By the Numbers

Is Your Car Ready for Campus?

Just like a cross-country road trip, college is an adventure. From late-night pizza runs to driving around campus, you need your vehicle to be in peak condition. While you are busy getting your class schedule and living arrangements finalized, take some time to ensure that your car is ready for another school year.  Here are some items that should be on your back-to-school checklist.


Keep up on regular maintenance

Before hitting the road, be sure that you have performed all those routine maintenance tasks that keep your vehicle in top working order. Also, be sure to stay up on these routine tasks while you are at school.



Inspect your tires for signs of uneven tread wear. Also check the tire pressure, making sure each tire is inflated to the manufacturer recommended level.


Wiper blades

Examine your windshield wipers for signs of wear. If they are split or streak or smear when you use them, it is time to replace them.



Make sure your headlights, brake lights, turn signals and emergency flashers are working. Replace any burned out bulbs.



If your battery is more than three years old, have it checked.



Check the levels of the engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid. Your owner’s manual will specify the proper fluids to use.


Air filter

Look at your air filter. If it is filled with dirt and debris, have it changed.    


Know your vehicle

Get familiar with your vehicle.Do you know where the spare tire is? Do you know what noises are normal for the vehicle? Being armed with this knowledge will help you feel confident as you drive around campus.

Safety first

Make sure that your vehicle has the safety equipment that you would need in the event of an emergency.  Double check that your vehicle is equipped with a spare tire, jack and lug wrench and ensure that your vehicle is outfitted with jumper cables, road flares or reflective warning triangles, flashlight, first aid kit, blanket, tool kit, fire extinguisher and extra food and water. 


Consult your owner's manual

Is it time for an oil change? What checks should be performed when your car hits the 50,000 mile mark? Learn the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle by reading your owner’s manual.

Know the area

Scout out repair locations in the city where you are going to school. Read online reviews and talk to others and find out the best places to take your vehicle to get an oil change, to have body work done and to have general repairs performed. Keep the contact information stored in your phone.

The content contained in this article is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.