Change Oil Regularly
This may seem like a no-brainer to seasoned adults, but some young people aren't aware of the importance of regular oil changes. Teach your child how to change the oil himself, or help him locate a trustworthy mechanic or oil change service in the area of his school. Explain the costly dangers of not changing the oil regularly. Emphasize the fact that, without proper oil maintenance, his car's engine could overheat and be completely ruined.
Keep Fluids Topped
If your college student is getting regular oil changes, chances are he won't have issues with low fluids, as most service centers top these free. Nevertheless, help him understand that oil and gas are not the only two fluids needed to run a car. Insufficient coolant can cause a vehicle's engine to overheat. Insufficient windshield wiper fluid can cause an accident if the conditions are right. Additionally, if your student is the forgetful type, consider presenting him with a plastic gas can for unexpected, "out-of-gas" emergencies.
Learn How to Change a Tire
Young people often don't know how to change a flat tire, or even where their spare tire is located. Provide your child with a jack and tire iron, along with the necessary knowledge on how to use them. For parents who don't know how to change a flat tire themselves, this is the perfect time to learn.
Keep the Right Amount of Pressure in Tires
A car with adequate tire pressure is safer and runs more efficiently. Low tire pressure can lead to costly accidents that can hurt your student's auto insurance rates now and for years to come. When his tires get low on air, make sure your child knows how to refill them properly. Simply blasting an air pump hose until the tire "seems" full is not a safe idea. Provide your child with a tire pressure gauge, and show him how to use it properly. Make sure he is aware of the ideal tire pressure level for his type of vehicle.
Understand How To Use Jumper Cables
Jumper cables can be a lifesaver, especially for people with used vehicles and older car batteries. Provide your child with jumper cables, and teach him how to use them the right way. Also, consider purchasing a jumpstart box, which runs on a battery. To use the box, no help is required from a strange motorist in another vehicle – a feature that is sure to grant nervous parents better sleep at night.
Carry a Cell Phone at All Times
Most kids are literally joined at the hip with their cell phones, but it bears reminding: a cell phone can be a lifesaver in the event of an auto emergency. Not only should your student keep his cell phone charged and stocked with minutes, he should also program emergency numbers into his contact list, including a local mechanic and a towing company.
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