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Father and son (5-6) repairing car's engine

Basic Car Maintenance for Kids

To you, it’s just a car. But to your kids, it’s a wonderland of adventure. If you’re spending more time at home these days (and you should be), fill a few of those long hours with some simple car maintenance tasks. Get the kids involved for a fun, family-friendly activity!

  1. Check windshield washer fluid. If it needs topping up, this can be a fun and easy task for a child to do to fill up under the supervision of an adult.

  2. Check the condition of wiper blades. Inspect them closely for damaged or peeling rubber. Pick them up on your next trip to the store should they need replacing.

  3. Check tire pressure. Teach kids what PSI means and where to find the proper PSI for your vehicle (usually on the plate on the inside of the driver’s-side door-jam). Then, check each tire to verify proper pressure, according to those specifications.

  4. Check all lights. With an adult, kids can get in the car, push the brakes, turn the lights on, and turn the signals on to make sure all the lights are in good working order.

  5. Check oil level and condition. Get the kids to “pop” the hood and find the oil dipstick. They can help with checking the level and the condition, as well as compare the condition to searches on the Internet for good, bad, and really bad conditions.

  6. Check how lubricated your car is. Kids can help check all the points on your vehicle that require lubrication, such as door hinges and latches, hood hinges and latch, and trunk or tail-gate hinges and latches. Under the supervision of an adult, kids can help with giving the car a good spray where needed.

While you’re at home, make a point of it to stay productive. Doing so will be sure to alleviate boredom, and ensure a smooth ride whenever you do get back on the road. While most of these routine car maintenance tasks are usually taken care of during a basic oil change service, they are really easy to DIY, and are a fun way to spend time with your family!

Click here for a handy printable checklist!

All of the activities presented here have the potential to be dangerous when children are present. CAA North & East Ontario does not recommend these activities for children without adult supervision, and an abundance of caution and good judgement. Adults should handle or assist with any potentially harmful chemicals, and furthermore it is advised to consider the age-appropriateness of each individual activity. Under no circumstances will CAA North & East Ontario be held responsible in any way for any claims, damages, losses, expenses, costs or liabilities whatsoever resulting or arising directly or indirectly from the information presented above.