As students prepare to head back to school, they may have remembered supplies, books and tuition, but what about a check-up of their vehicle?


According to a new study, mechanical or electrical failure (leaks, breaks, worn-out parts) caused 49 per cent of U.S. highway vehicle fires between 2003 and 2007.


This report also identifies teens and young adults as most likely to experience a vehicle fire death or injury.


Young adult drivers may want to add these basic auto maintenance tips to their back-to-school checklist.

An ounce of prevention
Have the vehicle inspected by a trusted professional automotive technician, especially before a long trip.

Start a habit
Each time you fill up your gas tank, inspect the auto’s fluid levels (oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid) and look for leaks and deteriorated lines/hoses.

Look down
Look at the ground where the car was parked to check for leaks see if any fluids are leaking.

Keep it clean
Have the engine degreased to cut down on the buildup of oil and grease.


Look, listen, and smell
Is the car trying to speak to you? Pay attention to noises, odors, and your car’s instrument panel. If you notice anything unusual, get it checked out by a technician immediately.

Ease up
During hot weather your vehicle can run hotter than usual. Avoid heavy stop-and-go traffic and aggressive driving habits.