The Car Care Council recently offered suggestions on vehicle care to ensure the safety of drivers with newly acquired licenses. Whether they're going to and from school, driving to college or carpooling with other families, maintaining a car properly ensures the safety of its passengers.

"When your passengers are your children and their classmates, making sure your car gets more than a passing grade is extra important," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "A preventive maintenance check-up and having any repairs performed will give parents peace of mind as their children travel to and from school."

The council says that in order to receive high marks in safety and dependability, a tune up must be performed to make sure all systems are working properly, including battery, charging and starting, engine mechanics, powertrain control, fuel, ignition and emissions.

Furthermore, the council suggests checking tires and tire pressure, brakes, hoses and belts, air filters, windshield wipers, lighting and a car's fluid levels, including, engine oil, power steering, transmission, brahs, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

The Car Care Council also named August as Brake Safety Awareness month, recommending a brake check to ensure safe vehicle operation as the most important system on a vehicles system checklist.

"A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle operation and control under a variety of conditions," White said. "It is important for motorists to be alert and recognize the signs and symptoms that their brake system may need maintenance or repair. Letting the brakes get to the 'metal-to-metal' point can be potentially dangerous and lead to a more costly repair bill."

The council goes on to say that even brakes with normal wear and tear are eventually going to need to be replaced. Numerous factors contribute to brake wear including the type of vehicle, driving habits, operating conditions and the quality of the material in the brake lining. Routinely checking brakes is essential to a car's safety and letting it get to the point where metal is on metal, can not only cost more to repair but could endanger passengers and other drivers on the road.

The council suggests a thorough brake inspection including, brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness, condition of hoses and brake lines, brake and dash warning lights at least once a year.