Back to school time can be stressful. The last thing you want to worry about is a last-minute fix for your vehicle. Thankfully, issues can be prevented before they appear – it just takes a bit of foresight and planning.
Maintaining your vehicle doesn’t have to be stressful – just make sure you take care of repairs and prepare it with ample storage. If your child is going off to college or driving to high school, they should also be prepared for any bump in the road that comes.
Take care of your vehicle
If you’re driving your children to school every day (and especially if you’re carpooling), your car will wear down faster. All the time you spend driving adds up, especially if you’re constantly starting and stopping. That means you should check the cooling system, the heater/defroster, the battery, and your key fluids (your coolant, transmission, brake fluid).
The end of the summer means it’s time to prepare your car for the winter. Temperatures will drop as fall rolls along, and your vehicle must be performing as normal through the changes. Keeping up with car repairs and vehicle wear is critical during this time.
It’s also important to be prepared with supplies. A first aid kit, winter gloves and boots, blankets, flares, a cellphone charger, and a flashlight are all useful tools to have on any trip, and they’ll continue to be useful as winter rolls around.
Teach your young adults how to repair their vehicle
Young adults in high school or college may be driving to and from school. Anyone who owns a vehicle must know how to maintain their car. The last thing a student needs is a costly repair. You can both save money by showing your young adult how to give their car a full look.
Have them check under the hood to make sure fluid levels are where they should be and that everything is in good working condition. Thoroughly test your tires to make sure everything is in good condition and show your young adult how to gauge tire pressure. Even run a simple test with them in the driver’s seat – everything from the headlights to the brakes can be tested.
It’s helpful to find where mechanics are located near your home, or near your child’s campus. This is especially important if your young adult has moved to a new town. It’s also important not to forget the small things – such as a parking pass for the school’s parking lot, or a winter brush for that end of semester journey home.
Organize with ample storage
The finest-tuned vehicle will always be second to your young children in the back seat. The start of the school year is a time of last-minute stops and forgotten textbooks. With instruments, backpacks, sports equipment and lunch bags to store, you’re going to need a more efficient way to store things.
Free up room by using the available space in your vehicle wisely. Use dividers and storage containers in your trunk to store everything from snacks to binders. Even small household storage items, like a shoe organizer, trays or a remote control tray can be useful here. If your child is prone to losing their things, storage can really help them to stay organized as they know where to look for missing items.
Of course, it’s important that you are organized too. Have your vehicle maintained and use ample storage in the back of your vehicle. If your young adult is driving to and from school, don’t just fix their vehicle for them – teach them how to do so at a pace they understand. By having everything planned before the big back to school return, you can spare yourself from much undue stress – and possibly from unexpected repair bills.