The New School Year Has Begun! Talk to Your Teens About Vehicle Maintenance

We all remember that amazing feeling of freedom our first car gave us. As our teens head back to school this fall, Firestone Complete Auto Care encourages parents to take a few deep breaths and be sure to go over, not only in-vehicle safety, but also vehicle maintenance procedures so their teens can have that “new car” freedom by keeping their vehicle running newer, longer.

•    Change the engine oil. Use the recommended grade of oil, and change it according to your owner’s manual, usually every three months or 3,000 miles. Prolonged driving without an oil change may cause severe engine damage.

•    Check and replace air filters regularly. Air filters keep impurities from damaging the inside of your engine. Not only will replacing a partially clogged filter improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, it will protect your engine.

•    Maintain your tires. Check inflation pressure monthly, make sure your tires are properly balanced, rotate tires according to the maintenance schedule, and have the alignment checked at least yearly. Properly inflated tires increase gas mileage up to three percent and last longer.

•    Check your vehicle’s fluid levels. This includes transmission, power steering, windshield washer and coolant.

•    Keep the exterior washed and waxed to preserve the paint finish and protect your vehicle from the environment. Salt, water, sand and even de-icing chemicals on the road can rust or damage a car.

•    Proper vehicle maintenance is an important part of road safety, but so is avoiding distractions while you’re behind the wheel. Teens Drive Smart, a teen driver safety education initiative, has tips and resources for parents to help start a conversation with their teens about smart driving. Visit for more information.

While we know that the newest driver in the house is excited to have their own set of wheels, before they get out on the road this fall, take the time to talk about road safety and vehicle maintenance so they can extend the life of their new ride.

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