4 Safe Ways Parents Can Let Their Kids Help Work on the Car
How to involve your children in the garage to start learning basic vehicle maintenance
Basic automotive maintenance knowledge is becoming increasingly rare in new generations. As parents, we need to acclimate our children to working in the garage so they grow up feeling comfortable and familiar performing basic car maintenance. A great way to do this is letting your kids help work on the car.
Obviously, there are many service tasks and tools that children shouldn’t go near, but there are some safe, simple activities that can start training your kids to help work on the car at a young age.
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Read dipsticks and pour fluids
Everyone should know how to safely, properly read a dipstick and be able to pour fluids like motor oil, wiper fluid, and coolant. Hold the dipstick and teach your child to properly read it, having them determine if the line is too low or too high. If it’s too low, guide them through carefully pouring more fluid into the reservoir.
Check the lights
It takes two people to confirm that all light bulbs are working, so let your child stand outside the car and investigate while you activate the hazard lights, turn signals, brake lights, etc. Teach them where to look and what each light indicates.
Wash the car
Let your kid fill up the cleaning bucket with the hose, scrub the body with a sponge, and rise off the surface. Washing the car can be a lot of fun together; plus, the more hands are helping, the faster the job will go.
Hand you basic, non-dangerous tools
When you’re up to your elbows in the engine bay or laying underneath the car on the creeper, it’s beneficial to have someone available to hand you tools, shop towels, replacement parts, etc. Having your kid assist will help you out while training them to identify the names and functions of common items.
These are all safe, easy activities that my father involved me in as I was growing up, and they prepared me to care for my cars as an adult. Hopefully you’ll be able to inspire your children in the same way.
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Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a Hyundai Veloster Turbo (which recently replaced his 1995 Saturn SC-2). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.