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Basic Car Maintenance for Teen Drivers

What Your Teen Should Know

A young adult getting their license and their first care is an emotional time for both teens and their parents – young drivers are excited to get behind the wheel and parents are nervous that their son or daughter may not be ready for the responsibility of driving and maintaining a car. An important skill that teens should have, whether they are diving their own vehicle or mom and dad’s, is knowing basic car maintenance and being able to recognize when the car needs to be evaluated b y a professional.

Keeping Up with Regular Maintenance

Oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid checks are all part of the vehicle’s regular maintenance routine. Each model and make of car has different intervals in which these tasks should be done, so it is important for teens to review these requirements and understand this. These tasks will help keep the car in optimal running condition and putting teens in charge of this maintenance is also a great way to teach them about the responsibility of driving and maintaining a vehicle.

Acknowledging Dashboard Warning Lights, Strange Odors or Noises

It is vital for teens to recognize the importance of dashboard warning lights – these are alarms that let drivers know something is wrong and needs to be checked. These warnings should not be ignored and neither should unusual smells or sounds coming from the vehicle. When a dashboard warning light appears, reference what it means in the vehicle’s user’s manual. Although it may be an easy fix, some warning signals can mean big trouble for the car and should be looked over by a professional.

Make Sure to Maintain Fuel Levels

Cars need gasoline to run, and allowing its tank to go below empty can cause thousands of dollars of problems and repairs down the road. Many modern vehicles run on fuel-injected engines, and allowing the car to run with no fuel can cause fumes in the engine and leave a young driver stranded on the side of the road. Just like it is important to maintain proper levels for other fluid, making sure the car has the proper amount of gas can alleviate many problems down the line.

Driving and maintaining a car is a huge responsibility – many teens are so excited to get behind the wheel they forget about all the work that truly goes into using a vehicle. Performing regular maintenance tasks, paying attention to dashboard warning lights and making sure to maintain fuel levels are all simple ways teens can keep their vehicle working properly and on the road, not to mention expose them to the lifelong responsibilities of owning a car.

Want to read more car maintenance tips for teen drivers from Training Wheels Driving School? Click here.

*Photo Courtesy of Ross via Creative Commons License