It’s handy to have a car in college. Unfortunately, it can also lead to stressful situations if you don’t have the know-how and skills to keep it running. Any potential accidents or breakdowns can mean costs and inconveniences you can’t easily deal with on a student’s budget.
But, truthfully, when you know how to take care of any emergency the road throws at you, you’ve taken a step toward overall peace of mind. To help you maintain a sense of vehicular serenity, here are several helpful car care tips for college students.
Care For Your Tires
As the only part that literally hits the highway, your tires perform a thankless job. Thank them by keeping them in good shape. By measuring and achieving the proper PSI, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that your tires are far less likely to blow out or slip during hazardous conditions.
Periodically check the treads by using the penny test. If you stick an inverted penny between the treads and can see Lincoln’s forehead, change your tires. Tires need replacement approximately every six years, but with care, they can last a bit longer. Invest in a pocket tire gauge to test them regularly.
Keep them inflated at the proper pressure—which you should be able to find on the sticker inside the driver’s side door—and take the time to wipe them down when you’re washing your car. Schedule a regular inspection and rotation by a professional, as well, and they’ll keep rolling for years to come.
A car without fluids is an immobile block of metal and plastic. Familiarize yourself with the location of the fill caps and dipsticks for the car’s transmission, windshield, brake, and other fluids, as well as its oil.
Read through your car’s manual; it provides specifics about how often to change them and how much to add. Then, make a habit of checking the dipsticks to ensure all fluids are clean and clear. If they aren’t, bring them to a service provider for a change.
The service provider will also give the rest of your car a checkup and let you know when to bring it in next time. Knowing you’ve taken care of your car and when it’s next due for service can provide you with a calming sense of structure.
Check the Brakes
Keep Your Car Clean
When considering helpful car care tips for college students, don’t underestimate the meditative aspects and long-term benefits of washing your car. Keeping the car clean inside and out makes it run smoother and look better for much longer, keeping up the resale value and lifting your spirits besides.