From knowing how to take care of a car to knowing when it’s best not to drive, there are some auto skills your teen should know before they get behind the wheel. As you are teaching your child to drive, put these 5 auto skills on the agenda.
1. How to fill their tank
Although it seems like something that doesn’t need to be taught, it’s a fundamental task that needs to be talked about. You’ve heard the phrase “out of sight, out of mind,” right? Teaching a teen how to fill a gas tank is more about applying this train of thought than the fact they don’t know how to fill a tank. As a parent, you’ve been driving your teen to school, practice, activities, friends’ houses, etc…If a teen hasn’t thought about the fact that you fill up your car regularly, if they don’t see you fill up the gas tank, it simply may be something that doesn’t cross their mind. Even before you start teaching your child to drive, having them fill up the gas tank on a regular basis is invaluable.
2.The importance of an oil change (and how to check oil, washer fluid, and other fluids)
It’s vital to teach any new driver the importance of getting the oil changed and how to check other fluids. Many of us have a sticker on our front window to let us know when it is time to get a new oil change. It’s important for a new driver to know how to read the sticker but also how to check the oil for themselves to determine if they need a oil change. While the technicians at any reputable car care business can check the fluids in a car, showing a teen how to check these elements for themselves can boost their confidence and provide them with some information should they run into car trouble. If you’ve never done it before, take your teen with you the next time you get the oil in your car changed.
3. How to change a tire
Although we hope that our teen is never stranded on the side of the road due to a flat tire, if they know how to change a tire, it will not only provide peace of mind for parents but also the teen. There are many great services, like AAA, that can help stranded drivers, but you never know how long you may have to wait for help, so it’s always a good idea to equip your new driver with the skills to change a tire.
4.What to do in the event of an accident
This is one that we really don’t want to consider but is important to know. Make sure your teen knows where all the important documents are, like registration and car insurance cards. It’s also not a bad idea to keep a pad and pen with those documents for exchanging information. Teach your child not to move their vehicle unless it is safe to do so and to take caution when getting out of the car if they are broken down on a busy street or interstate. Knowing what to do and where everything is can help a young driver stay calm after an accident.
5.Know when not to drive
There could be a myriad of reasons why someone shouldn’t drive. They feel sick, are upset, there are problems with the car, like it is overheating or leaking oil or coolant, or maybe the weather is dicey. Teaching your child to gauge the situation and make sure they feel comfortable driving is a vital lesson.