4 Driving Tips for College Students at Winter Break

4 Driving Tips for College Students at Winter Break
  • Opening Intro -

    As college students finish up the fall semester to enjoy a break over Christmas and into the new year, many will find themselves making the long trip from campus to their homes far away.

    For some students, that trip will be by car as they take their personal transportation on roads that might be fraught with wintry dangers.


Before you head home, there are several checks that she be accomplished. You can handle some of these yourself or have a garage inspect your vehicle before leaving for home.

1. Check your air filter. A clogged air filter can make your engine work harder. And in extreme temperatures your engine has enough to deal with as it is. Replace your old filter before you set out and you’ll help your engine breath easier and freer.

2. Inspect your tires. All four of your tires should be inflated to the PSI recommended on the placard located on the driver door jamb. If your tires are already warm when you check the pressure, you won’t get an accurate reading, so bring out your tire gauge and check same before moving your wheels. You should also check the spare to ensure that it has enough air. If you plan to travel through snow country, placing snow tires on the wheels that move your car (i.e., front wheels for front-wheel drive and rear wheels for rear-wheel drive) is wise. Make sure that you have enough tread left before heading out.

3. Time for a mechanical inspection. You should also have your brakes checked by inspecting disc pads, shoes and calipers for signs of wear. And while your car is up on the ramp, have your oil and oil filter changed, and your exhaust system inspected. Fluids should be clean and topped off as well. Ask you mechanic for his assessment for taking a hundreds mile or more trip home in your car. Lastly, by giving your car a thorough washing before you leave, you’ll ensure that you have proper visibility and clean headlamps and tail lights to bring you safely home.

4. Replenish your emergency kit. You do have an emergency kit, don’t you? All drivers should carry one and that kit should include jumper cables, rags, tools, bottled water, a first aid kit, a working flashlight, extra batteries, duct tape, road flares, gloves, a knife, fuses and a folding shovel. You might also bring with you rain gear, an extra set of clothes, nonperishable foods and a can opener, snacks, a sleeping bag, pillows, and a cell phone charger.

Trip Considerations

If possible, travel with someone who can accompany you at least part of the way home. If a problem arises, two people are better than one. You might also consider forwarding a trip map of your route home, especially if you plan to travel through a mountainous or rural location. If you do not arrive at the appointed hour your family will know how to track you down. Finally, go easy on the gas pedal, not just to save gas: icy conditions can make it hard to stop or maintain control over your car.

See AlsoCar Maintenance Scams – Don’t Buy Parts and Service You Don’t Need


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Categories: Campus Cars