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Teaching Your Teen the Basics of Auto Maintenance

There are few things that are as frustrating as giving your teen the keys of the car and then them bringing it home only for you to find the gas tank empty and the car has a few dings on it. Since they are new to the world of vehicle ownership and maintenance, it can be difficult to portray all of the important aspects of keeping a vehicle in working and visually appealing shape to a teen. However, there are several techniques that you can try if you are dealing with a teen that is having a particularly hard time remembering all of the important aspects of auto maintenance.

Techniques to Use

One of the things that you can do is sit them down and explain to them some of the basics, such as repairing chips in the paint. Tell them about the importance of maintaining the vehicle and that it will have to be kept up by someone if they do not do it. Level with them. For the most part, teens are able to understand most concepts that you throw at them with some explanation. They can usually empathize with you and understand the importance. However, this is not always the case. If talking along fails to work, there are some other techniques that you can use.

After a good talk, if your teen still brings the vehicle back in poor order, you can simply take the keys away. If the teen does not own the car or you purchased it for them, this will emphasize that point. If the teen did purchase the vehicle with his or her own money, there is going to be some leeway. However, you can inform them that driving is a privilege and people who abuse that privilege will be punished. Though this is sometimes harsh and severe, it will be worth it to teach your teen a lesson.

If that does not work, you can move on to the next and possibly most effective one. This one is just doing nothing. If your teen continues to bring the car home with no gas or without changing the oil, simply do nothing. This will inevitably result in your teen having a car that breaks down and they will then have to pay for those damages. Make sure that you put all of the financial expense on them so that they can truly see what car maintenance is like in the real world. Again, this might seem a little harsh, but the most effective teaching tool that you can use to help teach your teens about the importance of auto care is experience. You can talk and punish all that you want, but plunging them into a real-life situation that is going to cause them to have to pay their own money to fix their own mistakes will be far more effective. If your teen does not have any money, you might have to pay for those damages, but there are plenty of other ways to punish your teen for poor car care.

Most of the time, you are not going to have to move on to the second two techniques. This is because most of the time, teaching your teen the basics of auto maintenance is very simple and can be completed by having a simple talk with them. However, if your teen is particularly rambunctious and seemingly does not care about the overall state of the vehicle because they think that you will take care of it, there are plenty of ways that you can remedy this issue.


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