February 14, 2017

Caring for the college car

At the end of every college semester I get those calls from students.  "My car won't start and I need to leave for Texas tomorrow."

"Have you run your car every week, or has it pretty much just sat there all semester?"

"Ummm, pretty much just sat in the parking lot."

Our vehicles, like our bodies, need exercise to stay healthy.  I'm not sure why we have this thing in our brains that tells us if we let our car sit, it won't get worn out.  Maybe a parade car needs to sit more often, but even it needs exercise to run properly on parade day.

My advise to all college students:  Drive your vehicle at least two times a week for at least 10 miles one way to let it get good and warmed up and the battery charged.  Not in-town driving, but on-the-road driving.  The battery does not get charged much if all you do is drive it in-town, and the mechanical stuff doesn't get good and warmed up to lubricate seals because they get dried out by just sitting.  If they will do this 2x a week the car will get exercise and if something is going to surface that will leave them stranded for returning home at the end of semester, it most likely will show up before they need it to go home.  Then they can schedule it for repairs and it will be ready for the trip home.

If you are one of those parents that is afraid something might happen if they are driving their car around, then don't send them to college with a car.  Let them earn money to buy their own, so they value it more.

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