3 Lessons to Teach Your Teen About Car Maintenance

I don't own a car, nor do I foresee myself owning a car any time in the near future, but I do know that most readers of this blog probably do own at least one car, if not two. Hopefully you'll enjoy this post by a reader about things you can teach your kids about how to take car of your car; even I learned new things from this post.

As a mom, you hope to be a guiding example for your children in as many ways as possible. And since driving is such an integral and important part of your everyday life, soon enough, you'll want to show your teen the ropes about basic car maintenance.
Whether your kids are in middle school or are fast approaching age 16 — and will be driving before you know it — the following car maintenance tips are a great place to start:

1. Measuring the Treads on Your Tires

Kids of all ages love hands-on lessons — and routinely inspecting the treads on your tires will let them do just that. So head out to the car and explain to your soon-to-be teen driver how the treads on your tires are like the soles of their shoes — if they get too worn and slick, their vehicle will be more likely to slide all over the road in bad weather.

From there, grab your smartphone from your pocket or purse and search online for ways to measure tire tread and ensure your tires are safe to drive on. The old penny and quarter trick goes a little something like this: Hand your teen a quarter and show them how they can use the coin to measure the tread depth.

If George Washington’s head is partially covered by the tread, assure your teen that your set of tires has at least 4/32nds of an inch of tread depth left. At the end of the lesson, encourage your teen to always have a quarter handy to check the treads on their own.

2. Checking the Oil and Fluid Levels

While your teen will likely not pursue a career as a mechanic, it's still important to teach them some basic car maintenance tips, including how to check their oil and other fluid levels. Since kids of all ages tend to adore YouTube with every fiber of their being, point them to some worthwhile tutorials and how-to videos related to car maintenance.

For instance, search for videos about how to check your oil and then practice using the dipstick to check the oil in your own vehicle. Naturally, YouTube also features plenty of videos that can teach you how to check other fluid levels, like the wiper and power steering fluids.

3. Knowing a Clean Car is a Happy Car

If your car’s interior contains fast-food bags, empty Capri Sun pouches and forgotten toys, then it's high time to teach your teens the importance of cleanliness. Much like you would instruct them to not leave any trash in their bedroom that can attract insects and rodents, make it a point to tell them a clean car is a happy car.

With that in mind, grab a plastic bag and spend a few minutes with your teen cleaning the car's interior. You can even use a handheld vacuum to clean up crumbs from the seat and floor. You might even want to ask your teen for ideas about how they plan to keep the car clean.

Finish out the day by washing the exterior together. Of course, you can wash your vehicle in your driveway or take the kids to a self-car wash and let them go at it spraying and cleaning the car.

Failing to keep your headlights clear of mud, snow, and buildup can greatly dim their output, leading to poor visibility on the road. But, aside from wiping them down before you leave, car headlights also require some specialized attention since the plastic covers can fog up with time.

Fortunately, you don't necessarily have to replace your headlights just because they've become discolored or oxidized. With a headlight restoration kit and you’ll be able to restore your headlights in a matter of minutes.

Make the Lessons Fun and Informal

After starting with these basic car maintenance lessons, your kids will likely ask you to teach them more about vehicle maintenance.

By asking the experts and searching online for tips and tricks, you will not only get to spend more time with your kids, but you may also learn something in the process.

See my disclaimer.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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