If your teen is headed to college with their car and you know they won't be home to have their vehicle serviced or maintained for months, there are some things you should do before they take off. You want to know that the car is safe, and you can prevent problems with simple maintenance.

Checking the oil before they go won't be enough; you need to take the vehicle to the shop. Here are some things that you want to have done, even if your child won't be driving a lot while living at college.

Fresh Brake Pads

If the brakes aren't 100 percent when your teen leaves, and if the pads are starting to wear, replace them before your teen lets them wear down to the rotors. You don't know if your teen is going to do a lot of stop-and-go driving on campus or in traffic, or how much wear the brakes will get. Visit a brake repair shop to have the pads replaced and rotors checked before your teen leaves so you don't have to worry about their safety, and then you can check the brakes again when your teen returns home.

Tire Rotation

A tire rotation and balance can help extend the life of the tires on the car, and it will help with traction and vehicle control. Have the tires rotated, inspected and balanced to make sure that there won't be any flats or other problems while your teen is away, and make sure that the spare in the car is in good condition as well.

Fluid Change and Tune-Up

Have all the fluids in the car changed before your teen leaves so you know they are clean and topped off. If the car sits for a long time in a parking lot, the fluids could become diluted from condensation, so starting with new, clean fluid is important. The mechanics will check for any leaks or potential problems, and you may want to have your teen add fuel stabilizer if the vehicle will sit for days at a time without using any gas.

If you don't want to stress about the condition of the vehicle or your teen taking care of the car when they head off to college, talk with a local auto shop and have the above things checked out. This way, the car is maintained and you don't have to worry about getting it inspected until your teen returns in the weeks or months ahead for break.