College Car Care Tips
August 2016

Car Care Tips for the College Bound

Helpful advice for those sending kids off to college this fall

Before sending your son or daughter off to college with an automobile, AAA encourages you to sit down together to discuss a plan for proper vehicle maintenance, as well as how to deal with unexpected problems when parental rescue is more than just a few minutes away.  
Check and Maintain Tires
Tires are one of the easiest components of a vehicle to maintain, but they are frequently overlooked until something goes wrong. Make sure your student has a tire pressure gauge in the vehicle, knows where it is located, and understands how to use it properly. Tire pressure should be checked at least once a month when the tires are cold.
Keep an Eye on the Battery
You don’t want your child to have to deal with a dead battery while away at school. Have it tested to make sure it is properly holding its charge. If the car battery is more than three years old, consider replacing it. Also, if the vehicle cranks slowly when trying to start or there is a grinding, clicking, or buzzing sound when the ignition is turned, these could be signs of battery failure.
Know the Vehicle’s Maintenance Schedule
Make sure your student’s car is current with all maintenance items prior to leaving for school, and determine if any future required services will come due while they are away. Review the owner’s manual and maintenance schedule together, then create a shared calendar with reminders so you both are aware of any upcoming required maintenance or services.
Find a Repair Facility Near College
Before taking your student to college, try to identify a trustworthy auto repair shop near school for routine service or unexpected repairs. If you are unfamiliar with the area around a college, visit to locate a nearby AAA Approved Auto Repair facility. When you first arrive at the college, visit the selected repair shop with your teen and meet the staff.  
Prepare for Roadside Emergencies
Make sure the vehicle has a well-stocked roadside emergency kit with contents suitable for local weather conditions during the school year. For added peace of mind, add your teen as an associate to your AAA membership. AAA’s many benefits are available to members no matter whose vehicle they are in, so you won’t have to worry about your child being stranded in a friend’s vehicle without access to emergency road service. 
Learn More
AAA Roadside Assistance is there for your child when you can’t be. Find out more at
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