It’s that time again, when summer is winding down and parents are thinking about kids going back to school. For some families, that means sending kids back to college dorms with a second hand or older car. It’s important to do regular maintenance on any car, but parents worry about their kids going off to college with the car and don’t want them to have to worry about car trouble or getting stranded. That’s especially true in Arizona where temperatures can be extreme and getting stranded could be dangerous.
About two thirds of teen drivers are “clueless” or have “average” knowledge when it comes to basic car maintenance, according to a parental survey released Wednesday that was conducted by AutoMD.com, an automotive repair website. Two in three teens don’t know how to change a flat tire, check or change the oil, or jumpstart a battery, according to the survey. They are also unable to identify basic car parts or perform emergency roadside repairs. According to the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association, only 15 percent of public school students take driver’s education classes in high school, compared to 95 percent of students in the 1970s. Though most states require students to pass a driver’s ed class before obtaining a license, a majority of teens attend private driving schools. As states and counties face budget cuts, the subject has largely disappeared from high school curricula nationwide.
John Herring of Stamps Auto works with his clients to get their cars ready for the back-to-school season so that they can have some peace of mind as they wave goodbye to their college kids in the Fall. He knows that not every family can afford a new car, and that choices about which mechanical and maintenance items must be done right away for safety and which can wait awhile while they save up for repairs need to be made. Rather than taking an impersonal approach, he coaches Stamps Auto technicians not only to inspect each car, even if it was only brought in for a routine oil change, but to educate families before problems arise.
In addition to the standard oil change, one of the simplest pieces of advice that Herring offers parents to find and read the car’s manual. “The manual can be very helpful in understanding when to do different types of routine maintenance on the car,” he says.
In Arizona, one of the common items that need to be replaced more often than in other climates is the battery. Due to the extreme heat, Herring explains, car batteries in Arizona don’t last as long. He says, “It’s important to check the battery, there is nothing worse than going outside to start the car and finding that the battery doesn’t work and the car won’t start, even with a jump.”
Client Stacey Berklan says, “I just moved to Gilbert and Stamps is my new shop for everything on the family vehicles. They do great work, are friendly, and the price can’t be beat. I really appreciate the individual care and how they explained the issues, what can be done, and made suggestions instead of trying to sell me a bunch of services I didn’t need.” Taking the car in and having all of the systems inspected for potential problems before sending kids back to school in the Fall should buy parents some extra piece of mind.
For more information about Stamps Auto visit their website at: http://stampsautomotive.com/. The Gilbert store is located at 2450 S. Higley Rd., Gilbert, AZ. To make an appointment call (480) 988-5600.