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It is hard not to worry when your kids first get their license and take to the road. As a parent, you are concerned about their safety in terms of other drivers as well as the reliability of the vehicle they are driving.
Whether you helped them buy a resale vehicle or splurged on a new ride for them, it is important to not only show them how to take proper care of it so that it lasts them through college and beyond, but you also want to have a system in place to remind them of certain responsibilities in case they are sidetracked with friends, school, and work.
Challenge: Teaching Kids How to Take Care of Stuff
As an adult with a lot on their plate, it may be hard enough to remember to take care of everything related to a vehicle. With kids, it can be even more challenging because they have yet to learn the value of what things cost and may not understand the implications of not conducting maintenance on a vehicle. The vehicle is a symbol of freedom and fun and, well, if it breaks, mom and dad will deal with it.
They may not even get as far as realizing that a vehicle does stop working at some point if it does not get oil changes and tires will eventually wear down to nothing. That is why it is important to help your children understand the value of taking care of things so that they last longer. With a vehicle, it goes beyond that. It is also about keeping them safe so the vehicle does not break down on a deserted road at 2 a.m. when they are coming back from a party or there is no traction to stop the vehicle on a slick road because the tire tread is gone.
Solution: Communicate in Their Language
One way to show them how to take care of the vehicle is to have them use an innovative system that is now available with wireless functionality that reminds them when they need to get the oil changed or rotate the tires.
The best way to do this is by reaching your kids through email and especially their Internet-accessible devices, including Smartphones, Blackberries, and PDAs. The system can even send text message reminders, which is primarily how kids seem to communicate nowadays. Reaching them on their level will help get the message through that it is time to take care of their vehicle or come home for the weekend so the maintenance issues can be addressed with mom and dad.
By also receiving the same messages as your kids about their vehicle, you can remind them or keep up with the performance level so that you can track any safety issues, such as recalls, immediately. Additionally, fuel records and trip logs can be reviewed, odometer readings updated, maintenance histories can be reviewed, and repairs can be entered into the vehicle log. All of this can be done in real time so you, as the parent, and your child can both be up-to-date on the vehicle’s condition.
Benefit: Functional Vehicle, Safe Kids, Increased Re-sale Value
There are a number of benefits to utilizing a service and maintenance reminder system for both you and your kids. Outside of peace of mind that your kids are riding in a vehicle that is reliable and safe, there are positive aspects about this type of online, real time system:
- It serves as an effective teaching device that shows parents and kids the necessary steps that are essential for proper maintenance and care of any vehicle. Everyone also better understands how a vehicle functions and what really goes on under the hood and between the steering wheel, tires and the road.
- It helps people remember important activities related to their vehicle even if it does not seem as high a priority as the next mid-term exam, fraternity party, or date. Life has become so hectic that everyone needs a reminder system that beeps at them or texts them to be proactive.
- It works with today’s technology to better integrate into the way our lives have become in terms of being run by cell phone and the Internet. No one has time to write stuff down anymore, but people will pay attention if it pops up on the screen of any one of their many wireless devices.
- It encourages people to take better care of their “vehicle” of freedom and fun, so that when they decide that another type of vehicle is more fun and better looking, they can get a good trade-in or re-sale price for the one that no longer appeals to them. Many consumer auto associations and manufacturers agree that those vehicles that have been better taken care of in terms of both exterior and interior components will fetch a higher residual value than one that has literally been driven into the ground.
You may not be able to stop your kids from grinding the gears, riding the brakes, doing “doughnuts” in the parking lot with their friends, or adding a trunk full of audio equipment to their vehicle, but you may be able to ensure that they are doing it in a safe, reliable mode of transportation that has had all of its tune-ups and been treated with a lot of TLC.