Getting Your Kid’s Car Ready for College | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

Getting Your Kid’s Car Ready for College

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Your baby is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime — college! You want them to be safe, and a good step to take is making sure their car is running optimally to get them there safely. Here’s how to send your kid and their car off to college safely.  

Preparing Your Child’s Car for College

Before you send your college-bound kid off, here’s a list from the Car Care Council on what you should do:

  1. Get a sendoff vehicle inspection

You know how busy the start of college can be, so don’t expect your student to find the time to go get their car thoroughly inspected. Before they pull out of your driveway, make sure that you haven taken their car through a thorough vehicle inspection so you can rest assured knowing they’re driving a well-equipped vehicle. 

What does an inspection include? A common inspection typically includes looking at the: 

  • Windshield – making sure that there are not cracks or loose seals that could potentially be a safety hazard.
  • Condition of the tires – if the car has old, worn down tires then it probably won’t pass a safety inspection. Be sure to check the wear indicator bar on your tires, and if the tread is low, replace your tires. 
  • Light function – You’ll need to have all the lights checked on your car. This includes your headlights, high beams, emergency flashers, turn signals, side lights, brake lights, and backup lights. 
  • Brake performance – the brakes are the most important safety feature on your car. During an inspection, the brakes will be checked to make sure that they are working properly, replacing brake pads if need be. The emergency brake will also be inspected at this time. 
  • Steering and alignment -the components of the car’s steering system will be looked at here too. If anything is found to not work properly, they will be replaced to ensure the car has proper steering and alignment. 
  • Seat belt function – every seat belt in the car will be looked at to make sure every seat has a working seat belt that is in good shape.
  • Fluid leaks – this is especially important if you’ve noticed fluid leaking from the car recently. The leaks could pose a safety hazard to everyone who rides in the car and other drivers on the road. 
  1. Have an emergency plan 

Talk with your student about what they should do in case they experience a roadside emergency. Be sure they know who to contact for roadside assistance. Additionally, you should also make sure that their car has an emergency kit that includes: jumper cables, emergency flares, a flashlight, blankets, water, non-perishable snacks, and a first-aid kit. We never want to think an emergency will happen, but unfortunately bad weather and circumstances can happen suddenly, so it’s better to be prepared. 

  1. Make sure your student studies up

Talk with your kid about what is normal for their car – and what could mean there’s a problem with it that needs to be looked at. Let them know that if they think something is wrong, it’s better to get it looked at by a professional before they drive much further. 

  1. Get regular maintenance 

Make sure your student knows that it’s important for them to stay on top routine vehicle maintenance. Keep track of when you’re supposed to do frequent things like get an oil change or have your tires rotated.  

Protect Your Kid with an Inspection with Scott’s Auto 

If you’re about to send your student off, bring their car by Scott’s Auto to make sure their car is in proper working condition. We will talk with you about any repairs we believe the car needs for optimal safety, or send you on your car if everything is in order. Stop by or make an appointment at one of our two convenient locations

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