Going off to college is a big milestone in any young driver’s life. Help them prepare by teaching them how to do basic car maintenance.
Having a well-maintained vehicle will help them avoid costly repair bills and keep them safe on the road. Here are nine car maintenance tips for college students. Don’t forget yo check the tips like these ones to be sure you know how to save your budget and survive financial crisis even if you’re student.
1. Check Fluid Levels
A few simple checks can help ensure that a car is ready to take on whatever your student throws at it, whether that’s a long drive to find the state’s best doughnuts or a frigid ride back home for winter break. Fluids like engine oil, radiator fluid, windshield wiper fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid are all important to keep in top condition.
Educate your college student on how to locate and access these reservoirs so they can check their levels regularly. They should always check fluids when the vehicle is parked and on a level surface, and they should only use the recommended type of fluid for each reservoir (i.e., do not mix engine oil with brake fluid).
Also teach your college student to look at the vehicle owner’s manual and the inside of their driver’s door for a list of ideal tire pressure for that specific vehicle. Low tire pressure can reduce fuel efficiency and unevenly wear tires, reducing their life span. By the way, if you don’t have enough time on checking fluid levels or tire pressure you can find excellent tips on how to write a paper right here.
2. Check Tire Pressure
Having a car is a big responsibility. Even just a few simple tasks can keep a car in great shape and prevent costly repairs down the road.
One very important task is checking the tire pressure in the vehicle. Tires that are under inflated are less safe and affect fuel economy. In addition, improper air pressure can cause the tires to wear out faster than they should. A tire pressure gauge costs only a few dollars and should be kept in the glove box. The recommended tire pressure is typically shown in the owner’s manual or on a sticker inside the driver’s door jamb or front of the fuel filler.
Remove the dust caps on the tire valve stems and use the gauge’s fitting to firmly press it against the valve stem for a few seconds. Then compare the psi reading on the tire gauge to the psi shown in the tire’s sidewall. If the psi is higher, let some air out until it matches.
3. Check Battery
A battery that constantly loses its charge can’t hold a sufficient charge for the car’s electrical components. This causes damage to other parts of the vehicle and can even corrode the battery itself. Identifying signs of battery failure, like a foul smell similar to rotten eggs, will give your student time to replace it before it’s too late.
In addition to checking the fluids, your student should know how to quickly jump their vehicle in an emergency. A quick tutorial on how to use jumper cables will ensure they’re prepared for any unexpected roadside issues while they’re away from home.
A slow engine turn-over, a clicking sound when trying to start the car, or dim headlights are indicators that a battery might be on its way out. If your student suspects their battery is the culprit, a multimeter can tell them its state of charge. A good battery should read 12.4-12.9 volts when off and drop no more than two volts during a load test.
4. Check for Corrosion
Whether you’re a parent sending your college-aged child off to school or a car inspector preparing a vehicle for sale, rust is one of the most common and dangerous car maintenance issues. While newer cars typically resist rust better than older ones, no vehicle is immune. Rust eats away at metal, weakening it over time. This can lead to a loss of load-bearing strength, making the vehicle unsafe to drive.
Corrosion is most easily spotted at the battery terminals which look caked in a greenish-blue or white-tinged residue. With thick rubber gloves, remove the cables (black first then red), wipe the terminals down and apply baking soda to neutralize the corrosion. Scrub the area using a wire brush and then rinse the cables off and close the hood. Your student should repeat this process every few weeks to spot issues like charge loss and corrosion early on. This simple and preventative maintenance task is an essential part of proper Clermont Toyota vehicle care.