Off to College: Vehicle Prep

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Get your ride ready to hit the road

You’ve been shopping for dorm items and academic supplies for the fall semester…that’s a good thing. Hopefully, you found many bargains and were able to take advantage of your state’s tax free weekend.

Is your college ride road-ready?

Another task you should handle now is your car, if you’re planning to have one with you this year. Before you fill it up with all of your stuff, you’ll want to make sure that it is ready to hit the road and able to give you reliable service over the coming months.

Car Check

The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc. through its Car Care Council is reminding students heading off to college to examine the following items before heading out:

  • Tires and tire pressure — Look for visible signs of wear. Rotate or replace your tires as necessary. If your school is located in the snow belt, place a set of winter tires in the trunk or bring chains.
  • Hoses and belts — Fraying or loose connections can cause a problem if not handled now. Don’t get stranded: fix these items now!
  • Air filters — Dirty or clogged air filters can sap your engine of much needed power.
  • Wipers — If you haven’t changed your wiper blades since last winter, now is a good time to replace them.
  • Exterior and interior lighting — Have someone do a walk around while you are in your car, checking headlights, tail lights, turn signals and other lights to make sure that they’re working.
  • Fluid levels, including engine oil, power steering, brake,
    transmission, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant — Replenish or replace as necessary. If you can’t do the work yourself, find a trusted mechanic to give your car a thorough inspection.
  • Inspection — Make sure that your car has been inspected by the state and that your registration and insurance information is up-to-date.

The Car Care Council also recommends that college-bound students have important telephone numbers in their cell phone or glove box in case of a breakdown or emergency. Vehicles should have a roadside emergency kit that includes items such as flares, a first aid kit, a tire-changing jack, a tire pressure gauge, jumper cables and a blanket.

Finally, consider joining a service club such as AAA to have towing and other car services available to you as needed. You’ll pay an annual fee, but the peace of mind is priceless.

Adv. — Do you need some funs this semester? A Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan could be the right choice for you.

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Categories: Campus Cars