Good work: you’ve had your student’s vehicle inspected, and you’ve handled all of the items needing attention. Your car should be good for the commute for the immediate future. The best advice we can give to keep your car in good running order is regular maintenance. We all know it takes more than a regular visit to the gas station to maintain your car or truck.
What else can you (or your young driver) do on your own between now and your next service visit?
1. Check your oil level and replenish as needed between oil changes.
2. Check your brake fluids as well, but remember: do not top off low brake fluids. Instead bring your car in so we can see what else might be happening to cause those fluid levels to drop.
3. Transmission fluids can be checked as well (newer cars no longer offer transmission dip-sticks for a quick check); we recommend professional replacement of these important fluids.
4. Top off your windshield washer fluid for both your front and back windshields; there are few things worse than a smeared windshield when driving at night.
5. Check air pressure in your tires (not all cars have tire sensors) – get a free tire gauge from us when you’re in the shop for service!
6. Check your headlights when pulling into your parking space – including your turn signals & brake lights to insure all are illuminated & working.
7. Do you carry a spare tire or have run-flat tires? Make sure you know what to do when you get a flat.
8. AAA membership can be a life saver – for a small annual fee, the road service they can provide is priceless on a dark and stormy night.
9. Blanket or Sleeping Bag is a great idea too. Colorado weather can catch us by surprise, so be prepared.
10. Umbrella or rain jacket … same thing here, you’ve got room in the car so toss one in so you always have it at the ready!
11. First Aid Kit. Can’t hurt, might help. Go ahead and stash it in the back along with the sleeping bag & umbrella.
12. Flashlights. Today’s LED-powered flashlights pack a lot of light in a small casing, so make sure you have a couple in your console or glove box!
We think it’s a smart decision to get all young drivers involved in DIY auto maintenance and prepping the car for a safe journey. By the way, if you aren’t sure yourself on how to check your vehicle fluids … just ask our tech when you pick up your car after your inspection and we’ll show you what to look for. It will take just a minute of everyone’s time and be worth it in the long run! Don’t miss our final blog in this series with tips on maintaining your sanity as a student commuter!