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Making the Back-To-School car safe

AutoMD.com Helps Parents Make Sure Their Son’s or Daughter’s Back-to-School Car is Safe and Ready to Drive

AutoMDCarson, CA — Whether your back-to-school kid is driving to college or high school, it is important that his/her vehicle is in tip-top shape and, above all, safe to drive. Sadly, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens1, and neglected vehicle maintenance leads to 2,600 deaths annually and nearly 100,000 disabling injuries.2

With this sobering data in mind, AutoMD.com’s team of expert mechanics has released its Top Five DIY Checklist for the Back-to-School Car, along with some practical advice to help parents ensure their kid’s safety on the road — and their peace of mind at home.

Encourage vigilance about vehicle maintenance with your son/daughter.
Encourage vigilance about vehicle maintenance with your son/daughter.

AutoMD.com’s Top Five DIY Checklist for the Back-to-School Car

Running through this checklist with your son/daughter should help encourage vigilance about vehicle maintenance when you are not around. In all cases, if you are not sure the car is safe to drive, you should have it inspected by your trusted local repair shop before your son/daughter hits the road.

Check the Tires, Check the tire pressure.

The recommended tire pressure is listed on a sticker in the glove box or on the door jam. If one tire is lower than the others, there’s a good chance it has a leak and is in need of repair. 

(How to check tire pressure [1] / How to change a flat tire [2])

Check the Brakes

Check the Lights

Check Under the Hood

(How to replace a serpentine belt [6] / How to replace a radiator hose [7]/ How to replace an air filter [8] / How to replace a battery [9] / How to change your oil and filter [10])

Check the Glove Compartment

Make sure that the glove compartment has all the appropriate info and that it is easy to find, including: 

Vehicle Knowledge and Safe Driving Check

Once the vehicle has been checked out, AutoMD.com recommends that you go for a drive with your son/daughter to make sure he/she understand any quirks the vehicle might have — and how everything operates, from car alarm to cruise control to hazard lights to GPS system. Run through the different warning lights, what each indicates and how to respond (i.e., check oil, overheating, etc.).

Car emergency kitThis is also a great time to review basic safe driving and traffic rules and to reinforce the dangers and consequence of speeding, and drinking/texting/cell phoning and/or surfing while driving. Run through a safety and ‘what to do’ protocol for a breakdown or accident – and in the event he/she is pulled over by the police. Make sure the vehicle has some form of roadside assistance and is equipped with a toolkit, emergency kit, and flares, etc. And, if you can, teach your son/daughter how to change a tire (for guidance, check AutoMD.com’s How-to change a flat tire).

“Sending kids off to school in their own car is an important rite of passage… but one that can lead to sleepless nights for parents,” said AutoMD.com President Shane Evangelist. “At AutoMD.com, we believe that information is not only power, but it is security. By providing a checklist that encourages kids to really know and understand their vehicle, as well as a wealth of easily accessible maintenance and repair information online, we hope to help parents feel a little less anxious as that son or daughter drives off to school for the first time.”

About AutoMD.com

AutoMD.com™ (www.automd.com) [11], a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Auto Parts Network, Inc., (Nasdaq:PRTS), is the most comprehensive and unbiased free online auto repair resource [11] designed to empower car owners with the best way to repair their vehicles. Backed by a team of automotive data specialists and certified auto mechanics who are advocates for the car owner, AutoMD.com allows both car owners and DIYers to 1. Diagnose car problems [12], 2. Know how much auto repairs should cost [13], 3. Understand the steps needed and the time it should take with How-to Auto Repair guides [14], and 4. Find the right local auto repair shop [3] at the right price for their issue and 5. Get your auto repair questions [15] answered by the AutoMD.com community. AutoMD.com was named Best Automotive Website in the 8th annual American Business Awards, also known as the as the Stevie® Awards.

Unlike other repair sites, AutoMD.com does not rely on revenue from repair shops or dealerships, so car owners can rest assured that AutoMD.com repair shop listings are completely unbiased and designed to help car owners choose the best, most affordable shop for their vehicle issue.

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Online]. (2009). National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (producer). Available from: www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html [16]. [Cited 2009 Nov. 3rd].

2AAA Press Release www.aaanewsroom.net/main/Default.asp?CategoryID=7&ArticleID=310 [17]