Walk through any of the local stores and you will see the signs of back to school are everywhere. Backpacks and lunch boxes for the little ones and extra-long twin sheets for the dorm-bound college student. Along with all this busyness, getting your vehicles ready for students can be overlooked. College kids leaving with an older car and new drivers preparing for their first year of driving to school. Moms and Dads also have more driving ahead with school events, sports and music practice, etc. Before the college student leaves, get the oil changed, check the tires and have an inspection done for any needed maintenance. I recommend asking your service advisor about anything that may cause issues before the car returns home later in the Fall. Make sure your student knows how to handle certain scenarios. Car break downs, new noises, and changes in the way the vehicle drives are things that have to be addressed. Make sure they have a local towing company’s number. Ask around about a local repair facility BEFORE you need one. Ask your local repair facility if they have any recommendations; they may know of a good repair shop in your student's college town. Make sure they have a spare tire and know how to change it. They should also know how to check their oil. If they don't, have them stop by and a technician can show them the fine points of this skill. You can't prepare for everything, but it is reassuring to know your child in college has the tools necessary to handle a vehicle situation. And with the cost of tuition, having them miss any school because of a car issue is not something any parent wants to have happen!