Learning how to drive a car is a fun experience for teenagers – it gives them the freedom to go wherever they want, have fun with their friends and be more independent. As much as they might enjoy their new freedom, they are obligated to learn how to deal with different problems and situations that might arise. In order to prepare them properly, parents need to teach them the basics of car maintenance. Here is what we, as parents, can do to help our teenagers be more responsible with their car.
Checking the engine oil
Engine oil is something our cars can’t do without. Keeping oil at proper levels is imperative for long engine life and a functional car. It is of crucial importance to teach your child when they should change the oil. What kind of oil is used on their car is another thing you should talk about with them. Explain why it’s important to check the oil and make sure it’s full, and tell them that the colour of the oil should be black or brown. They need to know that if there are some strange bits and pieces inside the oil, they ought to take the car to the mechanic and let them have a look.
Changing a tyre
Having a flat tyre is something your teenager needs to be prepared for. It can happen anytime, anyplace and they need to know what they should do in such a stressful, yet common situation. Make sure they know how to apply safety measures, like parking in a safe area of the road and using safety reflectors. They should be familiar with the tools they need to use in order to change the tyre – first, they need to remove the old one by operating a car jack, where to find the spare tyre and how to successfully get the spare tyre on. The quality of the tyres also plays a big role in how the car is going to perform. Equip the car with high-quality tires like Toyo tyres, making sure your teenager can drive with confidence.
Refilling the windshield fluid
Having enough fresh windshield fluid is necessary for facing different weather conditions. Your teenager needs to know how to refill the windshield washer fluid, even though it’s one of the easier car maintenance tasks they have to deal with. Not having a clear windshield can cause a lot of problems, so make sure they use proper windshield fluids depending on the kind of weather they’re driving in. For summer, they’ll need bug wash, and they should use a de-icer when the colder days strike. Throughout the year, they can go with an all-in-one product just to be on the safe side.
Inflating the tyres
Proper tyre inflation is crucial for driving safely. Underinflated tyres can cause you a lot of troubles and they reduce the overall durability of the tyres. That means by checking the tyre pressure and making sure the tyres are inflated, just once per month, can make the tyres last longer and avoid dangerous situations. Teach them how to use a digital tyre gauge to measure the tyre inflation pressure and make sure they know they should do it when the tyres are cold since they heat up when they drive. Tell them to refer to the information they got from measuring the pressure and compare them with the specified amount recommended by the manufacturer. They can use the readings on the digital gauge as a guide for when they need to inflate their tyres.
Washing the car
One of the easiest car maintenance tasks to be dealt with, washing the car at home shouldn’t be that big of a deal for your teenagers. Their car should be parked in the shade, and they can start washing the car when the engine is cold. First, they need to spray down the whole car with cool water. They should try to remove everything with water first. After that comes the scrubbing part – using a sponge, they need to start from the top of the car. It is recommended to use car wash detergent since it is gentler on the car finish. Tell them to use the towels to dry the car to prevent water spots. For the end, they can use tyre lubricant in order to get shiny tyres as a finishing touch.
Teaching your child some basic car maintenance skills is crucial when they’re just starting to drive. Cover all the car basics to make sure your teenager acts as a responsible driver while they enjoy their new freedom that comes with getting their driver’s license.