Back to school time with a family getting their kids ready to load up into the car.

Back to school time: Get your car road-ready for the new year

As the summer break winds down and the new school year approaches, it’s not just backpacks and notebooks that need preparing – your trusty vehicle deserves some attention too. That’s right; it’s back to school time. Whether you’re a parent shuttling kids to and from school or a student getting ready for your own commute, ensuring your car is in top shape is essential for a smooth and safe start to the academic year.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to getting your car ready for the school year hustle from the friendly San Luis Obispo car repair technicians at Certified Auto Repair:

1. Schedule a Maintenance Checkup

Before the school year begins, make it a point to schedule a comprehensive maintenance checkup at your local auto shop. A professional inspection will catch any issues that may have arisen over the summer, giving you peace of mind on the road. Be sure to cover:

  • Oil Change: Fresh oil keeps your engine running smoothly.
  • Fluid Levels: Check coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield washer fluid.
  • Tire Inspection: Proper tire pressure and tread depth are crucial for safe driving.
  • Brake Check: Ensure your brakes are responsive and in good condition.
  • Battery Test: Make sure your battery is charged and ready to go.

2. Check Your Tires

Tires play a significant role in the safety and efficiency of your vehicle. Make sure to:

  • Inspect Tread Depth: Adequate tread depth provides traction on wet roads.
  • Check Tire Pressure: Properly inflated tires improve fuel efficiency and handling.
  • Consider Seasonal Tires: Depending on your region’s climate, you might consider switching to winter tires.

3. Organize Your Car

A clutter-free car enhances comfort and safety. Clean out unnecessary items, organize school supplies, and keep emergency essentials such as a first aid kit, flashlight, and jumper cables in the trunk.

4. Replace Worn Out Parts

If any components are showing signs of wear and tear, it’s best to replace them before the school year begins. This could include:

  • Wiper Blades: Clear visibility during rain is crucial for safe driving.
  • Air Filters: Clean air filters improve fuel efficiency and protect your engine.
  • Lights: Ensure all lights – headlights, brake lights, and turn signals – are working properly.

5. Emergency Preparedness

Prepare for the unexpected by having these items on hand:

  • Emergency Kit: Include items like water, non-perishable snacks, blankets, and a basic toolkit.
  • Phone Charger: Keep a charger in your car to ensure you’re always connected.

6. Plan Your Commute

If you’re a student commuting to school, plan your route and estimated travel time to avoid unnecessary stress on the first day. Familiarize yourself with alternate routes in case of traffic or road closures.

7. Teaching Responsible Car Care

If you have a young driver in the family, take this opportunity to teach them basic car care skills. From checking tire pressure to understanding dashboard warning lights, imparting this knowledge will serve them well in the long run.

As the school year kicks off, getting your car ready should be a top priority. A well-maintained vehicle not only ensures safety but also contributes to a stress-free and efficient daily routine. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way, and your local auto shop is there to support you in making this academic year a smooth ride!