While many parents prepare their college–bound children with instructions about laundry and cooking, they sometimes forget to address automobile maintenance and repair. AAA offers these suggested topics for discussion:
- Check and maintain tires - Tires are easy to maintain, but are frequently overlooked until something goes wrong. Every student should have a tire pressure gauge in their vehicle, know where it is located, and understand how to use it properly. Show your young adult where to find the vehicle manufacturer's recommended tire pressure - typically on a label located on the driver's door jamb or in the glove box. It is important to let them know they should not use the inflation pressure found on the tire sidewall. That is the tire's maximum pressure level, but it might not be the correct pressure for the tire on their particular vehicle.
- Know the vehicle's maintenance schedule - Explain the vehicle's maintenance schedule with your son or daughter and remind them that in addition to basic oil changes, other important items such as filters, batteries and brakes must also be regularly checked and maintained. AAA recommends creating a shared calendar with reminders so you both are aware of any upcoming required maintenance or services.
- Find a repair facility near college - Identify an auto repair shop your teen can trust, such as an AAA Approved Auto Repair facility, near their school in case routine servicing or unexpected repairs become necessary. Hampden Auto Body has been an AAA approved auto body shop since 2005.
- Prepare for roadside emergencies - Make sure your teen's vehicle has a well–stocked roadside emergency kit with contents suitable for local weather conditions during the school year. A basic kit should include a flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, first–aid kit, bottled water, rags or paper towels, a tire pressure gauge, a blanket, granola or energy bars, and a selection of basic hand tools. In areas with winter ice and snow, add an ice scraper, snow brush and kitty litter or other material to increase traction if stuck in snow.
Source: yourAAA news August 2013