What are the most important things to teach your teen about their car?
Your teen has reached a major milestone. She’s passed her driver’s test, her license is in her hand, and she’s ready to hit the road. Before you let her go out on her first solo trip, or she loads up the car with all her friends, there are some important tips you should pass along to your teen driver. You’ll spare yourself some anxiety. You might even avoid getting a call to come to the rescue. Knowing the basics is important for any driver at any stage of life, but especially for someone who is relatively new to driving.
Know how to check the tire and fill them properly
Your teen should have reliable tires that are in good condition. Before you even let them out of the driveway, have a mechanic in Austin or wherever you are located inspect the tires, as well as the rest of the car. Make sure they have good treads with little wear. They should be in alignment and balanced. They also need to have the proper air pressure. Give your teenager a tire gauge to keep in the glove compartment.
Show your daughter how to put the gauge on the tire valve after removing the valve cap. Once the gauge is properly in place, the air pressure will be shown. Typically, tires should have 30 to 35 pounds of air in them. Be sure to bring your teen along with you to a gas station or convenience store that has an air pump. Most are free. Some require you to put in change. Your teen should park close enough to the pump to reach the tire that needs air. In some cases, it may be necessary to pull out and back in to get tires on the other side.
Pay attention to the gauges and display panel
Make sure your teen knows how important it is to watch the display panel and gauges on the dashboard. If any type of warning light or message flashes on the panel, your daughter needs to inform you right away. The car may need to go into the auto repair shop unless someone in the family knows what to do.
Even when there isn’t a problem, it’s important to check the battery level, the oil level, and the fuel level. Your teenager should pay close attention to speed. As an added bonus, watch the speed signs on the side of the road to avoid a ticket.
Know how to fill essential fluids
Your teen should be aware of how to fill the antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, and oil. This is especially important if the vehicle has a leak. Filling these vital fluids until the problem can be repaired can prevent a costly repair bill. Little problems are much easier to deal with when they are caught early.
Guide your teen on how to change a tire
There is always the chance your teenager will end up with a flat tire. If you don’t want to go out in the middle of the night in your pajamas, show your daughter what to do. Point out where the spare tire, jack, and lug wrench is. Lead your teen through the process of changing a tire. You want to make sure she knows how to safely raise the car off the ground in order to remove the flat.
Your teen knows how to put the new tire on and tighten the lug nuts to drive home without a mishap. Remind your daughter to move far enough off the side of the road to avoid being hit by passing cars.
Check all of the light on the car before driving
Stress how important the lights are in your teen’s car. Your teen should inspect them regularly to make sure the headlights and taillights are working properly. The signal lights are essential as well. Usually, the light on the dashboard will flicker more quickly if a turn signal light is not working properly. If you can’t replace faulty lights, bring the car to the shop.
Teach your teen how to jump-start a car
Putting jumper cables in your teenager’s car isn’t enough. You need to show your child how to safely jump-start the car. Show them where the red and black wires should be connected to each vehicle. Also, make sure your teen knows how to be safe.
Your teen might roll her eyes when you list all the important information about her car. She’ll thank you in the end when her car reliably gets her and her friends where she wants to go. You’ll also keep your insurance rates down if your teen is a safe driver on the road.