How To Prepare Your Old Clunker For Your Teenage Driver

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In a few short months, I will be the proud mother of a 15-year-old, ready to learn how to drive teenage son. Just the idea of this makes my mind spin in a million directions because the time has flown by so fast. How in the world am I old enough to be the mom of a teenager, let alone one that will be driving in a year? See why my mind spins?

Just the thought of having a teenage driver makes my head spin, but the reality is happening soon. See how we are preparing our old clunker for our soon to be 15-year-old, ready to learn how to drive son.

Most days I remind myself to keep it together and go with the fact that my baby is not my baby anymore. He’s a growing boy that will soon fly from the coup and not need me to shuttle him around from place to place anymore. He’ll be able to do it himself. In preparation for this life changing event, we have been teaching him some vital steps in car maintenance because he is going to need it when he takes over the old Ford, we know as Betty.

Old Betty has gone places. She's been a great truck. See how we are prearing to hand her over to our oldest son in a few short months.

She’s been in the family since 2006 when my husband and I quickly realized that we needed a second vehicle to get us around town. Betty had 69,000 miles on her original engine and was the truck my husband wanted for the longest time. Over the years, she has taken on trips to the beach, lake and camping trips galore. She’s been my husbands work truck and a member of the family. Now our 1993 Ford F-150 with 121,000 miles is ready to move onto the next budding driver in the family…our oldest son.

He's too cool for school and ready to learn to drive, but I'm not ready.

Betty may not be the newest truck on the road, but she’s 22 years old and would be classified as a gas guzzling, clunker by some. The truth is, she is a gas guzzler (even if the gas gauge is broke and we really can’t tell how many miles she gets to the gallon) and she can get a little cranky at times but that’s more reason for our son to learn the maintenance required to keep her on the road.

A lot of people think teens need a new car because it’s “reliable,” but for some teens that’s not always a reality and having a car is better than no car at all. With proper maintenance and a little teaching, a teen can drive a fixer upper vehicle like Old Betty. With all of this in mind, here’s how we are teaching our son how to keep his soon to be “clunker” boot scootin’ her way down the road:

One way to prepare your old clunker for your teenage driver is a quick Pennzoil Oil Change at Walmart. The best part about can get all your shopping done while you wait!

Tips to Prepare your Old Clunker for Your Teenage Driver

Oil Changes: Walmart has always been our go-to place for oil and lube maintenance on Old Betty. With her higher mileage and our budget in mind, Walmart has always provided us with the service we need to keep Betty on the road.

Because of Betty’s age, she requires either a Pennzoil High Mileage Oil Change or Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil. A Pennzoil High Mileage Motor Oil helps to reduce leaks and oil consumption in worn or higher mileage engines. It’s a motor oil that is specifically designed for new or late model vehicles with over 75,000 miles, to help keep the engines running clean and going strong for a long time.

The Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil is best for cleanliness and protection in the Pennzoil line-up. With PurePlus™ Technology, the Platinum® motor oil is proven to keep pistons up to 40% cleaner than the toughest industry standard. PurePlus™ Technology is a revolutionary process that converts natural gas into a 99.5% pure base oil.

From June 10th – September 9th, Pennzoil oil changes will be on Rollback at Walmart Automotive Care Center stores.

  • High Mileage: $35.88, compared to the regular Walmart price of $39.88. {Industry standard price is $46}
  • Platinum Full Synthetic: $45.88, compared to the regular Walmart price of $49.88. {Industry standard price $66}

Pennzoil Warranty: Pennzoil also offers a free warranty that covers 15 engine parts that may fail due to engine wear or which experience abnormal wear due to friction. (For more information, check out the Pennzoil Warranty Site.)

Air Filter Maintenance: An air filter helps keep air flowing through the engine of a vehicle. If the air filter is not properly maintained, it will restrict the air intake and chokes your vehicle’s engine. Air filters should be changed at a minimum of one time a year or 15,000 miles. Checking the air filter should be done every 3,000 miles. If you see dirt, dust and/or grime buildup in the accordion folds, it’s time to change the air filter.

Tire Maintenance: This is key for any vehicle and should be done weekly. Low tire pressure can cause problems with wear and tear on your tires which will result in purchasing new tires before you actually need to. Another thing with tire maintenance is to get regular rotations and balancing of the tires. Rotating and balancing should be done every 6,000 miles.

The great thing is Walmart also offers this vehicle maintenance service and you can get this done with your oil change while you shop for your everyday household items. Time saver! :)

He's ready to take Betty for a spin, but I'm not completely ready to let go. See how we are preparing our old clunker for our teenage driver with the help of Pennzoil.

Fuel: In our case, Betty’s gas gauge is a little on the broken side so we have had to learn how to keep track of how much gas we have by writing down the mileage when we fill up. This is something we have had to teach our son too. He learned how to pump gas when he was about 10 so he has that down pat. The key with higher mileage vehicles like Betty is that traditional gas (87 octane) is not the best option, so we use at least an 89 octane fuel for her.

Cleanliness: Keeping a vehicle on the road is not only about keeping the motor running smoothly. It’s also about keeping the exterior and interior of the vehicle clean too. Lugging around excess gear in the vehicle can hamper gas mileage and keeping the exterior clean is just nice to see. Betty may be “old”, but she looks good when she is washed, dried and waxed on a regular basis.

If you are preparing your old clunker for a teen this summer, what key maintenance are you teaching them now to get ready to transition into a budding new driver?

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One Comment

  1. David @ Spiced says:

    Fortunately, we have many years before we have to deal with another driver in the house…unless you count play cars! But this is a great guide. Thanks for sharing! #client

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