“School days, school days. Dear old golden rule days.” Parents, teachers, and students… we know you’re excited for the start of a brand new school year! Along with buying school supplies and new clothes, car maintenance should be high on your ”back to school” to-do list. Whether you are a student driver, a teacher, or a parent dropping your kids off at school every day, a reliable car is important. We’ve gathered a few important items to jot down on your back to school checklist. 

Check your vehicle’s engine oil. We’ll start off with an extremely basic item to mark off your list. Keeping your oil at the correct level is vital to your engine performance, and you’ll want to have it changed regularly. There is conflicting advice on how often you should change your engine oil. We suggest always referring to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific recommendations. The intervals at which you change it will also depend on the type of oil you’re using and your daily driving habits. 

Check your brakes. Brakes are one of the most important safety features on your car, so you’ll want to be sure they are working properly. The next time you head out, give them a little test. Do they stop your car quickly? Do you hear any strange noises when pressing them, like squeaking or grinding? If so, that’s a good sign that it’s time to have them checked. Even if you do not notice any issues, you’ll want to have your brake pads replaced and rotors check out periodically to keep them working correctly. 

Check your fluid levels. There are several fluids you want to keep an eye on, including windshield washer fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. Your windshield wiper fluid is simple to check and change on your own, but the others may require a professional. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will provide specific recommendations on when these fluids should be checked and changed. 

Emergency car kit. If you don’t have one already, go ahead and pack an emergency kit for your car. This kit doesn’t have to be elaborate, but a few key items will be important if you ever break down on your way to school. Be sure to include jumper cables, first-aid items, and ensure your jack and spare tire are in good shape. 

These items will help get your car in tip-top shape before the hustle and bustle of a new school year begins. We hope everyone has a great school year!