Although it may feel like just yesterday your teen was in diapers, they are either taking driving lessons or getting ready for a real driver’s license. Either way, your child is growing up! And with that, they also need the skills necessary to complete the car basics. 

Start Slowly

Depending on how much you already know about cars, it can be tricky to show them everything. You won’t necessarily have a flat tire right when you want to show your teenager how to fix one, but you can show them most of the steps. But chances are, your teen won’t run into too many different scenarios while learning to drive. 

It’s up to you as a parent to show and tell what everything means in a car and what they may need to learn before it actually hits. Some of this will most likely happen while they’re learning to drive, but it never hurts to tell them again. Especially since most of the little lights will only appear when there’s an issue, and that may be a scary situation. Go through the basics of all the little lights again on what they mean, and whether the car is still drivable in these situations. And let them know what to do in case it’s a check engine light or something else that can be serious. 

Everyday Care 

If you’re experienced enough with cars, you can also show your teens how to do some of the basics of maintenance and care. Performing your own oil changes saves money and can be a great skill to show your teenager as well. Even simply opening up the hood and letting them see all the parts can make a world of difference. Point out where the oil fill up is and how to check the level of oil in your car. And of course, show where the windshield wiper fluid is located, so they can keep it topped off.  


You never want to actually experience a flat tire in order to show your teen how to change it, but you can easily go through most of the motions with your tire still intact. Even having them watch a few videos online just so they are prepared is good too! Letting them feel and see for themselves will make the process that much easier for them when the inevitable does happen. Be sure to also show them how to check a tire’s tread, and their pressure to ensure your car and tires are working at their best.

Kate Kyzivat