Across America, students are jumping in their cars and driving back to class. What better way to send your students back to school than to arm them with proper car care knowledge and a well-maintained vehicle?
The following tips will help educate drivers about car care and safety basics - an important part of every young driver's education.
* Check the fluids. Ensure that the vehicle's main fluids are routinely checked and filled to recommended levels. The main fluids are: antifreeze/coolant, brake fluid, window washer fluid, engine oil, automatic transmission fluid, power steering fluid and gas.
* Pay attention to the tires. Stopping on wet roads can take up to four times longer than on dry surfaces. Plus, if the tire tread is worn, the tires may hydroplane, or skim over the road with little or no traction. Help avoid this situation by checking tires regularly.
Properly inflate all four tires, plus your spare, to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended levels. Tires can lose up to 1 pound of air pressure per square inch per month. Use an accurate tire gauge to check tire air pressure monthly and only do it when the car is cool - meaning when it has been driven less than 1 mile or has not moved in at least three hours.
To check the tires' tread, perform this simple test in several areas of the tire: Place a U.S. penny into a tread groove with Lincoln's head facing down. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, the tire should be replaced.
* Consider the owner's manual the "textbook" for learning about the vehicle. Follow the vehicle manufacturer's maintenance schedule in the owner's manual or pick up a free schedule at your local Firestone Complete Auto Care center.
* Be ready for emergencies. Keep an emergency kit in your car for any unexpected breakdowns or accidents.