Article provided by AAA’s Discounts & Rewards Partner: NAPA Auto Parts

Whether your child is going back to college or heading off for their first year, getting them ready for the time away can be a nerve-racking experience. As a parent you worry about their safety, and that should definitely include the car that’s taking them so far from home. Here are some preemptive car maintenance tips to make sure they get where they’re going safely:

AAA Emergency Kit

Safety Gear

On their way to school or during the year, your child is bound to have car trouble at some point, so you’ll want to verify that they have a roadside emergency kit, a flashlight and a quality car jack. Make sure that they know how operate the jack safely and change a tire on their own, and ensure the car has a stocked first aid kit. It’s also not a bad idea to familiarize them with the vehicle’s owner’s manual, so they’re ready should a more challenging problem arise down the line.

Man updating documents

Updated Papers

Just as easily as a flat tire or dead battery, your child may encounter a traffic ticket or worse, an accident. Check that the vehicle’s registration and insurance paperwork is up to date and that your child knows where it is and what it looks like, so they can easily provide that information if needed. This is also a good time to go over what to do if they’re pulled over or in an accident. Things like getting the vehicle off to the side of the road, providing the aforementioned information and taking pictures of any damage are all crucial points to reinforce.
Close up view charge the battery phone in car. Place the mobile smart phone in the car. transportation and vehicle concept.

Tech Center

Sometimes car trouble doesn’t mean a breakdown or incident. Your child could find themselves heading to a concert or to visit some friends and need to charge their phone or even help with directions. Make sure they have a charger for their phone and a navigation system or app, if their vehicle doesn’t come equipped with one in the dash.
Male person is mounting snow chains to a car tire. There is a green shovel next to him.

In A Jam

Since they’ll be gone for the better part of the year and through the fall and winter months, preparing them and their vehicle for any type of weather is vital. Keep a plastic tub in the trunk of the car supplied with an ice scraper, folding shovel, matches or a lighter, a couple bottles of water, some sand or kitty litter and a spare change of clothes. If they’re ever stuck on the side of the road in a snow storm, these items will come in handy. It’s also a good idea to have them keep a small amount of cash or a credit gift card in the glove box, just in case they run out of gas and don’t have any money on them.

AAA Is Here To Help!

Sending your children to college will always be a stressful experience. For the first time in their lives, they’re going off without you, so it’s even more important to give them the tools they need in case they run into trouble, especially in their vehicle. It is easy to maintain a vehicle at home where the tools and workspace are plentiful, but finding a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility nearby school campus is a great maintenance solution.

Have peace of mind knowing that AAA has your college student protected – even when they’re away from home.