With diplomas in hand, graduates are getting into their cars and heading out into the world. They are ready to tackle the world of independence.

But wait. Before they stuff their car and hit the road, is their car as ready as they are? Talk to your graduate about car maintenance and safety.


  1. Preventable Maintenance: Our General Manager always says an oil change is cheaper than a new engine. Getting your car serviced every 3,000 to 5,000 miles can keep your car running and saves on costly repairs. Remind them to check with their car manual to know what services are recommended by the manufacturer on their specific vehicle, this will also help to keep the car on the road and out of the shop.
  2. Emergency Supplies: No matter how well you try to keep your car in tip-top shape, emergencies will happen. Let them know that they should have some emergency supplies such as jumper cables, a blanket, a spare tire, and flares in the event that it takes a while for help to arrive.
  3. Dashboard Lights: Don’t ignore the lights on your dashboard for long. If a check engine light or low tire pressure sensor appears, call your local repair facility to get it checked out. The longer you ignore the light, the larger the repair cost could be.
  4. Auto Club Card: Emergencies happen and when they do you want to make sure that your graduate has a professional who can change a tire, jump a battery or provide tow service to ensure they can get home safely. Before you purchase a card, check with your insurance carrier to see if they provide this service within your coverage. If not, a card is a low annual expense that provides both peace-of-mind and discounts.
  5. Find a Reputable Facility: This can be tricky in a new city. You can turn to social media, ask for a referral, your friends will tell you. But if you don’t have any good recommendations, ask the technician or service manager to show you the part that needs to be replaced. A good auto shop will show you your clogged air filter or warn out brakes. Not everything that needs replacing is apparent to the car owner; a good shop will try to explain the process.


Car maintenance and safety is probably one of the last life lessons you will teach your graduate. Knowing that you have given them the tools to get them safely where they are going will give you peace of mind when their car pulls out of your driveway. Congratulations, you did it, you’ve raised a graduate.