Making Car Mechanics More Accessible For Teens (+ video)

Publish Date
Friday, 7 August 2015, 2:06PM

Teens are learning to drive without knowing how to maintain their vehicles - something a local student wants to rectify.

Rose Barker, 17, has started a free course at Tauranga Girls' College, together with AA, to teach students car maintenance and what to do in a driving emergency.


She hopes other schools in the area will take up her idea and create their own free courses.

The deputy head girl knows her way around a car.

Her knowledge and that of her father, a mechanic, meant she was often the go-to person for friends with car troubles.

"A lot of my friends will ring me to ask my dad something, if they need help buying a car or if their car has broken down.

"I realised there are a lot of young girls who don't know their way around a car.

I don't think it's their fault, the school curriculum simply doesn't have room to teach the practical life skills that are just as important.

"That's what sparked the initiative."

Many teens had licences but did not know about cars, Rose said.

"I had a friend ring me the other day because she couldn't start her car and couldn't figure out why. She didn't know about the steering lock."

Rose, with the help of AA Road Service officer Mark Duncan, created a booklet called the Girl's Glovebox Guide, which will be given out to all the girls who attend the course.

Rose and Mr Duncan would run three free hour-long workshops at the college this month, each catering for 20 students.

Mr Duncan would bring some vehicles to the college for the girls to learn on.

He said he would be running through the basics.

"The basic sort of stuff like tyre changing, how to check your vehicle before you go on a trip, all that sort of stuff. It won't be anything too complicated, just enough so they are aware of how things work and enough to keep them going."

Mr Duncan said when someone had been driving for a long time, it was second nature to run checks. But for someone just learning to drive, it was a new concept.


Source: Bay of Plenty Times