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4 Auto Repair Skills to Teach Your Teen When They Start Driving

When your teen starts driving, teaching them how to actually drive is the first thing that comes to mind: how and when to stop, speed limits, driving in inclement weather, and more. But there’s more to teaching your teen to drive than just driving. Teaching them how to care for and repair their transportation is just as important. Here are four auto repair skills that you should teach your teen when they start driving.

How to Change a Tire

AAA is a rather inexpensive service to have, and it comes in handy, but sometimes you can’t wait until they can get someone to you. If your teen gets a flat tire while on their way to work or an appointment, knowing how to change it themselves can make a huge difference. It’s also very easy to teach, and it’s a skill that will give them a great sense of accomplishment the very first time they do it.

Identify When Something Isn’t Right

Even if they can’t specifically identify the problem, teach your teen how to recognize and identify when something isn’t right. It might be a new vibration in the steering wheel, a high-pitched squealing, or a lower drumming sound, or maybe even a different feel to how it turns. Whatever it is, your teen should be able to identify how the vehicle usually sounds, feels and responds, and when there are changes. This will ensure that they address problems before they become bigger. Also, teach them how to explain the problem. Saying “It’s a high-pitched squeal when I step on the brakes” is much more helpful than “It sounds like a strangled cat.”

How to Fix Their Car

For many, the first car you give your teen is an old clunker. It usually runs pretty well and doesn’t have obvious issues, but it’s not a brand new car, either. Many teens, when confronted with car problems, will want to take it to the mechanic and have new parts installed. Instead, teach them to hit up junk yards or used car parts stores instead, and to fix the problem themselves. It will save money and time, and teach them to be more self-sufficient and financially-minded when it comes to the car.

How to Take Care of Cars and Avoid Repairs

Quite possibly the best auto repair skill to teach your teen is how to take care of the car properly and avoid some repairs entirely. Teaching them proper fueling techniques, how to change and check the oil, how to check tire pressure and add air, and other simple skills can help avoid numerous unnecessary repairs. It may be more convenient to take the car to someone else for those things, but teaching your teen to do it for themselves ensures that no matter the situation, your teen will be able to take care of the car without anyone else’s help.

Driving is so much more than just getting the car on the road and going somewhere. There are many responsibilities that come with it, and taking proper care of your vehicle is one of them. By teaching your teen simple auto repair skills, you ensure they are a responsible driver.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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