What to Teach Your Teen Driver About Taking Care of a Car

Learning how to drive is a rite of passage for many teens. It has life-changing consequences, such as enabling a teen to be more independent and even to earn income through a job. However, driving is also a responsibility and requires a level of maturity as a result. Taking care of a car is an essential aspect of driving that you must teach your teen about. These are some of the more important aspects of vehicle maintenance that your teen should receive education about.

Follow the Automaker’s Maintenance Schedule

Each vehicle is sold with a recommended maintenance schedule created by the automaker. While some aspects of vehicle maintenance are common and almost uniform across the board, other items on your car’s maintenance schedule may be specific to its unique needs. Following the automaker’s maintenance schedule for oil changes, tire rotations and more can reduce the likelihood of a breakdown, keep repair costs lower and even extend the longevity of the car.

Identify Areas of Concern

Your teen also needs to understand the signs of auto distress that require immediate attention. For example, a check engine light is a strong indicator that an auto tech needs to run a diagnostic as soon as possible. A tire air pressure warning signal may indicate the need to add air to one or more tires as soon as possible. Unusual sounds, odors, vibrations and more are also factors that should be examined by a professional soon.

Keep the Car Clean

Many teens want to drive around in a clean car that looks great on the road, but aesthetics is not the only reason to worry about getting car washes regularly. Some types of grime and dirt on the car’s exterior can damage the paint job and leave the underlying surface more vulnerable to damage. When the car is clean, scratches are easier to identify. Using touch-up paint on small scratches can prevent unnecessary body damage. A clean car may be safer to drive because of improved visibility, and it can also affect vehicle performance.

Many young drivers do not understand how important it is to take care of their car properly or what steps are required to do so. Talking to your teen about these steps and assisting with basic maintenance and repair work while they learn the ropes can help your teen to be a safer and more responsible driver in the years to come. Keep in mind that this education may begin before the teen gets his or her license and operates a vehicle independently.

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