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Servicing Cars

Does your child's knowledge about cars extend to recognising the car after reading the name of the make? If so, you should consider teaching your child a little about cars.

Your child at present lives with you and is dependent on you not just for her livelihood, but also for her knowledge. No doubt you will want your child to grow up into a confident, independent adult. Realise that increasingly daughters and sons are studying in colleges away from home, and subsequently working in offices located in other towns, or countries. Along with this comes the possibility that your child will own her own car in the future. When this happens you will want her to make an informed decision not just on which car to buy, but also on the responsibilities that come with owning a car, such as getting the car serviced regularly.

If your child has no knowledge of cars or of the price of various auto-parts, it will be easy to take her for a ride, or she may make a wrong decision on where to send the car for servicing or what to expect since she doesn't know better. True, she will learn with time, but wouldn't it be far better that she gains her knowledge of cars through you now, than through various mechanics ten years down the line, by trial and error?

The next time you go to get your car serviced, don't send it to the nearest station with your chauffeur. Make it a point to go yourself, and take your child along with you. You don't need to hang out the entire time, but just stick around for the first half an hour or so or until you get an estimate.

If your car has been giving you problems, discuss the problems with your child so she feels like a part of the conversation and she knows what you are talking about when you discuss the problems with the mechanic.

Stay there when they open the car engine, and make sure you are around when they change the oil. If any oil is remaining in the bottle, put it in the trunk. Keep discussing everything that you are doing with your daughter.

If the air or oil filter needs a change, show the filters to your child and explain why they need to be changed. Let your child know the prices of each item. Naturally, the prices will change over time, but once you have planted the seeds of awareness in your child, they will take root and with your help your child can be kept abreast of prices. Often certain service stations may charge more for a part that you can get for less at your local auto-parts shop. So if your child is aware of the prices, she can tell the people at the service station to just do a general servicing, and to let her know what needs to be changed. She can then change those parts from elsewhere.

Let's say you have a Honda and send your car to the Honda service station for servicing. You will be spending almost double what you would pay at a general service station. Yes, you can rely on the quality of the work but that does not mean that general service stations are not reliable. They are; the key is finding the right one. If your child knows what to expect from a good servicing, she will be able to make an informed, and correct, decision - leaving her with a better car, and a smaller bill.

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