As summer vacation begins to wind down and school begins creeping back into your mind for your children, it’s time to think about the vehicles you and your teenagers will be driving this school year.
With all that extra driving and the rush to be on time there are expenses related to repairs and additional fuel costs that could add up if your vehicle isn’t prepared for the school year.
To help you better prepare for this school year of driving, we wanted to share a few tips you can use to get your vehicle (or the vehicle your kids are using) up to snuff for the school year.
Here are a few tips that can help you this school year:
6 Maintenance Checks Every Vehicle Needs this Time of the Year
1. Check Your Tires – When it comes to the school year, it’s essential you are on time to class. Whether it’s you or your kids driving, a blown tire can cost time you just don’t have. Get your tires’ treads, inflation and alignment checked to better prepare for the rush that hits during the school year.
2. Have Hoses and Belts Checked – With stop and go driving, it’s always important to keep your engine cool. A cracked hose or snapped belt will cause the radiator to overheat and may leave you stranded when it’s critical to be on time.
3. Check the Wipers and Lights – With the summer, it’s easier to drive with a headlight out or windshield wipers that don’t cut it because most of the driving is in the daylight and the weather is better. Check both to ensure safer driving as the weather changes and as the days get shorter.
4. Get your Brakes Checked – Whenever you’re considering vehicle maintenance, it’s always vital you get your brakes checked especially if there has been any squeaking or noise as a result of stopping.
5. Check the Fluid Levels – From coolant to wiper fluid and everything in between, be sure your vehicle’s fluid levels are where they need to be.
6. Don’t Forget the Battery – The summer’s heat can speed the chemical reaction inside a battery and cause the battery to be overcharged, which can shorten its life. And the heat can also evaporate internal battery fluid. The best way to avoid a dead battery when you’re in a rush during those busy school mornings is to keep it clean and have it looked at right away if you’re having any problems.
With the school year also comes the need to save a little money so we’ve included a couple simple tips to help improve your fuel efficiency.
3 Simple Tips for Maximizing Fuel Efficiency
1. Use the Right Oil – Whether you’re the one changing the oil or having it done for you, be sure your vehicle is getting the recommend grade of oil. Using the wrong grade has potential to lower gas mileage by a percent or two while selecting oil with additional additives to reduce friction can increase the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
2. Let you vehicle breathe – A clogged air filter has the potential to reduce fuel efficiency by 14 percent in older vehicles. Get that air filter checked and replaced if needed.
3. Don’t go cheap on parts – It’s tempting to get the cheapest parts for a vehicle at times, but it can lead to more expenses in the long run. For example, clean spark plugs can ensure your vehicle is firing consistently to keep your gas mileage at its best. Choose the parts designated specifically for your vehicle and approved by the manufacturer even if the initial cost is a little higher than alternative options.
If you need help getting your vehicles ready for the school year, we would be more than happy to provide the maintenance and care your vehicles need.