Summer is winding down, and millions of American parents will see their kids off to college this fall. 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 [www.repairpal.com (http://repairpal.com/)] — a nationwide network of certified, pre-screened repair shops on a mission to help you find a fair price for quality work — have a critical checklist for your teens and young adults:
1. HELP THEM FIND A MECHANIC NEAR THE COLLEGE
You'll need to find a trustworthy and safe local mechanic, but walking into the first shop that you find on Google in a new city is like rolling the dice. Teach them to do their homework by searching for a shop with certified technicians who will make sure your 'baby' is in safe hands.
2. TEACH THEM THE 'MAGIC NUMBER'
Teach them to research average repair prices before they have to visit any shop for repairs and tell them to beware of any prices much higher or lower than the average (which may signal low quality parts or potential over billing).
3. KEEP THEIR CAR FULLY STOCKED
Make sure your kid's car is fully equipped with the following safety materials:
- An inflated spare tireA tire iron
- The car manual
- A spare key
- Materials for cold weather driving, like blankets, gloves, and tire chains (if necessary)
4. TEACH THEM ABOUT WARRANTIES
Because a poorly-executed repair could put them back in the shop just weeks later, they should always choose a shop that offers an excellent warranty in case anything goes wrong. RepairPal independently certifies auto repair shops nationwide for superior training, quality tools, fair pricing and a minimum 12-month/12,000-mile warranty.
5. REMIND THEM OF THE GAS LAW
Their gas gauge should never go below a quarter tank - it shortens the life of the fuel pump and they'll be in for costly repairs down the road. Teach them the importance of caring for their gas tank, particularly if they're traveling in bad weather or on a long road trip. RepairPal is a great option for students in that it also offers roadside assistance in case they're ever in trouble.