Cars are an important part of people’s lives. But it is surprising how many people often do not know the basics of maintaining or fixing them. They usually leave it to mechanics, regardless of the nature of the problem.
But what many people realize now is that there are essential skills that everyone should know. These include cooking cleaning, sewing, and fixing your car.
If you want to teach your children a useful skill, knowing automotive repair can be a useful one. Here are some tips on how you can make it simple enough for them.
How to teach children car repair skills
It might be strange, but you can start your children early when it comes to car maintenance. Teaching them how to take a car can start with letting them help in cleaning the car.
During your weekly car cleaning, include them in the activity. If you have other people do it, then bring them along for the trip. This allows them to see the job being done.
If you do the washing yourself, then having them hold the hose to rinse off the car can be a good start. Once they have that handled, you can then have them help in wiping down the car. This will teach them how to touch and handle the car exterior.
When they are older, you start introducing other activities to do with the car. A good next step would be to have them present when you are doing some minor repairs.
Have them hold the toolbox or fetch the tools from a bench. This teaches them the basics and will provide a good grounding for future lessons.
Teach them proper handling
One of the first things you have to teach them is how to be careful around the car. Whether it is tools or parts, they need to know how to handle parts and tools.
If you work on a farm, you can teach them to identify construction equipment parts instead of auto parts. The difference can protect them in the future.
Automotive parts are more delicate and sensitive. They might break and cause problems for you in the future. Give your child some lessons on how to use the tools properly and how they should store and keep parts.
For example, one early lesson you can give them is how to replace windshield wipers. If they are not careful, they might bend the wiper blades. Knowing when to be careful is important when teaching your child auto repair skills.
Don’t worry about your skills
Many parents hesitate to pass on their car repair skills because they are not sure about how good they are. They might even not do it because they don’t know-how. But there are many online resources nowadays that can help.
For example, you might not be sure about how to change a car’s shock absorbers. A quick online search will likely provide you with some basic resources and maybe a video of what to do.
You can then use these as the basis of your repair work. You can then do it as a bonding activity with your child. It is better since both of you are learning, which makes it more memorable for your child.
Let them do things on their own
While young, your child should mainly be watching you fix things. But there comes a time when you need to give them some hands-on experience. They won’t learn any skills if you don’t let them do anything.
So give them some simple maintenance tasks that they can do on their own. School-aged children can do several of them. For example, changing air filters does not require anything complex.
You can also have them check the oil and tire pressure. The most complex task they can do is changing some minor parts like windshield wipers. Watch them do these tasks but don’t step in.
Let them make mistakes and correct them later. But if they do everything perfectly, then you should give them the appropriate praise.
Start a project
If you and your child have a summer with nothing to do, you should seriously consider starting a major repair project. This is best if they have reached their teens, but younger children can be there to provide minor assistance and watch you work.
For a project car, you can buy a used car or a damaged one and start fixing it up. If your child is close to driving age, then you might promise them that the car is for them. This gives them a good motivation in helping you out and knowing how to maintain the car.
Car repair and maintenance skills are very useful. Your child will appreciate the effort you put into teaching them as they grow older. Additionally, doing something like this is a great way to bond with them.