Back-to-School Car Maintenance Checklist

August 14th, 2014
As summer quickly comes to a close, fall is right around the corner!  And with fall comes several items that need to be on the “back-to-school check list” to help students prepare for their upcoming school year.  
 
Completing a car maintenance checklist is imperative to both student safety and mobility.  It also underlines the importance of auto repair and tire service to maintain properly serviced vehicles. Use this simple back-to school checklist for tips to ensure auto repair and tire conditions are suitable for school travel this fall. 
 
Spark Plugs: Checking spark plugs is an easy inspection that can prevent an inconvenient vehicle failure. Soiled or damaged plugs could leave you stranded on a school commute, thus spark plugs should be checked regularly to prevent malfunctions. 
 
Headlights:  Check your headlights for dimming to make sure that a bulb replacement is not required.  Dimming headlights are often overlooked but extremely dangerous.
 
Air Filters: Waiting to change air filters until they are completely full is dangerous to both vehicles and their drivers. Clogged air filters can be damaging to your engine as well as impede the vehicle’s performance.  Also, unwanted toxins can enter into the vehicle as the fan is run for heat and air.
 
Fill-Up the Tank before Empty: Few drivers know that when fuel levels drop below half tank, the remaining gas is more easily evaporated.  Another issue arises when running on a near empty gas tank: the fuel pump will suck up residue that collects in the bottom of the gas tank which will cause fuel pump and fuel system failure.  Save money and improve vehicle fuel economy by ensuring the gas never falls below half tank. This tip is especially important for driving students who are unfamiliar with their tank capacity or average fuel economy. 
 
Check Tire Pressure/Wear: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates approximately 1 in every 4 drivers has improper tire pressure in at least 1 tire.  Completing simple tasks such as maintaining tire pressure to proper compression improves both vehicle safety and increases gas mileage up to 0.6 MPG. Check tires monthly for proper pressure.  Tires should also be checked for irregular wear resulting from low pressure, alignment, and suspension failures.  See your Automotive Technician for immediate help if the tires are showing irregular wear.
 
Use these tips to complete any back-to-school auto repair check list and ensure students start back to school in vehicles to go the distance. Knowledge is power for vehicle owners, as becoming more aware of the specific care each vehicle requires to sustain regular operations will lengthen vehicle life and reduce expensive auto repairs.  
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

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