Maintenance 101: Show Your Child the Basics

Advance Auto PartsDealing with a bored teenager? Homeschooling a child? It’s never too early to teach someone the basics of auto maintenance, or to answer common auto repair questions.   But, you need to be careful where you begin. Teaching a youngster (who may not even know how to open the hood!) about how to replace a timing belt isn’t a smart move. Your child can easily become overwhelmed, and feel that do it yourself auto repair projects are too difficult. That’s the wrong message to convey. On the other hand, if you start with a simple project, your child can gain some confidence, along with a sense of accomplishment. That’ll make your child more eager to learn the next lesson. Try these “starter” auto maintenance projects.
  • Test the condition of the wiper blades. Install new blades, if necessary.
  • Check the air pressure of the tires, along with the tread depth. Point out signs of tire wear. Rotate the tires if it’s time.
  • Inspect the air filter. Insert a new one if it’s clogged.
  • Check the fluid levels–such as oil, brake, windshield wiper, coolant and transmission–and top them off.
  • Complete an oil, lube and filter job.
  • Demonstrate how to put on the spare tire. Check its tire pressure.
  • Test your battery, and check its fluid levels.
  • Inspect the belts for signs of fraying or cracking.
  • Put together a car emergency kit.
  • Perform a tune-up (a little more advanced task).
Continue your car maintenance 101 lesson at our stores. Let’s say you checked the air filter as one of your teaching lessons. You find that it’s filthy. Next, you could take your child to your nearby Advance Auto Parts store where you can get all your auto repair questions answered. Show your child how to look up the correct size air filter for your vehicle, select the right brand and bring the filter home. Then complete your lesson by replacing the old filter with the one you just bought. Again, completing these relatively simple do it yourself auto repair projects can give your child some confidence–and spark a desire to take on more complicated tasks down the road. Plus, if your child or teen is part of a homeschooling group, you could give lessons to all of them, positively influencing an entire group of young people and teach them valuable real life skills. Editor's note: it's also time to get schooled in the art of savings cash! Visit Advance Auto Parts for great deals on quality auto parts, accessories and more. Graphic courtesy of
Last updated June 6, 2018