Is your teen heading off to college in the fall in their vehicle? Make sure they know enough about auto repair to keep it running smoothly while away from home.

Auto Repair Every Teen Driver Should Know

Before watching your college freshman drive off to their new adventure, bring their car in to South Salt Lake Master Muffler for a tuneup. If you or your teen have any questions about the car, it’s a good time to ask. Here’s what your teen driver should know about their car.

What The Dash Lights Mean

If an icon lights up on the dashboard, your college student should know what it means, and how to address the problem. If they’re not into auto repair, they should at least know who to call to bring their car in. Help them scout out the nearest auto repair shops before they settle into their college dorm or apartment. 

What All the Whosits and Whatsits Do

Is your teen driver familiar with all the buttons and levers in their car or truck? Make sure they can locate and operate the hazard lights, cruise control, and the lever for opening the hood. Get them comfortable enough that they can navigate a stressful situation without getting flustered by unfamiliarity with their car.

How to Change a Tire

Walk your teen driver through the process of changing a flat until they can do it themselves. Or, make sure they know which roadside assistance provider to call if they need help when they’re away from home. Teach them how to pull to the side of the road if they get a flat and stay safe while waiting for help.

How to Refill Fluids

Hopefully, if your teen has been driving for a couple of years, they’re able to top off all the fluids in the car. Before sending them off to school, make sure they can locate all the reservoirs by themselves, and check fluid levels. They should also know when their car is due for an oil change, and how to schedule that service with Master Muffler.

How to Jumpstart a Car

Chances are your teen will encounter a dead battery or someone else who needs a jump. Arm them with jumper cables or a portable jump starter so they can confidently and safely jumpstart their battery. The nice thing about portable battery chargers is that they can provide a jump if your teen finds themselves unable to hook up to another car for one.

What Teens Should Have in Their Car

Every vehicle needs a few supplies in the event of an emergency or slight mishap. Here’s what every teen driver should have in their car before they leave home.

First Aid and Emergency Kit

Help your teen stock a first aid kit in their vehicle. Get them in the habit of going over the contents between semesters to ensure everything is still useful. An emergency first aid kit should include:

  • Antibacterial cream
  • Bandages
  • Batteries (for flashlight, phone, etc…)
  • Blanket
  • Charging cords
  • Collapsible shovel
  • Flashlight
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • Tool kit
  • Water

We all rely on our phones for retrieving contact information, so make sure there’s a physical list of numbers your child may need if their phone dies. Even if they have your number memorized, having it written down may help them stay calm if they have to call you from a friend’s phone.

Toll Money

If you live in Utah, you probably don’t have much experience with toll roads. If your college student is heading off to a new city with tollbooths, make sure they have spare change or a fully-charged toll pass. There’s nothing worse than rummaging through the car looking for enough money to pay a toll! Let them save their quarters for the laundromat and help them learn how to keep an E-Zpass loaded with money.

GPS/Phone Holder

Make sure your teen driver isn’t in the habit of holding their phone while driving. If they need easy access to GPS, get them a magnet or holder that can safely position their phone for hands-free navigation when they’re on the road.

In addition to these essentials, make sure your college driver knows where their registration information is, and that they have their vehicle’s user manual to refer to when they have questions. With regular maintenance at Master Muffler, your teen will always be road-ready so they can get to and from class with ease.