Question Of The Day: Should Auto Maintenance Be Part of… Driver’s Education?

10 years, 1 month ago - 4 December 2012, The truth about cars
Question Of The Day: Should Auto Maintenance Be Part of… Driver’s Education?
Public schools have the unique misfortune of being the target for every harebrained idea related to learning.

Why? Because everyone is an expert! We all have great ideas! In quiet surrender, many public schools are left with ideas that result in excessive paper pushing and basic rote memorization.

Don’t get me wrong folks. Higher order thinking skills are also valued in most public schools (outside Texas). So long as they are also far, far away from the neighboring political bonfires.

So with that in mind, why not offer one more good idea from us gearheads?

It’s not enough to know how to drive a car.

Why? Because unlike the billions of people in this world who don’t own anything remotely automotive, young folks often will have access to cheap wheels.

Those cheap wheels will become expensive at some point.  Neglecting maintenance. Not understanding what actually needs to be maintained. Not knowing how to perform a basic check on a car’s fluids.

All these things cost big money in the long run.

Then there is “the big one”, which comes in the form of a repair facility or a lobbying organization that makes their livelihood out of screwing the general public. The $3000 a/c repair that requires only $200 in parts and $2800 in b.s. The 3000 mile oil change in an era when some cars only need changes every 10k miles. The 50,000 mile strut replacement scam that has helped a million dollar facility down the street from me.

This is what I propose. A simple two hour clinic added to a driver’s ed course that would help make young people better drivers and better owners.

If the regular “just drive the damn care safely” curriculum was supplemented with a basic program on how to care for your car, and how to keep an eye out for common scams in our industry, it would make a difference.

How much of a difference? It’s hard to tell. In life a lot of people get screwed over for no good reason other than the fact that they simply don’t know they’re getting taken. Is automotive knowledge the exclusive domain of parents, family and friends? Or should schools take a small but definite role in educating those who don’t have those relations?