Back to School Checklist for Your Car
You know that school’s starting back up, which means that you’re going to be relying on your vehicle every day…not just to get the kids back and forth, but to get to the store, to soccer games and everything else that just seems to start picking up when school’s in session. You don’t want to end up stuck with a problem, so here’s a quick rundown of things you might want to check:
Battery: Is your battery still turning the engine over nice and fast when you turn the key? Even the best car batteries need to be replaced after 3-5 years, and often don’t offer much warning to let you know they are weakening. Check the date of the battery, located on the top of the battery case. Also it’s important to keep corrosion from forming on the battery posts and cable clamps; this fluffy greenish-white deposit can prevent the battery from charging or getting a good electrical ground.
Tires: It’s too easy to take tires for granted, but they’re your vehicle’s only contact point with the pavement. You might want to check your tread depth to ensure safety and traction in wet weather. Here’s a real handy way to do that: insert a penny, Lincoln’s head down, into the tire tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tires are worn past 2/32”, the minimum tread depth for safety. Try the same test with a quarter. Can you see the top of Washington’s head? That’s a depth of 4/32”. One more time with the penny – if the tread comes to the Lincoln Memorial, your tread depth is 6/32” and should be good for some time.
Motor oil: It’s the lifeblood of your engine. Motor oil should be checked monthly, at least, and should be changed at a 5,000 mile interval for conventional oil (10-12,000 miles for synthetic). If you can’t remember when your last oil change was, just pull the dipstick. Fresh motor oil should be honey-colored and translucent. Oil that’s darker but still translucent can go for awhile longer, but oil that’s the color of black coffee and has an acrid smell should be changed very soon.
There are quite a few more items for a back-to-school checklist, more than we can list here. Make an appointment with us at D. W. Campbell Tire & Auto Service and let us give your vehicle a good going-over!