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Teaching the Teenybopper about Car Maintenance

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EarthDayDriveAway #CollectiveBias

We knew it was coming.

The day when the teenybopper would ask about learning to drive.

We’ve been down this road before with our oldest. So we knew it was coming.

But that doesn’t make it any easier.

As you parent, you learn how to do things better.

With our oldest, we didn’t quite teach him as well as we should have.

Now we have a chance to do better.

So Papi and I agreed that Aiden, better known as the Teenybopper, should learn some important stuff first.

That includes car maintenance.

Here’s how our thinking went.

No one taught me how to maintain my car.

No one taught the hubster how to maintain a car.

We didn’t teach our oldest how to maintain a car.

It’s time to break that pattern and do better.

So the Teenybopper lucks out.

I can hear his brother chiming in with a, “Hey, you guys never taught me how to maintain a car!”

Yes Jr, I get that. And you are right.

So in the spirit of “When you know better, you do better,” we started with teaching him how to check and change the oil.

And by “we” I mean “Papi”.

This fierce feminist entrepreneurial Mami has no problem playing the uninformed female card when it comes to things she can push off on the husband.

Getting the right motor oil

We headed to Walmart with the Teenybopper in tow to pick out the best motor oil for my car.

Since I know my kids super well, we called Phillip Jr to tell him what we were doing and how I was writing a blog post about it.

Guess what the younger Mr. Valdes said!

Serioulsy, guess.

He said, “Don’t you think the story will be disingenuous since you guys never taught me how to do this?”

Ahhhh parenthood.

On a good note, I’m impressed with the choice of words.

He spent a couple more minutes complaining about how the baby gets, well, babied before we hung up and headed down to the Auto Care Center.

It’s a great time to hit Walmart for your motor oil needs, especially with their Earth Day Drive Away offer!

Check out the deets:

Earth Day Drive Away offer (exclusive to Walmart)

  • Mobil 1â„¢ is giving Walmart customers a chance to win a Chevy Equinox, plus $10 off their next Mobil 1â„¢ purchase at Walmart.
  • Promotion run dates: January 15, 2018 – April 30, 2018
  • Shoppers can enter for a chance to win a Chevy Equinox in two ways:
    1. By purchasing 5 quarts of Mobil 1â„¢ in the store or a Mobil 1â„¢ oil change at the Auto Care Center
    2. By recycling any used oil at an Auto Care Center
  • As a bonus, shoppers that purchase 5 quarts of Mobil 1â„¢ synthetic oil or a Mobil 1â„¢ synthetic oil change at the Auto Care Center are also eligible to receive a $10 Select Certificate valid on a future Mobil 1â„¢ purchase at Walmart.
  • Once shoppers have made a qualifying Mobil 1â„¢ purchase or recycled any used oil at Walmart, they can enter to win the Chevy Equinox and/or receive their $10 Walmart Select Certificate at earthdaydriveaway.com.
  • Limit 2 entries in the sweepstakes per customer (1 for purchasing and 1 for recycling).
  • Receipt required to receive $10 Walmart Select Certificate.

My husband spent some time explaining the benefits of Mobil 1™ synthetic oil , like the fact that it protects more than your engine. Being an informed consumer means knowing that fewer oil changes reduces oil consumption and less waste oil.

Teaching the Teen About Oil Changes

Teaching the Teen About Oil Changes

Once we picked the right oil, we headed back home for the “How to check your oil” lesson.

Here’s how that went.

How to check your oil.

  1. The first step is to figure out what oil you will need. Check your car’s manual. Walmart also makes it easy for you by supplying an oil selector tool so you can determine what type of oil you will need.
  2. Next, make sure the car has been turned off for 30 minutes before checking oil levels as it may be too hot otherwise.
  3. Remove the oil dipstick and wipe it dry with a paper towel or cloth.
  4. Then insert the dipstick back into its tube and push it all the way back in.
  5. Pull the stick back out and look at both sides of it to see where the oil is.
  6. The stick itself will have some sort of indicator, usually notches, showing whether the level is low or high. For example, on our car, it has a pattern of x’s and if the oil is past those, then it is at a good level and doesn’t need to be changed.
  7. If the oil is below the indicated level, then it’s time for an oil change.
Papi showing the Teenybopper how to check the oil levels.
Papi showing the Teenybopper how to check the oil levels.


Oil level indicator on the dipstick.
Oil level indicator on the dipstick.

After they checked the oil, Papi went over the options for changing the oil. If you just need to add some oil, follow the steps below:

How to add oil

  1. Use the grade of oil recommended in the owner’s manual.
  2. Remove the oil filler cap, usually located on top of the engine.
  3. Add the oil a little at a time to avoid over filling.
  4. Add about half a quart. It’s best to use a funnel to avoid spills.
  5. Wait a few minutes and check the dipstick again.
  6. If the level is still below or near the minimum mark, add the rest of the oil.
  7. If you do this regularly, you shouldn’t have to add more than a quart.

If you need to change it completely, you can either change it yourself or take it to get changed for you. Walmart’s Auto Care Center is a great place to get your oil changed and have someone else handle the mess.

If you do change your own oil, then proper disposal is very important. Don’t forget you can gain an entry into the Earth Day Drive Away Sweepstakes by recycling any used oil at a Walmart Auto Care Center.

Also, Earth Day is right around the corner!

It’s the perfect time to teach your own teenybopper about  the importance of maintenance and proper oil recycling, especially with Walmart’s Earth Day Drive Away Sweepstakes.

Head on over to Walmart and get your oil change lesson going with your own teenybopper or just yourself!

18 Responses

  1. Yes, Love this! It is so important to prepare our kids for their future! I have taught my niece how to do laundry, cook and balance a check book. Adding general car maintenance now to my list! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  2. Interestingly, I took a class in high school on car maintenance. It was an out-of-school class with car mechanics who showed us how to fix all sorts of issues and what to look out for. I wish they made this obligatory for all high school students! Till today I remember what they taught us and I still use the information. Kudos on you for teaching your kid as well!

  3. This was actually helpful for me too! I remember getting my license and all things car related were foreign to me! They don’t teach you these skills in high school!

  4. This is such a great idea. We have a teenager, and we should definitely take the time to do this now that she is driving. I wish my parents would have taught me about maintenance of a car. I had no idea the oil had to be changed on my first. Thankfully, someone told me before it was too late.

  5. This is not only a right of passage, but a functional exercise. Even if he is so flush with cash in his future as many teens believe they will be, he knows the value of the time for which he is paying someone changing his fluids for him.
    Bravo on making this happen for this young man!

  6. Learning and having minimum car knowledge is quite important especially at a younger age. The last thing you want to do is allow your child to drive off in your car or a car of their own with no knowledge of maintenance or mechanics.

  7. Such a great idea to teach your son how to maintain a car as soon as he’s able to drive. I’m pretty sure most of us didn’t get those lessons. The good news is that most of the simple auto care tips are pretty to learn and do.

  8. It’s all part of growing up. Learning car maintenance at a young age is an invaluable skill. You never when you’ll be stuck on the road. You should also teach you teenager to save money as well. In case he has to bring his car to the local auto shop.

  9. It’s a good idea to learn car maintenance when you’re young. Even if it’s something simple as changing a car tire. Don’t forget that saving money is also important.

  10. Ha, they always have to learn this kind of things even if they do not love it. I think that each teen should learn to change a tire, parallel park and check the oil before they can get their driving license. So important that they take care of the cars. Great job on teaching him early

  11. This is so important! I remember my dad teaching me about my very first car and the importance of taking care of it. What a great learning opportunity!

  12. Very handy life skill! I never got fond of cars and how they function and it’s proved to be a bad decision…I can only drive forward, so I am no good when it comes to other things car-related, ahahaha. It’s also a good bonding moment between them…keep it up!

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