It’s been a long, relaxing summer but school is starting up again soon. Whether that means college or high school, your vehicle deserves some extra attention before getting back into that routine.
What to Check
For the sake of space, checking your tires includes but is not limited to your tread, pressure, and brakes. If you’re not sure how to check your tread or your tire pressure, you can learn how here.
As for breaks, there are a few telltale signs they should be replaced. Lack of responsiveness of your breaks or not stopping as quickly as usual. A puddle of brake fluid beneath your car is also never a good sign. Additionally, if your car pulls to either side when breaking, you hear grinding, or feel a vibration, you likely need new breaks.
Checking your fluids regularly is essential. This includes your oil, transmission, break, power steering, and even your wiper fluid. There are level markers or dip sticks for each of these that will tell you if more fluid needs to be added.
Oil should be changed roughly every 5,000 to 10,000 miles depending on your driving habits, car, and type of oil. You can have your oil changed by a shop or you can do it yourself. Changing your own oil isn’t too difficult, but we recommend checking a few online video tutorials specific to your vehicle.
Inspecting the rest of your car is important as well. Simply make sure nothing looks out of place and that all your electronics work. Otherwise, a dashboard light will likely come on if something is in dire need of repair or attention. This includes your windshield! Be sure to clean it every now and then, inside and out. You can even use our favorite windshield spray!
What to Bring
Now for the good part! What should you pack in your car before returning to school? Without weighing you down too much, we have a small list of items that might come in handy upon your return.
An auto tool kit is nearly essential. This should include, but again not limited to, an adjustable wrench, socket set, and a multifunctional screwdriver. Adding a bottle of glass cleaner or windshield spray is also handy to have. If you live in areas of extreme temperatures, we don’t recommend anything in an aerosol or air compressed container.
Be sure to always have a flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, some reflective tape or cones, pencil & paper, tow straps, and a pair of gloves. Paper towels are also nice to have for cleaning up messes and wiping down your windshield.
First Aide and Cosmetics
Make sure you have a stocked first aid kit as well as simple cosmetic tools like nail clippers, tweezers, and a file. While they may not save your life, they certainly will remove a nasty splinter or hangnail.
Water and Snacks
WATER, WATER, WATER! I can’t tell you how many people I know who don’t have ANY spare bottles of water in their car. I concede you may never be in a situation where you are stranded in dire need of a drink, but it’s just good practice. Snacks are always a bonus to have for not only emergencies but for when you need food on the go.
That wraps up our back to school auto to-do list. We hope you learned something new or decided to change some less than productive habits. Oh, and make sure your windshield is chip free! Have fun at school, drive safe, and have an adventure!
Author: B. Delamater
We provide windshield repair and replacement service to most of Yavapai County including the great Prescott & Prescott Valley area as well as the Verde Valley, Sedona, and much more! More questions? Give us a call, we’re happy to help!