College Car Prep 101: 4 Things Every Freshman Should Know

teen cars

Summer is winding down, and millions of new drivers will be taking their parents’ old ride or a used car back to school. But beyond financial tips, what do kids need to know about their cars so that they don’t end up stranded on a dark and lonely road?

The car repair experts at RepairPal —a nationwide network of over 1700 certified, pre-screened repair shops on a mission to help you find a fair price for quality work—have an important (and easy to remember) checklist for teens and young adults:

1. Always keep fuel level above a quarter tank.
When the gas gauge goes below a quarter tank, it shortens the life of the fuel pump, and that means costly repairs down the road.

2. Properly inflate tires to improve gas mileage by up to 3%.
When tires are not properly inflated, fuel efficiency drops. Plain and simple: more money wasted on gas means less money for study dates and late-night pizza.

3. Rotate tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles to save the suspension.
Forgetting to rotate your car’s tires regularly causes them to wear out faster, and can damage the suspension, steering, and traction. This semester, switch up your tires so that you can cruise smoothly.

4. Find a reliable mechanic near the school.
Walking into the first shop that you find on Google is like rolling the dice. Try RepairPal’s Certified Shop Search and Fair Price Estimator and make sure you’re getting a fair price from a quality mechanic.