Beyond the Oil Change
It’s hard enough to learn how to drive, but your teen should also have some basic knowledge about the mechanics. The engine, transmission and associated parts all work in harmony to make the car a safe vehicle on the road. Learn about which areas should be the main focus for your teen as they get to know the components under the hood. Any malfunctions in the future can be quickly fixed without a lot of drama.
The Dipsticks and Reservoirs
One of the most basic things teens should know about their vehicles is the location of engine dipsticks and reservoirs. There are several dipsticks, including engine oil and transmission fluid, with measured reservoirs for the brake fluid and coolant. Teens can get to know engine basics by working on their own vehicle or obtaining some training from a local affiliate, such as Newgate School. Check these areas once a month so that every fluid level is perfectly adjusted. Fluids keep the engine running without fail.
At some point, your teen might notice that the brakes are making a squealing sound. There should be no cause for alarm because this squealing is built into modern brake pads. When this sound becomes a daily occurrence, it’s time to change out the pads. It’s merely a warning sound that tells you that the brakes need some attention.
Air-Pressure and Tire-Change Basics
Ideally, check your tires’ air pressure once a week. A handy, pencil-like tool can quickly tell you if the pressure is good or lacking. Teens should also know how to change their tires. This skill requires some practice so take time out of the day to jack up the car, remove the tire and swap it out with the spare.
Babying the Transmission
One of the most costly parts of the car is the transmission. This engine part simply needs extra attention throughout the car’s lifetime. Pull the transmission’s dipstick, and verify that the fluid has a bright-pink hue. A darkened color indicates that the fluid needs a change. Neglecting the transmission fluid or allowing it to leak out of the vehicle will cause expensive and severe problems with the car.
Practicing these skills is critical to staying fresh while on the road. On a regular basis, rotate the tires and complete an oil change at home. By keeping up with the necessary skills, teens will feel comfortable if any issues occur on the road. It’ll be habit to change a tire or check the engine. Parents will also feel better about their children hitting the road with confidence.