It’s back to school time, and that means worries for parents. Even if you’re confident in your teen’s ability to drive, there are many things which can go wrong with a car including flat tires, dead batteries, and other maintenance issues. If your teen driver doesn’t know how to respond to these issues, it can lead to worry, stress, or increased damage to the vehicle. Here are AutoAid’s tips for back to school car care – and if you want to be certain your teen’s ride is school ready, come on in for a free courtesy check here at AutoAid. Please call ahead 818-305-6632 or make an appointment on-line.
When All Else Fails, Read the Manual
Step one for learning car care should be familiarizing yourself with the vehicle’s manual. Many maintenance tips will appear here, including the correct type of oil, tire pressure levels, and service intervals.
Teach Tire Care
Make sure your teen understands the importance of tire care, how to check pressure, how to properly fill the tire with air, and instill the habit of checking the tires every time they stop to fuel up. Also teach about tread depth, and how to spot abnormal wear patterns due to misalignment or improper inflation.
Change the Oil
Young drivers tend to not take regular oil changes very seriously – make sure yours understand the importance of regular maintenance. Failure to adhere to this schedule will result in a less efficient engine at best, and engine failure at worst.
Get Fluid Savvy
Point out where all the vital engine fluids are located, how to check them, the proper levels, and how and where to fill them if needed.
Brake for Brakes
While it’s best to let a mechanic handle adding brake fluid, you should instruct your teen on common brake issues, such as shudder caused by a warped rotor, and other signs that you need brake maintenance, such as rumbling, screeching, and spongy brakes. Brake issues are absolutely vital to survival behind the wheel, so you can’t emphasize these enough!
The most popular roadside issue is a dead battery, and the last thing any parent wants is to have their teen stranded on the road. Teach your teen how to jump-start, and make sure they have booster cables. Also instruct them in regularly checking and replacing the battery (about every 2-3 years).