Learning?to drive takes?more than understanding traffic laws and street signs. Vehicle maintenance is an important aspect of learning to drive and vehicle ownership that is often overlooked by?parents. In some cases, proper vehicle maintenance can mean the difference between avoiding a life-threatening accident or unsafe situation.
Here are ten car maintenance tasks every responsible parent should teach their teenage driver:
1) How to Change a Flat Tire
There are a lot of great tutorials online about changing a flat tire so we won?t go through the specifics, but the important thing to remember is that you don?t want your teenager changing his or her first flat tire on the side of the road with traffic buzzing past him or her. Give your teenager experience changing tires and with vehicle maintenance by rotating the tires at home in the garage or driveway. Changing a tire is quite?challenging the first time but pretty easy after that.
2) How to Check Your Oil
Understanding how to check oil levels, along with where the oil goes in and drains from the engine can help avoid problems with a vehicle that may be burning or leaking oil. Especially for vehicles over 5 years old. Show your teen the vehicle owner?s manual where you should be able to determine?the type and amount of oil needed and how often the oil should be changed. Check?the oil after the car has cooled down and use a paper towel or rag to wipe the dipstick clean. Show your teen where the oil level should show?on the dipstick.
3) How to Jump-Start a Vehicle
While jump starting a vehicle may not be a task that every teen can do safely and it can often be done by a roadside assistance professional, it?s hard to argue that a teen who was stranded somewhere with a dead battery after dark wouldn?t be better off knowing how to do it. Jump-starting a vehicle can be dangerous so we recommend you follow all safety precautions. If you?re concerned that your teen may have a hard time following the directions in the time of need you can always print off directions and keep them in the glove box.
4) How to Replace Windshield Wipers
You never know when your teenager may be in a storm with ineffective windshield wipers. Many teens will choose to drive in an unsafe situation if they don?t know how to fix it themselves but with the knowledge of how to replace wiper blades they’re far?more likely to replace those wiper blades in a time of need. It?s not very difficult, but most teens won?t know that until you show them how.
5) How to Add Wiper Fluid
Although a lack of wiper fluid might not seem like a matter of life or death, it?s such an easy thing to fix that it only makes sense for your teenager to understand how. There?aren?t many drivers who have never been in a situation where they were out of wiper fluid and could have used it for better visibility.
6) How to Check Coolant Levels
Coolant is something every motor vehicle needs to run and a shortage caused by a leak or other problem can cause dangerous and expensive engine damage. Show your teen where to find the coolant tank under the hood and how to check the levels. Your teenager should understand that driving with no coolant can be severely damaging to the engine and in most cases it?s safest to have the vehicle towed if it?s completely out of coolant.
7) How to Check Tire Pressure
Being?able to check your tire pressure may not be a life saving skill in most situations, but it?s very easy to do and?over or under-inflated tires can absolutely be a safety issue. Encourage your teen to check the vehicle owner?s manual for the proper tire pressure.
Teaching your teen simple maintenance tasks doesn?t just improve their safety, it also gets them involved in the responsibility of vehicle ownership which leads?to more responsible driving and increased safety. For more information about teen driving safety and how to save money on insurance with a new teen driver, contact your local Velox Insurance agency today or click here to get a quote.