Your baby’s all grown up and driving around town. Now that she’s responsible enough to drive, she needs to be responsible enough to take care of her car (or the family car). New drivers don’t have the same habits as more experienced drivers. Since it’s probably been awhile since you started driving, here are a few things you should make sure your new driver remembers:
Rotate the Tires
New drivers assume their car’s tires wear out evenly. That, of course, isn’t true. Look over the owner’s manual with your new driver to find out just how often you should be rotating the tires to ensure even wear.
Check Tire Pressure
Did you know tires naturally leak? Under-inflated tires wear out quicker and cause you to use more gas than properly inflated tires. Your new driver should check the tire pressure at least once every six months to ensure proper tire function.
Change the Tires
Tire manufacturers say you should replace tires after about 5 years, but you’re more likely to get at least 7 years of use. Ask a local tire shop to read the date code stamped in your tires to find out how much longer you can go before you need to replace them.
Remember Oil Changes
Unless your car is more than 20 years old, it typically can go between 5,000 and 15,000 miles before it needs an oil change. Your new driver might not be constantly watching the mileage, so you can help them remember. Tape a note in the upper corner of the windshield with the mile marker of the next oil change.
Do Fluid Checks
Your car uses other fluids to keep working smoothly, and these should be checked along with oil. If you take your car into a shop, have the mechanic check the brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, and washer fluid levels as well. Even better, teach your new driver how to check them on her own.
Change the Air Filter
You should change your air filter as it gets clogged. If you notice your air conditioning and heater working less efficiently, it might be because the air isn’t reaching you through grimy filters. Follow the schedule in the owner’s manual.
Get Brakes Checked
Let your new driver know they shouldn’t wait until they hear a grinding noise before they check on the brakes. Brakes are one of the most important systems in the car, so your new driver should make sure they are included in a regular checkup.
Change the Wipers
It is incredibly unsafe to drive in wet or snowy conditions with low-functioning windshield wipers. It only costs a few dollars to replace the wipers, but it can cost hundreds of dollars in your insurance deductible if you hit something you can’t see. Replace your wipers at the beginning of fall or winter.
Replace Burnt Headlights
Visibility in the dark is also very important. Luckily, you will probably notice when a bulb burns out. Don’t let your new drivers ignore broken headlights and possibly get a ticket.
Tighten the Gas Cap
This might seem silly, but a tight gas cap helps the engine to work properly. It prevents fumes from venting at improper points; a loose gas cap could even turn the check engine light on. Emphasize proper gas cap tightening.
Do you have any more questions about new drivers? Send them to us and they could be featured in upcoming blogs!