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Cars,  Kids,  Parenting

Car Maintenance Checklist for Child Going to College

This post is sponsored by Michelin, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Car #BeThereMoments

It seemed like yesterday when I became a parent, and now I find myself having a child who’s one year away from graduating high school. I remember telling him to have as much fun as possible when he entered high school because the next four years go by really fast. Recently, I was blessed to get him his first car, which will help me in the long run so now he can drive himself back and forth to work, plus drive to school in the process.

This has given me the opportunity to teach him a few things about car maintenance so his car will last as long as he owns it because he’ll take it with him when he goes off to college or military, whichever one he chooses to go. If you have a child whose entering college or going away after they finish high school, here are a few tips on making sure their car is ready when they leave home.

Oil Change

One of the initial things my father taught me when I got my first car is to always keep up when you’re supposed to have your oil changed. He always told me that the car would last forever if you take care of the engine by changing the oil. Even though I have taught him how to change his oil, we still take our vehicles to licensed mechanics because they check everything on the car in the process from fluid leakage, cracked or frayed belts, bulging hoses and safety items, including torn wiper blades, burned-out lights, and unsafe tires. Normally, we get an oil change on our vehicles around every 5,000 miles.

Take Care of Those Tires

A lot of times we don’t normally focus on our tires until it’s too late. First, always get a good set of tires and don’t just settle for the cheapest thing you can get because you’ll pay in the long run. If you’re not familiar with tires, then enlist in a professional to inspect the tires for wear and any damage that may accumulate over time. Under inflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy, and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. I’ve told him to always check the pressure of his tires also because if the tires don’t have the correct amount of pressure, it affects the vehicle’s handling and when you press the brakes also. One thing many people don’t pay attention to be their spare tire, but always make sure you keep a good spare tire because you’ll need it when you least expect it, trust me.

Getting a Tune-Up

Normally, we take our vehicles to our trusted mechanic to have him look at pretty much everything on the car. They can check so many things to help ease the burden of us parents when our kids go away like check the engine to make sure it is delivering the best balance of power and fuel economy and produces the lowest level of emissions. They also check filters and fluids, including engine oil, antifreeze/coolant, windshield washer and power steering, brake and transmission fluids. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power.

Headlight Restoration

When it comes to car maintenance, headlight restoration seems to always take a backburner. Headlight Restoration is very important because headlights help see what’s in front of you. When it comes to kids, they want their vehicles to look nice and dirty headlights won’t help that cause. Many people choose the expensive way by taking it to a specialist, but that shouldn’t be the case. You can pick up your own headlight restoration kit and pay a fraction of the cost. You can send your kids off to school in a much safer and prettier car.

A Few More Things

As a parent, I want to check pretty much everything on the vehicle when my son finally leaves, and that includes checking the hoses and belts and replace if they become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system. It may seem like it’s too much, but no matter how old or big my kids get I’ll still consider them my babies. After getting everything looked at, please check the little things like the windshield wipers because you never realize how important they are until they’re worn out.

Here are a few things; well maybe several things to check for as your child prepare to take the next step in life when they enter college or possibly the military. Be there, no matter where they go. Have a student headed off to college? Read more stories from parents like me on Join the conversation by using the hashtag #BeThereMoments.

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