As a parent, involving your kids in minor car repairing is the best step you can take towards developing their skills. With this knowledge, they’ll be able to later maintain their own vehicles and feel more capable in case of any issues. If you haven’t already started taking your kids under your wing to show them things like how to check tire pressure, it’s not too late to start. Begin with the basics of auto maintenance, including air and oil filter inspections and creating a car emergency kit. Then progress as they grow up.
Examine the Tire Pressure
Tire pressure examination is one of the more straightforward things that you do with your kid when it comes to car repairing. That’s because it’s an activity done only once or twice a month, which means they’re not under any pressure.
It goes without saying that children are quick learners and once you explain to them how an air pressure gauge works, next time they probably won’t have issues reading the gauge. Also explain to them the importance adequately inflating tires.
Put Together a Car Emergency Kit
Assemble a car emergency kit with your kid. This is another valuable real-life skill they ought to have moving forward. You can start by explaining to them the function of different tools as you place them on the emergency kit.
Children need to know that accidents can occur while traveling, and, in such occurrences, the car emergency kit is the go-to resource. With such information, you are equipping them with survival skills and teaching them how to plan ahead too.
Check Oil Levels
As a parent, show your kid how to pop open the trunk and check the oil levels. While doing so, also explain to them the precautionary measures they need to take here. For example, expressly tell them that they should never open the hood when the engine is hot because of the danger of burns.
You can demonstrate this process and show them how to use the oil dipstick first. Then let them repeat the process under your inspection. With time, they will gain the knowledge and confidence to do the same and you may well have a lifetime partner in car repairing. While you’re at it, tie in eco-friendly tips regarding cars, such as recycling used motor oil.
Knowing when and how to replace the car tire is another necessary skill that kids need to learn. Although they may not be strong enough to unscrew the wheels, simply watching as you do so is equally helpful. On the other hand, you can ask them to inspect the tire threads pattern to troubleshoot any signs of wear and tear.
Besides that, kids can also help check for any abnormal bulges in the sidewall. If they are old enough, they can assist in pumping the tire, unscrewing and tightening the lug nuts with a good cordless impact wrench or by hand.
Keep Car Repairing Records
Also get your child to help keep records, such as the next scheduled oil change or any other maintenance. They get to know the importance of keeping schedules not only for the car but in real life. Who knows, you may just be preparing them to become one heck of an accountant. Their organizational skills will be growing between this record-keeping task and their creation of a car emergency kit.
Check the Air Filter
Next, under parental supervision, involve your kids in checking the air filter. While doing so, explain to them how the engine works and the importance of regularly checking the air filters. Allow them to remove the filter element and show them how to visually identify dust and unblock them.
Wash the Car
What is car repairing discussion without talk about maintaining the exterior too? It’s not hard to get most kids involved in washing the car as they usually love to play with water. Why not have some fun together as they help you clean easy areas like side panels and tires. While at it, you can teach them to visually inspect the car for any sign of rust or external damage, such as minor scratches. Then explain how to treat any issues they spot on the vehicle.
With that said, to avoid damaging their skin while cleaning; use a proper tire shampoo or a safety brake dust cleaner. This is because some car cleaning shampoos contain grease-cutting elements that can harm their delicate skin.
Sometimes, examining the lights alone can be a boring car repairing task. Thus, involve the kids in checking:
- Break lights
- Fog lights
- Indicator lights
- Reverse lights
This car work practice will give the kid essential skills and tips on the role of various lights and what they signify.
Car Belts Inspection
Seat belts are essential elements of any vehicle. They can prevent injuries and save lives in case of an accident. As such, ensuring they work without any issues is critical. You can involve a youngster in checking minor and major seat belts flaws.
Show them how to properly use the belts too! As an ongoing process, allow them to inspect the seat belts every weekend for defects and report to you for respective repairs.
Test the Condition of Wiper Blades
Wiper blades help to successfully navigate a car through rainstorms, snowstorms, and when mud splashes on the windscreen. Due to the continuous turning of the wiper, the rubber portion part wears out over time and can make a screeching sound on your windshield. As such, you need to regularly maintain them.
So, here’s another car repairing activity to involve your kids. Ask them to inspect the windshield wipers for worn or torn rubber and edges. The kids can also help you to check for any cracks on your windscreen that might have resulted from damaged wiper blades. In case the wipers are in poor condition, kids can help you to replace them and remove any built-up debris.
Check the Battery’s Fluid Level
Automotive batteries degrade with time due to undercharging, overcharging or low battery liquid level. Regular inspection and maintenance of the car battery fluid level is vital to maximize the battery’s lifespan. So, engage the kids in the examination of the battery’s fluid level at least once a month. The kids can help you to inspect the battery case for signs of physical damage and the connection of the terminals.
Needless to say, you need to be careful with the battery liquid as it can be corrosive and also damage clothes. After handling the battery, ensure they thoroughly clean their hands with soap and water.
Final Thoughts on Car Repairing with Kids
As you can see, there is no shortage of car repairing activities to engage your kids, from checking filters to building a car emergency kit. Most of them are safe although you may need to keep a close watch on the youngsters as they learn, depending on the task. By engaging them, you will not only improve their life skills but also their dexterity.