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This post was created in partnership with Click on Tyres, but all thoughts are my own.
Everyone remembers their first car. No matter how horrid it was, it was better than having your parents drive you around or having to try and find a ride from one of your friends that did have a car.
I was a very responsible teenager. I got good grades (I had a 4.4 GPA) and didn’t get myself into any trouble. I knew I wanted to go to a good school, so I made good choices, but I still had friends that I enjoyed socializing with.
My family didn’t really have much money and I wasn’t allowed to work (other than babysitting), so getting a car as a teenage was really seemed like a pipe dream.
However, one day my mom decided to get a new car because the car she’d been driving had a lot of problems and was on the verge of hitting the junk yard. Guess who got that car – me.
I was beyond thrilled. It was a Hyundai Excel (I don’t remember what year – somewhere in the 1980s era) and it was blue. The car had a horrible oil leak (as in I had to add oil a couple times a day), but I was a happy camper.
I finally had freedom and could get to and from school without worries. One Friday night, our high school football team had an away game, and I finally had the chance to re-pay all of my friends who already had cars by driving to the game.
So I piled 3 or 4 of my friends into my car and we went to the game. Well, something must have gone horribly wrong with the oil leak while we were at the game.
We got in the car to drive home and everything seemed fine at first. Then we got on the freeway and the car wouldn’t accelerate over 30 mph, so we pulled over to the side of the road to call my mom (on the cell phone she made me carry with me against my will – back then it was not cool to have a cell phone).
She came to pick us up. We moved the car off the freeway and left it on the side of the road overnight. Some punk decided to break every window out of the car that night. So in addition to essentially being unsalvageable by a mechanic, it didn’t have windows anymore either.
So, that was the end of story for my first car. Off to the scrapyard it went
Looking back, I wish I had known more about cars. These are a few pieces of advice I would have given to my teenage self.
- Maintenance matters. If the oil leak was so bad that you needed to put oil in it every day, you probably shouldn’t have been driving around.
- Carrying a cell phone in the car is a good idea – it’s about safety. There’s no reason to be embarrassed for being prepared.
- Learn to change a tire. What would have happened if it had been a blown tire? Wouldn’t it have been nice if you could have taken care of that yourself?
- Learn basic maintenance. As I have gotten older, I wish I would have learned more about basic maintenance when I was younger so I could fix things myself or at least know what the mechanic is talking about.
You can visit Click on Tyres for more information about car maintenance.
What advice would you give your teenage self about driving & cars?