With the school year in full swing, I have been spending the past few weeks prepping for the long road ahead (literally and figuratively). For many moms like myself, once school is back in session we often revert to what I like to call “after-school activity” mode. Scheduling, carpooling and time management can get overwhelming with a slew of activities kids can choose from these days. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love that my child is involved and active, but for us moms it can definitely be a struggle to manage time with a growing list of obligations.
One thing that helps ease the stress for me is knowing that my car is in good shape. Nothing is worse than being on your way to your kid’s soccer tournament and finding yourself stranded on the side of the road. That disappointing stare in the rearview mirror is one I certainly try to avoid.
To that end, I’ve created a simple list of tips you can follow to ensure your vehicle can keep up with your family’s busy schedule.
Regular oil changes: Be sure to take your car in to your preferred oil change location every 5,000 miles. This quick visit can easily become a part of your regular maintenance routine helping you avoid future engine problems while giving you better gas mileage. Be sure to check your local ads for the best deals in your area!
Having a solid emergency kit: A well-rounded emergency kit can help ease your worries if you ever find yourself on the side of the road or stranded with a dead battery. Here is what I like to keep in my emergency kit:
- Jumper cables
- Basic tools (wrench and screw driver)
- Cooling system repair product in case of an overheated engine — I like to use the Bar’s Leaks Cooling System Repairbecause it provides a quick and easy fix.
- Tow rope…you never know when you or a fellow driver might need a little help getting out of a tough situation.
Learn how to change your own tire: Flat tires are simply frustrating. They are unavoidable and time-consuming, but being able to change your own tire can save you some much-needed time and money. This handy She Knows article walks you through the process, step by step!
Give your car a quick boost: Just like us moms, our cars can get worn out from all the back-and-forth driving, especially the fuel systems. Giving it a proven cleaner/conditioner is a great way to ensure your car is performing at its best. I like to keep a few bottles of Rislone Complete Fuel System Treatment in my garage. I use a bottle every 3,000-5,00 miles – I simply pour it into my gas tank to make sure I’m maximizing my car’s performance and mileage.
Change air filters: Replacing your air filters once a year will help keep dirt and debris out of your engine to ensure better performance, longer engine life and better gas mileage.
Spot a Leak, Fix a Leak: If you start to see fluid dripping on your driveway, make sure you fix it before it festers and becomes a dangerous problem. It can be hard to tell where your leak is coming from or what exactly is causing your car to leak. That’s why I like to refer to this quick 3 Minute Mechanic tool, which helps me find the best product for my leak. Not to mention, you can avoid a trip to the mechanic!
Bonus Tip: An extra tip from my friend Mary that all of us should keep in mind:
“I always keep an extra stash of singles, fives and twenties in a secret spot in my car for when the kids ‘suddenly’ remember that they need money for that bake sale, club activity, game, etc.”
Hopefully these tips will help all moms on-the-go ease the stress that comes with the busy school year. Keeping a strong maintenance routine will ensure you can make it to all your kids’ after school activities and more!