Many Americans have fond memories of how their father maintained the family vehicle. They remember if their dad cussed and fussed under the hood. They remember if their father checked the tire pressure at every fill up. They remember if their dad lovingly washed the family car every Saturday.
As a Dad, how you maintain your family vehicle will set the standard for how your kids maintain their cars in the future. Your maintenance standards will become their maintenance standards. When you involve your kids in maintaining the family car, you are teaching valuable lessons. As a Dad, you have to decide what to teach your kids about cars. Here are some ideas:
Car Maintenance for Young Children.
Even young kids can help Dad clean out or wash the family car. They can run a hand vacuum in the interior. They can run a cleaning wipe across the dash. They can spread soap suds across the car on a hot summer afternoon. Even a trip through the car wash is an adventure for young kids. If your car care center has a window looking out on the service bays, kids will be excited to see your family’s car go up on a lift. Ultimately, the lesson you teach in maintaining your car is that they too need to take care of the things they value. This lesson can immediately extend to their own toy cars and bicycles.
Car Maintenance for School-Aged Children.
As kids get older, they can participate in more advanced tasks. For example, if you are doing mechanical work yourself, kids can act as tool box assistants and learn to recognize wrenches, screwdrivers, and other tools. You can even involve them in turning wrenches. School-aged kids can help replace air filters, check the oil, or check tire pressure on the car. These little tasks help build a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Car Maintenance for Teens. As teens approach driving age, they should learn basics like how to change a tire, how to check the oil, how to pump gas, and how to replace filters and wiper blades. These simple tasks are basics that every driver should know. If you are mechanically savvy, you may also want to teach your teens how to change their own oil and how to do simple repairs. If your family has a project car or is maintaining an older car, you may even teach them how to more advanced repairs. With today’s more sophisticated cars, car repair work may lie beyond the skills of most dads. However, as a Dad, you can still teach valuable lessons about maintenance intervals, the importance of oil changes, the importance of getting an estimate, or budgeting for car repairs. In teaching teens about car maintenance, you are helping to ensure that they will be able to handle minor emergency repairs on the road.
Of course, while you teach these car maintenance lessons, you’ll have to watch your cussing, your kids will always remember those words.