Every driving licence in India stresses upon the fact that it is a privilege and not a right, to be able to get behind the wheel of a car. With that sobering thought aside, there’s no denying the excitement that builds up when we finally get certified to drive on the streets. Most new drivers start off with only the minimal knowledge & awareness about the motoring world & other technicalities around them. Since change should begin early, here are some car maintenance tips for teens, as most new drivers would start at the exciting age of eighteen:
- Teen drivers often tend to focus more on the driving part over anything else. They ought to be actively weaned away from such a habit. This is because, one can encounter almost any eventuality on the road, and they must be prepared to face it confidently.
- A simple visual check before driving off is a good habit to inculcate. It could lead to the discovery of things such as fluid leaks (brake/coolant/engine oil/power-steering, etc) or even a flat tire. In some rare cases, small animals, such as cats/dogs who tend to take shelter under the car, might also be slow in reacting & might get trapped underneath.
- The state of the roads being what they are, a puncture is more a matter of when, rather than if, so new car or not, every driver needs to know how to change out a flat tyre. So getting oneself familiarized with the functioning & placement of the jack, as well as the retrieval/fitment of the stepney is a good practice.
- An under-bonnet check on a weekly basis means that one can catch dropping coolant levels or wash-wiper fluid & top up accordingly.
- Car maintenance costs often rise due to haphazard driving habits. It is therefore important to seek the guidance of trained professionals or, experienced elders who can point out shortcomings. Things such as improper usage of brakes, riding the clutch, incorrect usage of headlights, safe reversing, etc. are a few examples for improvement areas.
- When on the road, visibility is king. Ensuring that all relevant lights are in proper working order is a good habit to inculcate for teen drivers. Check headlights, tail-lights, brake-lights (including the high-mount stop lights), turn-indicators etc. for proper functioning. Also, headlights must be leveled at all times, so fellow motorists are not inconvenienced.
Teen drivers who are ready with the basics tend to come out of such incidents with the minimal discomfort to both, property as well as life. To be honest, a few dings are inevitable in our chaotic driving environment. The idea is to be best equipped in terms of driving knowledge while being ready for eventualities.