Permitting your teenager to drive for the first time can be a frightening experience. To reduce the anxiety, you can ensure the car is safe for operation. You'll need to check several systems. It would help if you did these things to get the vehicle up to par.
1. Find a Good Mechanic
Finding a reliable mechanic shouldn't be difficult. Reimagining Education says more than 600 million mechanics work in the United States. Thus, it should be easy for you to find a solo mechanic or a shop that can take good care of your teen's vehicle. Ask friends and family members to whom they take their vehicles, or use a search engine to get some more names.
Alternatively, you can drive around your neighborhood and look for a reliable establishment if necessary. Sometimes, you can find places that must be listed on the search engine. They may be smaller shops, but their auto mechanics might also be amazing service providers. As long as you find some reliable mechanics, it doesn't matter what size their shop is.
2. Check The Tires
Tires are essential before you allow your teen to drive a vehicle. You must inspect each tire and ensure they don't have any apparent issues. The first thing to do is check the tire pressure. The pressure should match the number on the label on the door jamb. You will see something that says XX PSI; the tires should have that amount of air. A tire that has less air than others may have a puncture. You'll need to take care of that issue immediately to avoid a blowout on the highway.
You'll also need to check that the tires have good tread. You can use a tread depth device or a penny to perform a test that measures tread. Anything less than 4/32 of an inch should prompt you to consider buying new tires.
Tire rotations are a normal part of maintenance as well. Therefore, you should have the tires rotated if they haven't been in a while. According to Consumer Reports, it would help if you had someone rotate the tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. This process allows for even tire wear and can give you more time with your existing tires.
3. Have the Fluids Changed
Another thing you can do to ensure the car is in good condition is to change the oil and other fluids. Changing the antifreeze is crucial to preventing overheating situations. Checking the brake fluid will prevent faults that can cause harm. Transmission fluid levels are important, too. Ask your mechanic to check those levels and replace or refill them accordingly.
4. Check the Safety Systems
You will also need to read your owner's manual and learn about the vehicle's different safety features. Then, you will need to ensure that each feature works well. Additionally, you'll need to check basic safety features like airbags and seat belts to ensure they are also working properly.
Safety features can help your teen if an accident ever occurs. Some initiate braking in near-accidents, and others help the drivers stay inside their lanes if they ever stray. It would be wise to find out which ones your car has and how you can test them for function. A mechanic can perform a digital test if you can't check these features at home.
5. Make Sure the Suspension System Is Set
The suspension system is integral to any care. Therefore, you must include it in your pre-drive inspection. The drive shaft is part of the suspension system and should be checked for malfunction. According to How Stuff Works, a vibrating sound from your car's undercarriage could signify a faulty drive shaft. A mechanic can do a variety of inspections on your suspension to diagnose a problem or check for existing issues.
Take your time and ensure that the vehicle passes a several-point inspection before you send it off for the first time. You'll feel more at ease knowing your teen is driving a top-shaped car.