“Back to school” means different things to different families. For some, it means resuming the regular school run; dropping off and picking up the kids each day. For others, it could mean your teenage son or daughter driving their car off to college. Either way, in all the flurry of activity, preparation (and heartache), you may overlook car maintenance. If you have, don’t panic. We have a handy guide to help you get back on track.
We’ve split the information into three categories, “Maintenance,” “Cleaning” and “College-bound”
School runs means regular driving of the car, and all the time with the most precious cargo of all — your kids. Maintenance is a must, first to keep your car running on the road safely, and second to keep it running reliably so that your kids aren’t tardy. Check the tire pressure, the headlights, taillights and turn signals. In addition, your filters and fluid levels could also do with a look, since the summer weather usually does a real number on these. The fall often brings rain with it, so also check your wipers, something that a lot of people miss until it’s too late.
The summer could have meant road trips, off-road travel, pets in the car, juice or ice cream spilled in the back — the list goes on. You’ve likely heard of a spring cleaning, but with the car, a fall cleaning is the better option. Besides the obvious wash and wax on the outside, get into every corner of the car inside with a vacuum to get all the dust, pet hair and other things lurking in the darker nooks and crannies. Pick out all the garbage, including items hiding in the glove box and any seat or door pockets. Clear out and organize these spaces and make them ready for the kids and others to use in the new school year.
A teenage son or daughter going off to college in their own car is a terrifying prospect for many. Make sure their car is prepped and ready to go. Besides the maintenance and cleaning mentioned above, check that your son/daughter has their license and registration safely stored in the car’s glove compartment or wherever they can reach it easily. Help them do some research on the local services that are close to their college destination. This will mean that should the car have problems, they’ll know exactly where to take it to get the right fix or maintenance job. Ensure that all this information is also stored safely and conveniently.
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