For some, back to school is already here and for others, the day of unzipped backpacks and rushed mornings is looming on the horizon. As exciting as going back to school is and as much as we all try to stick to a semblance of a routine, life happens; and our cars are the first to pay for it. Whether you’re rushing to school, or heading to practice most can agree the school year is split between the commute in the classroom.
In order to best prepare for the year ahead we have compiled a quick list of tips in order to get you and your car ready for the school year.
Clean Your Vehicle
Even though it’s not very glamorous or exciting, it’s important to clean out your vehicle before taking the kids to school. Once the dismissal bell rings on the first day of school, your kids will emerge with backpacks full of papers, snack wrappers, and other items that may end up stashed in your vehicle.
In addition to picking up all the trash, get out a shop or hand-held vacuum and clean the floorboards and upholstery. You and your kids will feel good starting the school year with a clean slate. If you start with a tidy van or car, maybe you can keep it that way for a day or two.
When was the last time you had your vehicle’s oil changed? If it’s been a while, go ahead and let us change the oil before school starts. While it’s in the shop, ask the technicians to check your car’s other fluids including windshield wiper solution, coolant, and brake fluid. Replenishing these fluids keeps your car in good shape to deliver optimal performance for school drop off and pick up. The night before school begins, don’t forget to fill up on gas.
Few things dampen the after-school grumpies like a healthy snack. When you prepare your car for the back-to-school routine, create a snack stash. Be sure to store the treats in a container so they don’t get squished. Because many kids leave school feeling rather hungry, it’s best to stock your car with high-protein snacks such as beef jerky and peanut butter crackers. Other healthy options include dried fruit, applesauce in squeezable pouches, and trail mix. Avoid chocolate and any other snacks that tend to melt and create a mess in your vehicle.
Take advantage of trays, pouches, and organizers that fit neatly into the small spaces of your car. By arranging in specific places the items that need to stay in the car, you’ll have an easier time finding these necessities. Make sure you have an adequate supply of essential items on hand including tissues, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, pens, pencils, chapstick, and loose change.
Get a Survival Kit
It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry. Make sure you have a set of jumper cables, a first aid kit, and a roadside triangle reflector. Also be prepared based on the season, during the winter make sure you’re ready with cold clothing gear and in the summer stash a battery operated fan in the back.
There you have it, our five tips to get you ready to brave the year. We can’t promise everything will go perfectly, but we can promise if you follow these you will at least be prepared for whatever challenge life throws at you today.