Leaving for college is a giant milestone in any teenager’s life, but it can leave parents with anxiety. No longer under Mom or Dad’s watchful eye for the first time in their lives, parents have to wonder how their children will fare with their newfound freedom.
Parents may not be able to protect their children from everything, but they may be able to help mitigate their risk of experiencing a car accident or breakdown. According to data reported to U.S. News, about 48% of college students use a vehicle on school campus. Many of these teens do not know how to properly maintain a car, which can leave students stranded on the side of the road or result in a crash. Thankfully, we have created a list of things you should check in your kid’s vehicle before they go off to college.
Maintenance Checklist for College-Bound Teens
It is probably best to have an auto mechanic that you trust check out your child’s car before they leave for school, but if you feel comfortable inspecting it yourself, here are a few things you should look over:
Check Their Tires
No other part of the car is more likely to give your kid problems than their tires. Low tire pressure can reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and result in uneven wear of tire tread. Fill tires if they are low and teach your teen how to check and fill them themselves. Show your kid where to find their spare tire, how to change a tire, and remind them to check periodically for any signs of bulging or balding.
Replace or Change Fluids
Before your teen heads off into the great unknown, make sure all of their fluids are checked and changed, if needed. Fluids you should have checked include:
- Brake fluid;
- Power steering fluid;
- Windshield wiper fluid;
- Transmission fluid;
- Air conditioner refrigerant; and
- Engine oil.
If these fluids are running low or appear dirty, it could cause problems for your son or daughter in the future, so it is better to take them to an auto repair shop to have them replaced before they leave.
Test Their Battery
Waking up to a dead car battery is frustrating and a common reason students miss class or show up late. Thankfully, many auto repair shops and auto part stores will test your child’s car battery at no charge. They should even be able to tell you how much power the battery has left, allowing you to determine if it will be able to make it through the semester or not.
Inspect Their Brakes
If your teen’s brake pads have worn away too much, they could be ineffective in stopping the vehicle. Check your teen’s brakes and teach them that if they hear any squealing or find that they have to push the brake pedal to the floor in order for the car to come to a stop, it is probably time to take it in for a brake pad replacement.
Hire a Trusted St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyer
Vehicles are complex machines that require regular maintenance to reduce the risk of personal injury. If your son or daughter has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, Marsalisi Law may be able to help you recover compensation for any damages or medical bills acquired due to the crash. If Attorney Frank P. Marsalisi believes you have a case, he will take it on—and you will not owe anything until you win a settlement. Call (727) 800-5052 or complete an online contact form today for a free consultation.
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