Lesson 8: Basic Vehicle Maintenance - National Safety Council

Lesson 8: Basic Vehicle Maintenance

In addition to the many driving lessons your teen must keep in mind, he or she must also learn the basics of vehicle maintenance. A well-maintained vehicle will help keep your teen safe, but putting maintenance off can increase the odds of a crash. Here are some of the basics your teen should know about to keep the car running well.

Maintenance Basics

To get started, walk your teen through some of the important vehicle systems that will need attention. These include:

  • Headlights and taillights
  • Windshield wipers and fluid
  • Tire pressure
  • Engine oil, filter and coolant

Many other vehicle features require attention, which is why regular maintenance by a mechanic can be helpful. Assist your teen in finding a dependable mechanic to take care of any vehicle issues.  

Educate Your Teen

It’s also a good idea to review the vehicle’s manual with your teen. This will help your teen understand the dashboard symbols, and learn how frequently certain systems must be maintained. Issues can come up unexpectedly, so teach your teen to take dashboard warnings seriously. Some, like properly inflating the tires, can be resolved easily, while others will require the attention of a trusted mechanic.

Practice: Show your teen some of these basics, like checking the vehicle’s tire pressure and oil level, and encourage him or her to inspect them regularly. Tire pressure can change easily in colder months, and looking at the fluid levels can let your teen know when more attention is needed.

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