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Maintenance 101 for the Family


An emergency is not when you want your kids to first learn how automobiles work.

The perfect time to teach your kids about cars, in fact, is when they are still actually kids. At [atc], we believe in pride of ownership as well as putting your family at the center of life every day. We also believe that teaching your kids basic car maintenance is the perfect, practical way to embrace both of these ideals.

Is this easier said than done? Even if you’re not a car expert, you still have experience and know-how to offer. Your kids may not end up as mechanics, but they can learn important lessons that will benefit them for life.

Teach your kids how to understand their cars.

Help your kids out early by showing them what the various lights on the dashboard mean. Show them where the fluids and belts are under the hood, and where the battery can be found. Teaching them how to properly check the tire pressure and fluid levels is a valuable life-long skill. It might sound overly simple but many don’t learn the basics before something goes wrong.

Teach your kids the importance of being prepared.

Teenagers don’t usually worry about things like emergencies (because, really, what can go wrong?). But if they’re taught early how to deal with potential problems they’re more likely to calmly handle things when trouble strikes.

Demonstrate the right way to connect jumper cables so that a dead battery doesn’t become a crisis. It’s also crucial to educate them about how to replace a tire. Recent studies show that a shocking amount of high school students have no idea how this is done. Let your child be the kind of driver who not only understands how to do this, but can even show other drivers. Finally, stress how important it is to have a seasonally-appropriate emergency kit waiting in the trunk.

Teach your kids how to buy a car.

Help them to understand the right questions to ask when buying a car. Show them how to research a vehicle in advance to ensure a good buy that meets their needs.

Teach your kids to take pride of ownership in their cars.

It’s easy to take our cars for granted. Especially the parts and functions we can’t see.  Teach your child what to expect with regular maintenance and repairs. Reading through the owner’s manual is a great place to start. There you’ll find the suggested maintenance schedule and more.

Teaching a brand new concept can be a challenge, but helping your child to understand vehicles at 5, 10, or 15 years old will help them for decades to come. Not to mention the benefits of bonding with your kids in a fun way with a practical purpose.

If you want more ideas about educating your kids in this area (or want to know more yourself), contact [atc] or a trusted mechanic for more ideas.

Oh….and remember to tell your kids that the car always needs gas to move.

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