What Does Your Teen Know About Car Maintenance?

Teaching your Teens; more than “gas and go” with your car

When the average teen gets a car all they know how to do is add gas and go. That’s why many of them burn up the engine or the clutch and end up standing on the side of the road or shopping for an inexpensive used engine. To be fair, it’s often not their fault. As parent, we don’t always think to take the time to show our young drivers the things they need to do to keep their cars in good running order. Driver’s education courses teach them about operating the car safely, but there is no organized system for teaching teens basic car care.

When you toss those keys to your new driver, it would be advised to also give him or her a few pointers about car maintenance. A check list, per se, that they can go through every time they gas up the car. Make it simple, yet stress the importance of going through the check list so they can avoid costly repairs and prolong the life of their car. Below is a sample list to go over with your teen driver.

1. How to check the oil levels and recognize any leaks. (Oil should be changed every 3 months or 3,000 miles).

2. Identify all fluids under the hood, how to check levels and know when to top off.

3. What to listen or feel for to know when it’s time for a tune up.

4. Tire pressure recommendations; how to use a tire gauge to check it and how to add air or take some out.

5. How to change a battery, charge it up or jump start it.

6. How often to have belts and hoses replaced.

7. What to do when the check engine light comes on.

8. How to read the dashboard temperature gauge and what to do if the car begins to run hot.

9. What to do if smoke or strange noises are coming from under the hood.

10. How to examine a tire, what to look for and how change a flat tire.

Driving their own car is an exciting experience for young drivers. However if they are not taught basic car maintenance they could be stuck on the side of the road with their hood up or looking for someplace with a good price on used engines to get their ride back on the road. As adults, we all love our young drivers and want them to be safe. Take the time today to ensure they know what to do to keep their car zooming safely around town.