As the school year begins, we know that parents, teachers, and students are gearing up for a fresh start. Among shopping for school supplies and new clothes, don’t forget to add car maintenance to your ‘back to school’ to-do list. Whether you’re a student driver, a teacher, or a parent dropping off kids at school, a reliable car is crucial. Here are some important items to include on your back-to-school checklist:

Check Your Vehicle’s Engine Oil
Ensure your engine oil is at the correct level. Regular oil changes are essential for optimal engine performance. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific recommendations on when to change the oil, as it can vary based on factors like oil type and driving habits.

Inspect Your Brakes
Brakes are a critical safety feature. Test them during your next drive to ensure they stop your car effectively. Listen for unusual noises like squeaking or grinding, as these can indicate issues. Even if your brakes seem fine, periodic checks and brake pad replacements are recommended.

Check Fluid Levels
Keep an eye on various fluids, including windshield washer fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. Check and change windshield washer fluid yourself but consult your owner’s manual for guidance on other fluids. Some may require professional attention.

Prepare an Emergency Car Kit
If you don’t already have one, assemble an emergency kit for your car. While it doesn’t need to be elaborate, it should include essentials like jumper cables, first-aid supplies, and ensure your jack and spare tire are in good condition.

These simple steps will help ensure your car is in excellent condition as you kick off a new school year.