Back to School Car Safety Tips
It’s that time of year again. The books, laptops, and bags are out of the closet, the tuition checks are sent off, and the apartments have been leased for the next nine months. Now all you have to do to prepare for your next year of college is to get you and your car ready to make that long drive back to campus. Here, you’ll find a list of the most important things to have your local Performance Mitsubishi service center check up on before you set off for school this fall.
Without your tires, you aren’t getting anywhere. Make sure that your wheels are ready for action by having your Mitsubishi mechanic check your tires.
One of the worst issues to encounter on your trek back to college is a low tire. If your tire pressure is too high or too low, it can ramp up your gas mileage, as well as increase normal road wear on your car. Prevent this by making sure that your tire pressure matches the recommended PSI (pressure per square inch) for your vehicle make and model.
When tires age, the tread wears down and decreases in usefulness. You’re legally required to have a tread depth of at least 2/32 of an inch, but you should replace your tires before the tread wears down that much. Low tire treads are dangerous because they reduce brake effectiveness and increase your chances of getting a flat. Low tire treads are especially dangerous on wet roads, as that further decreases how well your brakes can work. Make sure to get your tread depth checked regularly and replace your tires when the tread gets low.
Your tires are the part of your car that get the most direct wear and tear from the road, so make sure that you get them rotated every once in a while. A good way to remember this is to have them rotated every other time you change your oil. Rotating your tires distributes the wear more evenly, so that you get more miles out of a set.
Oil and Other Fluids
How long has it been since you topped off those fluids? Get them checked and filled up before you hit the road.
Oil and Transmission Fluid
It’s recommended that you get an oil change every 5,000 miles or so. This means that changing your oil probably won’t happen exactly every three months, but it’s something that you may want to have done before you head off to school.
Also, did you know that your transmission fluid needs changing, too? You may need to get your transmission fluid changed about every 30,000 miles.
You drive through a mud puddle, get your windshield all dirty, and realize only then that your windshield wiper fluid has run absolutely dry. Don’t let it happen again by getting your windshield wiper fluid refilled before heading back to campus.
After running out of wiper fluid, the last thing you want is your engine to overheat on the long road trip to school. Make sure that all your coolants are full. You may even want to get the coolants replaced since dirty fluids can damage your car.
Whenever you get your oil changed or before long road trips, you should always have a mechanic look at your battery and make sure it’s running at full potential. A battery normally lasts only about three to five years, so if it’s been longer than that since you changed your battery, it may be time for a new one.
Bad batteries lose charge quickly, which means that they’ll often be dead when you go to start your car. You don’t want to jumpstart your car every other week, so get your battery checked before you head back to college and get a new one if it’s running down.
Brakes are one of a car’s most important components, so if your brakes are bad, it could be very dangerous for you and for other drivers on the road. Eventually, your brake pads wear down, which reduces the effectiveness of the brakes or even makes them completely useless. It might be a good idea to have your brake pads replaced before you go so that you don’t have to worry about it on the road.
Plus, you also need to have your brake fluid refilled every once in a while, so don’t forget to ask your mechanic to check on that as well.
Lights are something people tend to forget about until they’re driving down a dark lonely road and realize they have a light out. Headlights, rear lights, blinkers, and hazard lights should all be regularly checked and replaced when dim or broken. Make sure to get that done before you hit the road, especially if you’re going to be doing any night driving.
It’s sometimes hard to imagine ever needing an emergency kit, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You’ll want to have a first aid kit with bandages, cold packs, pain reliever, and antibiotics. You should also have a flashlight, a blanket, non-perishable food, an atlas, some cash, and jumper cables. Hopefully you’ll never need these things, but it’s good to have them.
When you head back to college, the last thing you want to think about is whether your car is going to make the trek. So while you’re excitedly messaging all your college friends with plans for meeting up again, don’t forget to take your car to Performance Mitsubishi right here in Delray Beach to get a five-star checkup. Drive safely and have fun this school year.
If you forget to have your car serviced before heading off to school and you have an issue, Performance Mitsubishi offers roadside assistance for our customers, making sure you’re never stranded. If you’re looking for a new Mitsubishi or service for your old one, visit our dealership in Delray to see our line-up or get the best service in town.