Not every student brings a car to college, however, it’s nice to have one when you need to go home during breaks and to visit the store. While you can probably get to your classes by walking or taking public transportation—the freedom to drive wherever you want is nice to have while attending college. Unfortunately, cars tend to break down, and you’re probably not always in the best position to dish out money for repairs. Here are some important car caring tips for college students when money is tight.
It’s easy to neglect your car in the student parking lot, but one of the easiest ways to maintain your car is to wash it. Whether you take it through a cheap car wash, or do it yourself, you don’t want to ruin your car by letting it sit and potentially start rusting.
Check your oil
Another one of our car caring tips for college students is to check your oil frequently. No, or little, oil in your car can cause serious damage to your engine and lead to an expensive fix. Check your dipstick at least once a month to see if you need to add any oil. Keep an eye on your mileage as well. This will let you know when to get your next oil change.
Watch your tires
You should look at your tires from time to check they’re in good shape. Focus on the tire pressure, and make sure there is enough air in them. You can do this by using a gauge to see if the tire pressure is good.
The best way to avoid spending money on gas, and beating your car up, is to carpool and walk as much as possible. When you’re in college, you’re surrounded by many people who may have their own cars, and a car pool could cut down on how often you drive. Many college towns also have stores within walking distance, so you can avoid using your car whenever possible by opting to walk instead.
Fix it yourself
When you’re a student, chances are you don’t have the money to get problems fixed. Small damages like scratches and bumps can usually be fixed on your own —which is much cheaper than going to a mechanic. This also gives you the opportunity to learn about fixing cars on your own, which is a good skill to gain.
Get work done before going back to school
If you have major repairs that need to be done, and you’ve got a little money in your pocket from that summer job, get them fixed before heading back to school. You don’t want to get in a situation where something breaks in the middle of the semester and you don’t have the funds to handle the cost.