Maintenance Checklist for Highschool Students
Make sure your ride to school isn't full of false starts or stressful breakdowns this year, check the following and have your car ready for a great school year:
1. Essential Fluid Levels and Condition
You should have your local mechanic check all the essential fluids in your car. A few of the fluids to pay particular attention to are the: motor oil, radiator fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, air conditioning coolant and windshield wiper fluid.
Some of these are simple enough to check on your own at home (for example wiper fluid), however many require a technician (such as the coolant). Making sure your fluids are up to date, will make sure that whatever you put your car through it will get you to where you need to go. If the fluids run low or out, the car could stop running, become damaged or very difficult to drive so make sure check all fluids frequently. If you would like to schedule one of our mechanics to take a look, click here.
2. Headlights and Brake Lights
All of your lights should always be in good working condition. Not only can you get an expensive ticket for brake lights that are out, but they also can be incredibly unsafe. To make sure that you and your friends are safe when you brake or driving in dark conditions, it is important that all of the lights are working.
The questions to ask yourself when thinking about whether you need your brakes checked are: Do your brakes stop your car quickly and immediately? Are you hearing any noise when you brake?
Brake pads or shoes are a part of your car that wears and needs to be replaced when they wear thin. Some hard brake pads can last a long time, but when they are making noise, it can prematurely wear drums and warp rotors. Periodically, brake pads should be replaced and rotors machined to keep them wearing and braking smoothly. If you would like to schedule one of our mechanics to take a look, click here.
Tires are your vehicle's direct contact to the road. To remain safe in rain and slick roads as well as avoid the nuisance of flat tires you need to make sure that you have good tire tread and good tire pressure. You can check the tread of your tire easily with the penny trick: you place a penny head first into several tread grooves across the tire. If you always see the top of Lincoln's head, your treads are too shallow and are worn. If that is the case, your tires need to be replaced.
You should also check your tire pressure, you can do this yourself (check your manual) or have your local mechanic help you out. If you would like to schedule one of our mechanics to take a look, click here.
5. Test and Clean the Battery
There's no bigger bummer than getting to your car and it not starting. Getting a battery test will allow you to find out how much longer your battery will last. If the battery still has a lot of life left, clean the terminals of debris or corrosion safely to keep it in great working condition. If the test shows that the battery is almost dead, invest in a new one in order to keep your engine healthy and to make sure you don't come across a dead battery on the morning of a big exam.
The average battery lasts about four years, so if yours is already around that age absolutely get yours checked! If you would like to schedule one of our mechanics to take a look, click here.
6. Registration and Proof of Insurance
There is nothing worse than getting pulled over and not having the right paperwork. Double check to make sure you have your registration and proof of insurance on you at all times within your glove box.
You might also want to look into purchasing roadside Assistance to add to your current insurance plan. It usually can be done for $5 or less a month and can give both you and your parents peace of mind if anything happens.
Last but not least, don't forget your license at home. Put it somewhere that you will always remember to take it with you on your drives. You do not want to get that expensive ticket!
7. Emergency Kit for the Car
If you don't already have an emergency kit, make sure to purchase one that includes jumper cables, fix-a-flat, a flashlight and batteries, a phone charger, a first aid kit and some cash.
If you already have a kit, make sure to check that you still have everything and that it is working properly.
8. Jack and Spare Tire
Make sure that you still have a jack and spare tire in the car and that they are in good working shape. It would be a huge bummer if you need them and find that they aren't in your car.
Now you're prepared to have a great Fall semester with your friends! Go out and do big things.