If you have a child, it’s inevitable that one day they are going learn to drive and end up wanting to borrow the keys to your car. Of course they are going to go to a driving school, and you may show them a thing or two in an abandoned parking lot. However, their automotive education should end there. It’s a very good idea to cover basic car care tips. Owning a car means more than learning how to get from point A to point B, it also entails knowing how to keep your car running, and knowing how to fix and prevent problems.
“What do you mean I have to change my oil?”
I’m surprised at how many new drivers think that their car operates via some kind of magic and rarely give a second thought to how the thing actually works. Changing the oil is a prime example. Young drivers may go way too long between oil changes, if they even change it at all. A good plan is for you, the driving parent, to walk them around the car and show them under the hood and explain to them how things work. Here’s some good things to teach them.
- Explain that all cars, new and old, need regular attention. Make sure your teenager knows and follows the maintenance schedule for her car. In addition to making a car safe to drive, preventive maintenance can save thousands of dollars during a lifetime of driving.
- Don’t overlook the owner’s manual. This is full of information about the car that your young driver may never know unless he is familiar with this automotive bible.
- Make it fun. There are myriad sites on the Internet that are fascinating for young and old drivers alike. Some have Q & A sections. Let your teen send the tough questions to the professionals.
- It’s probably been a while since they went on a field trip. Take them with you to the repair facility, the tire store, the body shop and wherever you have automotive work performed. Get them accustomed to the automotive world-its people, places, jargon and prices.
- There are hundreds of books available on this subject. Many are written specifically for non-technical audiences; some are even humorous. Buy a few and make them required reading for the licensing process.
- Make a plan. What happens if the car breaks down, your child has a wreck, or the car gets stolen? What if no adults are home to receive the panic call? Whether you want your teenager to call your family repair facility or Aunt Sadie, give some instruction and put important phone numbers in the glove compartment. [Source: Midas.com]
If you plan on doing any repairs at home, it’s a really good idea to have your new driver help with that service. It give you the opportunity show them the things that you are doing to repair the car. Of course, it goes without saying that, if your teen driver has proved themselves responsible enough to have their own car, swing by Freeman Grapevine and check out our used car selection.