Driving as a Teen: Most Important Auto Maintenance to Note

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Most drivers know that one of the most crucial parts of road safety is vehicle maintenance. For teenagers or any first-time drivers, this importance may not be as ‘clear’ as these people tend to crave to go out on the open road and experience freedom like never before—leaving them to face expensive and massive damages down the line.

That’s why it’s best to encourage teenagers to learn the most basic ones, ensuring their safety on the road and helping them avoid any incidents. Even car dealerships use advertising to champion the importance of safety and vehicle maintenance. Besides promoting the best car brands and models to buy, they also remind car owners to check tires regularly and ensure the engine’s in optimal working conditions at all times.

With the said, here are essential car maintenance services every teenager should know.

Change Oil Regularly

All engines require regular oil changes as it’s responsible for keeping the various components of your car’s engine moving cohesively with little friction, ensuring optimal safety. However, over time, oil becomes dirty and needs to get regularly changed to keep the engine healthy. You can find out how frequently your car’s oil needs change by consulting with the manufacturer.

Rotate Tires and Check Air Pressure

closeup of tire

The car’s tires are the most crucial factor in how your vehicle drives down the road. Your tires keep the car connected to the road, allowing you to drive safely. However, these are the most subjected to wear and tear, and worn-out tires are at risk of blowing out. That’s why it’s a good idea to rotate your tires every time you need to change the oil and have the alignment checked professionally every year to ensure your car’s still steering straight.

Regular Check the Car’s Battery’s Charge

A dead car battery may leave you stranded at a dangerous place, and these often sneak up on a driver without any foreseeable damages. While vehicle batteries may have warranties lasting as long as five to six years, it’s not unusual for them to last around half those estimates before needing replacement. So, when changing your oil, make sure to check the car’s battery voltage as well—and if you notice it dropping significantly, it’s time to replace it.

Check the Hoses and Belts — Routinely

As a teenage or first-time driver, there’s a high chance your first car may not be new. If that’s the case, driving older vehicles means you need to pay more attention to it to ensure it’s in top condition. These include air hoses, timing, and serpentine belts, lasting up to a maximum of 60,000 miles or more—but sometimes, it can go past them, and when this happens, it’s time to call a professional.

Additionally, regularly checking for signs of wear and tear is ideal. That’s because an impaired timing belt can obliterate your car’s entire engine, leaving you with no car at all. Even small leaks from your hoses can be detrimental to your vehicle, so make sure to give these things a thorough check once in a while.

Take Gauges Seriously

Although this should be obvious, even the most seasoned and experienced drivers ignore their gas gauges, even when passing over the empty or “E” mark. If a light comes on while you’re driving and you’re unfamiliar with it, pull aside and make sure to check the owner’s manual. If the “check engine light” lit up, go to your nearest auto repair shop to have it fixed. You can avoid this by having your car’s engine checked by a professional regularly.

Getting a personal car is a right of passage for most teenagers. After getting their driver’s license and choosing the right care for them, the next step is learning and understanding how to do simple car maintenance. It’ll help teens assume more responsibility for the vehicle. Plus, the auto maintenance services mentioned are some of the crucial ones teens should remember—ensuring their safety while on the road at all times.

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