Now the weather is improving it’s the perfect time of year to teach your kids about car maintenance. It’s a fun bonding activity to do as a family especially if you’re stuck at home at the weekends. It will also give them the opportunity to learn important life skills. If you have older kids, you could encourage them to wash your car for pocket money. You could also give them an early driving theory lesson to prepare them for learning in the future. Here are five fun ways to teach kids about car maintenance.
Check the tyres
Get your kids to help you check the tyres and in a good condition and explain why this is important. You could have them use a pressure gauge and take the readings themselves. This will make them feel responsible. Check the rims and tyres together for tread depth. You can try the 20p method. This is something easy and safe even smaller kids can do. Get them to see if they can get a 20p in between the car tread, if not the tread is too worn.
One of the best tips for teaching your kids to drive is to go over the theory from a young age. You could show them the dashboard and get them to memorise each of the indicators and dials. Give them a quick test on what each one does. This will make it a little less boring, you could even get them to test each other.
Under the bonnet
Look under the bonnet and teach them how to perform basic vehicle maintenance checks. Many children are interested to know what goes on under there, and you can have them help you out with simple tasks. Explain that it’s important for car owners to carry out certain checks before going on a long drive. Monitor fluid levels and show them how to check the oil with a dipstick, for example. Make sure you wear gloves and take any necessary safety precautions.
Washing your car
Washing the car is a fun activity to do together on a sunny day. If your children are reluctant to help you could offer them an incentive such as a bit of pocket money. For smaller children, you could play a car wash game with their toy cars instead. This way you can teach them about car maintenance if they’re too young to help out with the bigger jobs.
Choosing a new car
If your children are interested in cars you could ask them their opinion when you’re considering buying a new family car. Explain which features are important for a family and a bit about running costs. Your children might have different priorities when choosing a new car, and this will be helpful when it’s time for them to buy the first one of their own. Remind them about practicalities such as insurance and maintenance and repair costs. This will hopefully encourage them to be responsible car owners in the future.