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Reading, Writing, Auto Repair: Two in Three Parents Say Their Teen is ‘Clueless’ or ‘Average’ about Car Maintenance

AutoMDCarson, CA – Classes are back in session in schools across the U.S. and that means an increasing number of teen drivers are back on the nation’s highways.

While a majority of teenagers take driver’s education courses to learn the rules of the road, many don’t understand the steps required to keep their cars properly maintained and running safely.

A recent AutoMD.com survey of parents of teenage drivers1 revealed the following:

  • 97 percent said if online information about the basics of car repair were available to their teen, they would encourage him/her to use it.
  • Two-thirds rated their teen’s basic knowledge of car maintenance as “somewhat or completely clueless,” or “average.”
  • The majority – 62 percent – said it was “extremely important” for teens to be educated about the basic parts of a car, in addition to how to drive it.
  • Nearly 80 percent said their teen will turn to Mom or Dad to learn about auto repair, versus six percent who indicated their teen would learn auto repair basics in a driver’s education course.

AutoMD.com says that understanding the fundamentals of car repair knowledge is just as (if not more!) important for school age drivers as for the general population. This prompted the company to develop a car repair educational resource specifically for teens.

“It was not surprising to us that many of the parents surveyed indicated that their teen driver was relatively clueless about auto repair, nor that their teens were most familiar with the simplest task of filling the gas tank,” said Brian Hafer, VP of Marketing for AutoMD.com. “We suspect many adults have gaps in their auto repair knowledge as well, which is why we developed this guide to help parents begin the conversation of responsible vehicle ownership with their teen driver – and provide them with resources to help ensure that the basics are covered.”

Features of the AutoMD.com Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair Guide include:

  1. A vehicle diagram and glossary to help teens identify key components of a car
  2. A Do-It-Yourself (DIY) vehicle maintenance checklist
  3. DIY vehicle repair instructions for basic maintenance/repair jobs
  4. A list of car maintenance and repair “Tips and Tricks”
  5. Car repair safety information
  6. Roadside safety tips
  7. A car maintenance quiz
  8. A Certificate of Commitment

Hafer says the AutoMD.com Certificate of Commitment is an especially important part of the company’s Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair Guide. Requiring signatures by both teens and their parents, it serves as a teenage driver pledge to routinely maintain their vehicles, not only to protect their safety but also to maintain the value of their car.

AutoMD.com surveyed parents at its website and across 15 automotive shopping and enthusiast websites in the Jumpstart Automotive Group network – a network representing more than 14 million monthly car shoppers at Vehix, Car and Driver, JD Power Autos, Road & Track and more.

Nick Matarazzo, Jumpstart’s CEO, said the time has come for teen driver auto repair education. “Car shoppers and owners who visit the sites in Jumpstart’s network understand the importance of routine car maintenance and repair. It’s essential for teen drivers to understand these same principles, not only from a safety and reliability perspective but from a financial perspective too. A car is an investment. Routine maintenance and repair help protect that investment.”

To access the AutoMD.com Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair Guide, visit: www.automd.com/teen/

1 Survey conducted online among over 3,900 automotive web visitors from Friday, July 22nd, 2011 to Wednesday, September 7th, 2011.

About AutoMD.com

AutoMD.com™ (www.automd.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of US Auto Parts Network, Inc., (Nasdaq:PRTS), is the most comprehensive and unbiased free online automotive repair resource designed to empower car owners with the best way to repair their vehicles. Backed by a team of automotive data specialists and certified auto mechanics who are advocates for the car owner, AutoMD.com allows both car owners and DIYers to 1. Troubleshoot car problems, 2. Know how much auto repairs should cost, 3. Understand the steps needed and the time it should take with How-to Auto Repair guides, 4. Find the right local auto repair shop at the right price for their issue, and 5. Get auto repair questions answered by the AutoMD.com community. AutoMD.com was named Best Automotive Website in the 8th annual American Business Awards, also known as the Stevie® Awards. AutoMD Mobile is available for the iPhone at iTunes.

About Jumpstart Automotive Group

Jumpstart Automotive Group, part of Hearst Corporation, is an expert automotive marketing company. It represents the broadest and most diverse audience of in-market car shoppers and influencers across 15 automotive websites that include Vehix, Consumer Guide Automotive, JD Power Autos, Shopping.com Autos, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Cycle World, CarSoup, U.S.News Autos, HybridCars, CarGurus, TrueCar, PlugInCars, Overstock Cars and Leftlane. Fueled by a passion for performance, Jumpstart Automotive Group is committed to the development of quality content and services for consumers and to maximizing publisher revenue and advertiser results through innovative products and services. Additionally, Jumpstart has been on the forefront of behavioral targeting and is now developing leading research and strategic insights products. For more information, visit JumpstartAutomotiveGroup.com.

By using the AutoMD.com Web site, accessing or utilizing the information and advice contained therein (including the AutoMD.com Teen Driver Car Maintenance and Repair Guide), you agree to be bound by the Terms of Use. The information and advice provided is general and intended to be a starting point to gather information about auto repair and maintenance. You should not rely solely on such information as it may not be suitable for your particular automobile or situation. You acknowledge and agree that it is your sole responsibility to conduct an independent evaluation and otherwise verify the accuracy, suitability, and applicability of the information and advice for your situation, circumstances and purposes before relying or acting upon such advice.


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