As your loved one begins the new college semester, encourage them to brush up on their car maintenance knowledge. According to a recent article from,  failing to maintain your vehicle properly can result in hefty repair bills – an unwelcome notion to many college students.

In addition to unwanted costs, Bankrate explains that when you put off routine car maintenance you are not only putting yourself at risk for a wreck, but also reducing your car’s lifespan. In fact, you can reduce a vehicle’s lifespan by an estimated 50,000 miles according to Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor at

Understanding car care can be intimidating. These four basics are a good place for your co-ed to start. To remember them all, just think of CAR U!

Change the wiper blades (and fill the fluid)

Wiper blades can be easy to change and can help drivers see clearly in incremental weather conditions. And don’t forget about washer fluid! Matthew Wright, Auto Contributor at, says washer fluid plays a crucial role in keeping a windshield clean in the summer and ice-free in the winter.

Air in the tires

Keeping your tires inflated at their optimal level can help avoid flat tires and improve fuel economy. In fact, according to, gas mileage can increase over 3.3% when tires are properly inflated. The recommended pressure is commonly listed inside the driver’s door and has a great how-to guide for checking your air pressure.

Rotate the tires

Why do tires need to be rotated? advises that tire rotation helps tires wear evenly, which can improve vehicle handling and extend the life of the tires. Not sure how to tell normal tire wear from abnormal? This article from Yahoo! Autos is a great resource.

Understand YOUR maintenance schedule

A recent article by AAA notes that it’s important for college students to follow their vehicle’s maintenance schedule. Simple maintenance such as oil changes, replacing brake pads and changing the air filter can help avoid costly repairs down the road.

Remember, if you or your student has any questions or isn’t sure where to go for car maintenance, a local dealer is always available to help.