Reading, Writing, Auto Repair: Two in Three Parents Say Their Teen is ‘Clueless’ or ‘Average’ about Car Maintenance

AutoMD.com launches Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair Guide

Carson, CA – September 14, 2011 – Classes are back in session in schools across the U.S. and that means an increasing number of teen drivers are back on the nation's highways. While a majority of teenagers take driver's education courses to learn the rules of the road, many don't understand the steps required to keep their cars properly maintained and running safely.

A recent AutoMD.com survey of parents of teenage drivers1 revealed the following:

  • 97 percent said if online information about the basics of car repair were available to their teen, they would encourage him/her to use it.
  • Two-thirds rated their teen's basic knowledge of car maintenance as "somewhat or completely clueless," or "average." 
  • The majority – 62 percent – said it was "extremely important" for teens to be educated about the basic parts of a car, in addition to how to drive it. 
  • Nearly 80 percent said their teen will turn to Mom or Dad to learn about auto repair, versus six percent who indicated their teen would learn auto repair basics in a driver's education course. 

AutoMD.com says that understanding the fundamentals of car repair knowledge is just as (if not more!) important for school age drivers as for the general population. This prompted the company to develop a car repair educational resource specifically for teens. 

"It was not surprising to us that many of the parents surveyed indicated that their teen driver was relatively clueless about auto repair, nor that their teens were most familiar with the simplest task of filling the gas tank," said Brian Hafer, VP of Marketing for AutoMD.com.  "We suspect many adults have gaps in their auto repair knowledge as well, which is why we developed this guide to help parents begin the conversation of responsible vehicle ownership with their teen driver – and provide them with resources to help ensure that the basics are covered.”

Features of the AutoMD.com Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair Guide include:

  • 1) A vehicle diagram and glossary to help teens identify key components of a car
  • 2) A Do-It-Yourself (DIY) vehicle maintenance checklist
  • 3) DIY vehicle repair instructions for basic maintenance/repair jobs
  • 4) A list of car maintenance and repair "Tips and Tricks"
  • 5) Car repair safety information
  • 6) Roadside safety tips
  • 7) A car maintenance quiz
  • 8) A Certificate of Commitment

Hafer says the AutoMD.com Certificate of Commitment is an especially important part of the company's Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair Guide. Requiring signatures by both teens and their parents, it serves as a teenage driver pledge to routinely maintain their vehicles, not only to protect their safety but also to maintain the value of their car.

AutoMD.com surveyed parents at its website and across 15 automotive shopping and enthusiast websites in the Jumpstart Automotive Group network – a network representing more than 14 million monthly car shoppers at Vehix, Car and Driver, JD Power Autos, Road & Track and more.

Nick Matarazzo, Jumpstart's CEO, said the time has come for teen driver auto repair education. "Car shoppers and owners who visit the sites in Jumpstart's network understand the importance of routine car maintenance and repair. It's essential for teen drivers to understand these same principles, not only from a safety and reliability perspective but from a financial perspective too. A car is an investment. Routine maintenance and repair help protect that investment."

To access the AutoMD.com Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair Guide, visit: www.automd.com/teen/

  1. 1 Survey conducted online among over 3,900 automotive web visitors from Friday, July 22, 2011 to Wednesday, September 7, 2011.