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Back-To-School Vehicle Check

Summer vacation is coming to a close, and it’s important to make sure your vehicle is in the best condition possible for all of those school drops-offs, pick-ups, and “mom/dad-I-forgot-my-fill-in-the-blank’s.” Leif Johnson Ford is here to give you a rundown of what to check to ensure that your car is ready for back to school!


  • Check your oil level and condition of oil – Having little or no oil in your vehicle can cause serious damage. Oil keeps parts lubricated and protects against engine friction. This one is pretty basic, but also so important!
  • Headlights and brake lights – Burned out brake lights are dangerous and can get you a ticket, so it’s important to make sure that these are always in working order.
  • Brakes– If you are hearing any grinding, or if your vehicle doesn’t seem to be stopping efficiently enough, it’s time to get those brakes checked out. Brake pads need to be replaced and rotors need to machined periodically so that they wear evenly and brake smoothly.
  • Windshield Wipers and Windshield Wiper Fluid – Always check that you are able to quickly remove raindrops, bugs or other items from your windshield.
  • Test and clean battery – Batteries should be replaced on average every 4 years. Batteries usually give little to no warning that they are failing, so it’s important to check the date on the battery (located on top), and to clean corrosion off of battery posts and cables periodically.
  • Proof of insurance – If you have a driving student, make sure that they have proof of insurance in their vehicle. Roadside Assistance can also be added to a policy for $5 or less a month.
  • Tires – Check tires for under inflation and lack of traction. Under inflated tires put you at risk for a blowout, and lack of traction will have you slipping and sliding when the roads are slick. Don’t know how to check tread? We’ve got an easy tip for you! Grab a penny and put penny in the tread head down. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, your tire needs to be replaced.
  • Fluid levels – Coolant and transmission levels should be checked should be checked periodically to ensure that there is no leakage. Change coolant every 50k-100k miles(every 4 to 5 years) and make sure transmission fluid is flushed and filled every 40k-60k miles. Brake and power steering fluids should also be checked on and changed when needed.
  • Dashboard Lights – If there are any dashboard lights up that you haven’t quite had the time to get checked, make sure to figure out what these mean and fix the issue as soon as possible.
  • Jack and spare tire – Make sure that you have both of these items and that they are both in good shape! You never know when you might encounter one of those dreaded flats.
  • Emergency kit – Safety first! It is so important to always have an emergency kit in your vehicle. Make sure this includes jumper cables, plenty of water and current medications.

We hope this makes your back to school preparations just a little more simple, friends. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if we can help get your vehicle prepared for the new school year! Call us at 512-454-3711 to make an appointment today!


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