Real Life 101: Car Repair

A million years ago when my Aunt was a teen, they used to offer auto shop in high school. Then it shifted to Boces and only kids who were really interested could apply for the class. But, you had to give up all of your specials like art, music, home & careers and specialty science classes. You were told if you didn’t take the classes at Boces your dad would teach you how to take care of your car. My dad definitely taught me useful skills. I can tape, plaster and paint an entire apartment and if hard pressed could rent one of those giant sanders and refinish hardwood floors with help, but he definitely didn’t teach me how to check my oil or change a tire.

A friend taught me how to jump start my first car (a nifty corolla sort of like the one in the pic), check my oil, check my tire pressure and change my windshield wipers. He also taught me never to buy a car the first year they change their electrical systems or the first year of a new make and model because there will always be glitches.

I really wish I had been better prepared to take care of my car when I first started driving, but if my Dad had tried to show me; I’m not sure I would have given him the time of day. Sometimes teens just don’t want to hear things from their parents; so to that end I wanted to share a couple of resources you and your teen can look at to figure out how to take care of their car.

For beginners there is the How to’s….Car Edition playlist from the Dad How Do I? Youtube channel. A man who grew up without a father created all these repair and tool guides for other kids who don’t have someone that can teach them these skills and it’s definitely worth checking out.

Those that are already comfortable with the basics and want to figure out how to do more advanced repairs should definitely check out our Auto Repair Source Database. It has all kinds of information including step by step repairs. Check out our tutorial on how to use the database here.

If you want to be really fancy you can check out ProDemand next time you’re in the library. Prodemand is in libary use only: with it you can use the database that pros use to estimate and figure out jobs.

What other skills do you wish your teen was learning to prepare them for living on their own or going off to college? Let us know in the comments so we can help you help them prepare!