Auto Car Care Tips to Keep Teens Driving Safe and Sound

           Auto Car Care Tips to Keep Teens Driving Safe and Sound offers simple DIY advice for teen drivers (and their parents)

PR Newswire

CARSON, Calif., Nov. 5, 2012

CARSON, Calif., Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --On the heels of October's
National Car Care Month and before the holiday/winter driving season, now is a
great time for parents to focus their teens on simple auto repair and
maintenance tips that can support safe driving.According to a survey by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ^ 1, teen drivers are
actually making better decisions when it comes to motor vehicle safety, with
more buckling up and fewer risking riding with a friend who has been drinking.
But, according to an survey^2, when it comes to actual auto repair
and maintenance, teens are a bit clueless, with two-thirds of parents rating
their teen's basic knowledge of car maintenance as "somewhat or completely
clueless," or "average." So,AutoMD.comis offering some easy DIY tips from
their Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair Guide to help teens – and their
parents – make good auto repair decisions to keep their cars running safely
and soundly through the holidays and into winter.

"Now is the perfect time to remind teens and their parents that driving and
owning a vehicle is a big responsibility, and vehicle maintenance is a
critical part of that responsibility," said Brian Hafer, VP of Marketing for "Our teen driver guide is designed to provide teens with basic
information to start them on the road to a lifetime of responsible vehicle

Top Tips for Teens (and Parents!) to Keep Their Cars Running Well, and Staying
Safe on the Road

1. Know your car's maintenance intervals and keep up with service
   Each vehicle has a maintenance schedule, outlined in your owner's manual.
   Be sure you read and understand the schedule. Items that require regular
   maintenance include the car's fluids, tires, brakes, and oil and filter
   changes, too. Oil and air filter changes are particularly important to keep
   the engine running efficiently and make great beginning DIY auto repair
   projects. Get an experienced adult to help the first few times, and follow
   these how-to guides for help:
   How to Change Your Oil
   How to Replace an Air Filter
   Did You Know? These days experts say that you only need to change your oil
   every 5,000 miles. A good rule of thumb is this – if a vehicle is older
   than a 2002 model year, it should probably get an oil change every 3,000
   miles. If it's newer than a 2002 model, it's fine to change the oil every
   5,000 miles.
2. Take care of your tires – make sure they can get you to school, work, etc.
   Tire maintenance is particularly important for safe and fuel-efficient
   driving, so, take good care of them! Keep your tires properly inflated, and
   watch for tire wear. Driving on underinflated tires can shorten the life of
   your tires, increase tire wear and lead to significant tire damage from
   heat, potholes and other road hazards. Plus, keeping your tires inflated to
   the proper pressure can improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent. Consult
   your owner's manual or tire sticker on the door jamb for
   manufacturer-recommended tire pressure settings. And, look at your tires
   for wear and tear every time you stop for gas.
   Did You Know? You can check for tire wear and tear by using a penny. Hold a
   penny at the base between your thumb and forefinger so that you can see the
   top of President Lincoln's head and the words "In God We Trust." Place the
   top of Lincoln's head into one of the grooves in your tire tread. If any
   part of Lincoln's head is covered, you have a legal and safe amount of tire
   tread left and your tires probably don't need to be replaced. However, if
   there is any space above Lincoln's head, or if you can see any part of the
   words "In God We Trust," it's time for new tires. Click here for more tire
   care tips.
3. Don't ignore dashboard warning lights
   Dashboard warning lights serve as notification that something may be wrong
   with your car, and include the Check Engine Light, Oil Light, Temperature
   Light, Brake Light, and more. When warning lights come on, pay attention to
   them! Read the owner's manual so you know what each of the warning lights
   mean and how you should respond.
   Did You Know? If your Check Engine light is blinking while you're driving,
   you should pull over immediately. The Check Engine light can signal any
   number of system failures, from a fuel vapor leak caused by a loose gas cap
   to poor acceleration caused by a faulty MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor. If the
   light comes on and stays on without flashing - yet the car seems to be
   running smoothly - chances are your car can be examined by a mechanic after
   you get home, or when you can get to one. On the other hand, if the Check
   Engine light is blinking while you're driving, pull over or get to a
   mechanic right away. A blinking check engine light usually indicates a
   severe misfire that could damage your car's engine.
4. Don't let your car run too low, or out of gas
   You know it's important to fuel your body with food for optimal performance
   at school and play, and it is equally important to fuel your car
   appropriately, which means not letting your car run too low on gas. Most of
   today's vehicles have fuel-injected engines that rely on in-tank electric
   pumps that use gas to cool and lubricate its components. Driving your fuel
   injected engine frequently on fumes could cause hundreds of dollars in
   repairs, and leave you stranded on the side of the road, which is always a
   dangerous place to be. A good rule of thumb – keep the fuel level above a
   quarter tank to keep your car running well, and to avoid running out of
   Did You Know? You don't need to use the highest grade of gasoline for your
   car's engine to perform its best. The variation in quality between
   different grades of gasoline today is very small, so don't waste your money
   by filling up with premium gasoline unless your car "requires" it (if this
   exact wording is stated in your owner's manual).
5. Steer clear – take care of your windshield
   The windshield is like the eye of your car. Therefore, it is critical to
   keep it clean and clear for safe driving. Some parts of the country are, or
   will be, experiencing their first rainfalls after months of being dry. You
   don't want to discover that your windshield wiper blades don't work during
   the first rainfall when you need them most. Wiper blades that have cracks,
   skip, streak or leave spots or smears should be replaced. You should also
   check spray nozzles for proper aim. If the nozzles are clogged, clean them
   with a needle. Use windshield washer fluid in the tank to prevent corrosion
   and remove stubborn dirt, grime and insects from your windshield. Whether
   it rains or not, you should try to use your spray nozzles and wiper blades
   every few weeks to keep them functioning properly.
   Click here for guide on How to Replace Wiper Blades
   Did You Know? Carrying a squeegee with a scrubber in your car or trunk is a
   good idea. It can help remove splattered bugs, and maximize visibility.
6. Teen life moves fast, but your car doesn't have to. Slow down – avoid
   Perhaps one of the best ways to keep your car well maintained, and keep you
   safe on the road, is to avoid speeding! It may seem fun to drive fast, or
   you might simply be in a hurry (late for school, maybe?), but speeding is
   incredibly dangerous, and bad for your car. In fact, driving slower puts
   less demand on your car's engine and transmission, and also helps to reduce
   the amount of gas you use in the process. Avoid all driving habits that put
   stress and strain on your vehicle, such as fast driving, hitting curbs, and
   off-roading. It is also a good idea to slow down and increase your
   following distance when driving in harsh weather, as vehicles can lose
   traction in rain, snow and ice.
   Did You Know? Speeding is so dangerous because it reduces your reaction
   time to avoid a potential collision. According to one website^3, among
   serious crashes involving teen driver error, 1 in 5 crashes occurred due to
   speeding. Remember that speeding is reckless driving.'s Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair Guide is a beginning auto
repair resource for teen drivers and their parents / guardians, offering
step-by-step repair instructions, on common vehicle maintenance issues. The
guide includes a 'Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair Quiz', which tests
teens and their knowledge of car components and auto repair. The guide also
has a Certificate of Commitment which requires signatures by teens and their
parents / guardians, and serves as a teen driver pledge to routinely maintain
their vehicle, not only to protect their safety but also to properly maintain
their car. To access the Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair
Guide, visit:

^1 Results from the CDC's 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). The
percentage of high school students who never or rarely buckled up has
decreased (from 26% to 8%), and the percentage of teens who rode with a driver
who had been drinking alcohol declined from 40% to 24:
^2 Two in three parents say their teen is 'clueless' or 'average' about car
maintenance according to the Teen Driver Survey, 2011:

About™ (, a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Auto Parts
Network, Inc., (Nasdaq: PRTS), is the most comprehensive and unbiased free
online automotive repair resource designed to empower car owners with the best
way to repair their vehicles. Backed by a team of automotive data specialists
and certified auto mechanics who are advocates for the car owner,
allows both car owners and DIYers to 1. Troubleshoot car problems, 2. Know how
much auto repairs should cost, 3. Understand the steps needed and the time it
should take with How-to Auto Repair guides, 4. Find the right local auto
repair shop at the right price for their issue, and 5. Get auto repair
questions answered by the community. was named Best
Automotive Website in the 8^th annual American Business Awards, also known as
the Stevie^® Awards. AutoMD Mobile is available for the iPhone at iTunes.

Media Relations
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, (424) 603-4340,
Angela Jacobson, mWEBB Communications, (714) 454-8776,


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