Guest Blog from AAA: Car Care 101 for College Students

by Chris Bjorklund

Teach Students Four Simple Things Don’t let your student drive off to college in a vehicle they have no idea how to maintain. AAA Northern California recommends parents have a talk with their students before sending them off to college about the four major things they need to do to care for their car. “Not only does a well-maintained vehicle provide safe, reliable transportation for their student, it also prolongs the life of the vehicle and saves money,” says Matt Skryja, AAA Northern California spokesperson. Ideally, learning how to care for a car is part of learning how to drive, but it is never too late to help your student learn the basics of car care. The four main areas of car care are checking and maintaining tires; knowing the maintenance schedule; finding a repair facility near the college; and preparing for roadside emergencies. -Check and maintain tires. Tires are the only thing that stands between a student and a crash. They are the easiest to check and maintain but frequently are forgotten until something goes wrong. Make sure your student has a tire pressure gauge in the vehicle and knows how to use it. -Know the maintenance schedule. Performing the manufacturer’s regularly scheduled maintenance will extend the vehicle’s life and ward off costly repairs. Make sure the owner’s manual is in the glove box and explain the recommended maintenance schedule found in it. -Find a repair facility near college. Even if the student is not far away from home, it is a good idea to locate a repair facility they can trust close to the college for an unexpected repair. Help the student choose a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility at Consider accompanying them to the shop if possible. -Prepare for roadside emergencies. It is important to prepare students and their vehicles for a breakdown or other roadside emergency – especially if they are attending college far away and cannot call home for help. Provide your student with AAA membership and remind them to always carry their AAA card. Make sure the vehicle has a well-stocked roadside emergency kit as well as an inflated spare tire in good condition. “Remind your student that their AAA card isn’t just for emergency road service,” said Skryja. “They can get discounts at hundreds of retailers and restaurants all over the country. Visit or for details.” AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to nearly 4 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.