order prevents accidents. Turn signals let other driver’s know which direction you plan on going, so having working signal lights is imperative to your safety.
A vehicle’s interior lights allow the driver or passenger see in the dark and let other drivers see that there is someone inside the vehicle if it’s on the side of the road. Therefore, checking and replacing any and all burned out or broken lights as soon as possible is paramount.
Create an Emergency Kit for your College Driver’s Vehicle
Keep a supply of items in your college driver’s car full of things needed in case of an emergency. You might want to include flares, a well stocked first aid kit, tire gauge, jack for changing a tire, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, warm clothes, water, non-perishable food and emergency numbers. Being prepared “just in case” will hopefully help you and your student relax as they head into this next phase of their life.
Keep C&H Foreign Auto Repair in mind for any repairs your college driver’s vehicle may need. We here to help contact us at (509)487-9683