Helping your kid buy their first car is a rite of passage that you have looked forward to for years. Not only can you pass down some wisdom about car shopping, but you also have an opportunity to give your kid a few lessons on car maintenance and repairs. Shopping for a low mileage car with a responsible owner helps to prevent many car issues. However, your teen should still expect to run into a few repairs as their car accumulates miles and years. Fortunately, you can help them keep their car in good condition by passing down these tips for handling maintenance and repair issues.
Never Ignore Dashboard Warning Lights
Those lights are there for a reason, yet it is common for people to ignore those warnings to check the engine when their car seems to be running fine. Often, these warning lights signify something that is wrong with the emissions or low fluids. Making sure to have these things repaired helps your kid avoid being stuck on the side of the road. Since many warning lights can mean several different things, it is best to take the car in to a shop that uses check engine diagnostics so that you know exactly what is wrong.
Know the Signs of Brake Issues
You can spend many hours teaching your teen how to be a good driver, yet none of that matters if their brakes fail. Make sure your kid knows the early warning signs of a brake problem such as squeaking coming from the wheel area when they press the brake pedal or issues with how the car handles when they try to stop. It is also important to teach your kid how often they should seek brake services based upon the mileage of their vehicle.
Prevent Major Problems With Minor Repairs
Some of the simplest steps help prevent a need for major car repair services. For instance, changing the oil and watching for coolant leaks preserves the engine of your teen's vehicle. Since minor leaks are more common in used cars, help them learn how to keep up with changes in their vehicle. Often, simply switching out a hose or replacing a cracked reservoir is all that must be done to stop major issues such as a cracked engine block from happening.
Keeping up with maintenance and repairs is just part of responsible car ownership. Until your kid gets more experience, it'll be up to you to give them those critical reminders.