As students return to school this fall, some will be driving themselves to campus for the first time. This is likely to be a big adjustment for both the kids and the parents. You can alleviate some of the stress by sitting young drivers down for a quick review of things they need to know, now that they have care of a vehicle added to their list of responsibilities.
Car Care for New Drivers
Although they have a lot on their minds with school schedules and extracurricular activities, it is important to get young drivers acquainted with the basic vehicle maintenance they need to know. A review of safe driving practices is also never a bad idea.
Most students start out driving a car that does not belong to them, so regular maintenance checks such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections may not be something they are responsible for scheduling. You can still get them involved by explaining the importance of these routine tasks in improving the car’s performance and extending its lifespan.
Routine Maintenance Tasks Teens Can Tackle
Check Tire Pressure – Properly inflated tires are crucial for both safety and fuel efficiency. Make it a habit to check tire pressure at least once a month.
Fluid Levels – Ensure that essential fluids like oil, coolant, and brake fluid are at the recommended levels to avoid engine problems and poor performance.
Clean Interior – Don’t let things like books, clothing, and sports equipment clutter the car. Keep things organized. Regularly vacuum and wipe down surfaces to keep the car interior clean.
Wash and Wax – While a clean car looks great, regular washing and waxing also protect the paint from environmental damage.
Watch the Fuel – Avoid running on low fuel as it can damage the car’s fuel pump. Plus, having enough gas in the tank avoids the risk of running out of gas and being stranded somewhere.
Don’t Ignore Warning Lights – If a warning light on your dashboard appears, it could indicate potential problems. Addressing problems early to prevent major repairs later.
Safe Driving Tips & Reminders for New Drivers
Keep the Phone Put Away – Make sure your new driver understands that texting while driving and distracted driving can be deadly. There isn’t anything that cannot wait until you’re parked.
Drive Smoothly – Avoid sudden accelerations, abrupt braking, and excessive speeding. Smooth driving is not only safer, it reduces wear and tear, while saving on fuel costs.
Park Wisely – Choose parking spots that avoid tight spaces to reduce the chance of door dings and scratches. Park away from crowded areas to reduce the risk of accidents.
Watch for Buses and School Zones – Remind new drivers of the local laws concerning school bus traffic. Also, tell them to watch for student pedestrians who may not be paying attention.
Make sure your new driver is safe and ready for the road back to school by reviewing these tips and teaching them to be a responsible driver.