Dealing 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).
Last updated June 6, 2018