Every year right around this time, I like to write something about cars and going back to school for a big reason. In Sallie Mae’s “How America Pays for College 2014,” they found that around 54% of college students stay home and commute to school rather than live on campus. That number only grows when you factor in students who choose to live off-campus, but away from home and independent of mom and dad. To put it simply, if you have a college student, they’re probably driving.
In a world where missing class is not an option, it is crucial commuter students have a vehicle that can start up every time. It can be hard to keep a car maintained when your weekdays are full of classes. For that reason, I have always recommended a checkup and some light preventative maintenance for students getting ready to go back to school.
If there are any small issues, now is the time to address them. For example, do they have an oil change coming up? Consider going ahead and do it now so you don’t have to think about doing it again until they’re on break in December.
While all these small things are always worth considering, also ask for things like pre-trip inspections. While normally these are used to find any problems that would be dangerous on a long trip, they’re great for catching things that, over the course of five months, could snowball, like radiator hose cracks or brakes getting low on life.