My father, being a plumber, was always very handy at fixing things from a leaky faucet to installing bookshelves. He also maintained the family car. I would stand in the driveway and watch intently to see how he did it and what tools he used. He patiently explained each step and told me the name of the tools he used. Then, as he tinkered under the hood, he relied on me to hand him the tools he needed. I have very fond memories of this process, and I learned a great deal about the car and how to maintain it. Why not take a few moments to raise the hood of the car to give your kids an impromptu lesson in automobile mechanics and maintenance – an important safety practice that will serve them well when they’re old enough to drive.
Here are a few resources to learn more about how your car works and what is needed to maintain it:
This website explains all the parts of a car with pictures
Learn how to maintain your car
Read How Cars Work (a book written for teens):
Fathers and kids will enjoy my book, Carschooling, Over 350 Entertaining Games & Activities to Turn Travel Time into Learning Time that has a great section on “Service Station Science” on pages 46-51.
Even if you go to a quick-service place like Jiffy Lube, take your child with you. Pick a time that isn’t too busy and ask the attendant to explain the meaning and use of things like coolant, brake fluid, and what grade of oil your car takes. Make a guessing game of it and have fun!