With school letting out for summer soon, teens will be on the roads in greater numbers and an important part of keeping them safe is making sure the cars they are driving are in good repair. A routine maintenance check-up allows you to address any imminent car repair issues before your teen is out driving about in Clifton, VA and other towns in Northern Virginia.
Your teen should also have some basic knowledge about their car and road safety. And the top three basics are gas, tires and oil. .
Keep the tank filled … and with the right gas. Make sure to check the gas gauge before driving around town and fill-up if up often. It seems like common sense, but it's easy to forget to check and then find yourself stuck on the road side with an empty tank. And empty tank also collects condensation, which can lead to all sorts of other issues in your fuel system over time. It's also important to know what octane gas to put in the car. Most cars do well with regular gasoline, but make sure your teen knows if higher octane or diesel gas is needed.
Check tire pressure and re-inflate once a month. Under-inflation is a leading cause for tire failures. In hot weather, tires can lose up to two pounds of air per month. Maintaining the proper inflation is very simple as long as tires are checked regularly using a pressure gauge. You can't tell just by looking at the tires. And if a tire looks low, then it's probably very, very low. If one tire seems to deflate more quickly than others, have it checked as it may have picked up a nail and have a slow leak that could later become a blow-out.
According to the Tire Industry's Safety Council, tire pressure should be kept at the levels recommended by the car manufacturer, which can usually be found on a sticker located just inside the car door or glove box, and not the maximum pressure listed on the sidewall of the tire. The tire pressure should also be checked when the tires are cold. If travel to an auto repair shop or gas station is required to inflate tires, check the pressure before driving to the auto shop and make note of the pressure levels. When you get to the gas station, check the levels again and inflate the tires to levels
Make sure the oil is changed every 5,000 miles (every 3,000 miles for cars a decade or more older). Oil keeps all the parts of the engine running smoothly, by reducing friction and keeping metal parts from grating each other. It also takes dirt and other waste particles away from the engine. When the oil is saturated with engine by-products, it no longer functions well and needs to be changed. Older cars may require more frequent oil changes, so should be checked more often.
Wiygul Automotive Clinic, a leading auto repair shop in Burke, VA, has a lot of more information on our website that can be helpful as teens and parents discuss driving safety. Visit our Resource Center for more articles and tips that may help prevent car repair issues your teen could have while on the road and your teen be prepared for any emergency should they occur.