About the Basic Vehicle Maintenance Course

The Basic Vehicle Maintenance course provides essential information on how to maintain your vehicle, from selecting the right fuel to more complex topics such as jump-starting a battery, changing tires and preparing for roadside emergencies. With the help of a pre-training survey, we automatically customize the course topics to match your vehicle type and normal driving conditions.

You'll learn a number of valuable skills, including:

  • Checking and refilling oil and other fluids
  • Changing a tire
  • Jump-starting a battery
  • Maintaining your tires, brakes, wipers and more
  • Building a basic tool kit
  • Building an emergency kit
  • Understanding types of gasoline

You can complete the 100% online course in about one hour. Learn at your own pace and build valuable skills by exploring 3D interactive demonstrations. You'll also receive a free Basic Vehicle Maintenance Reference guide, which will help you identify and fix common vehicle issues.

Course Benefits

The course is designed to help you understand critical aspects of vehicle maintenance and safety. Before the course, you will answer some questions about your vehicle (gas, electric or hybrid) and the weather conditions you usually drive in. These questions help us customize the course content for you, but you will have access to any topic you're interested in.

Learning objectives for the course include:

  • Determine the type of fuel appropriate for your vehicle
  • Describe how to refuel your vehicle correctly
  • List the components of a basic tool kit and the types of straightforward repairs for which you can use each tool
  • List the emergency supplies appropriate for your environment and circumstances
  • Outline processes for checking and adding oil and other vital fluids to your vehicle
  • Explain why it is essential to maintain your vehicle's tires, wipers, belts, hoses, brakes and battery
  • Identify the meanings of standard dashboard indicator lights
  • Describe how to jump-start a battery and change a tire

Course Outline

The course is divided into three modules: Ready for the Road, Regular Maintenance and In an Emergency. Each module includes activities and ungraded knowledge checks. There is no final exam.

You can find a full outline of each course module below.

Module 1: Ready for the Road

All About Gasoline

Learning objectives include:

  • Define gasoline
  • Differentiate grades and octane ratings
  • Define ethanol and outline the Renewable Fuel Standard
  • Explain variations in fuel formulas, including regional and seasonal variations and the difference between leaded, unleaded and diesel varieties
  • Name the hazards of using incorrect fuel in your vehicle

Topics include:

  • What Gasoline Is
  • What Fuel Grades and Octane Ratings Mean
  • Leaded, Unleaded and Diesel Fuels
  • Why Fuel Formulas Vary
  • Why the Type of Fuel Matters
All About Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

Learning objectives include:

  • Differentiate between all-electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles
  • Explain how to charge an electric vehicle
  • List factors that may affect an electric vehicle's driving range

Topics include:

  • How All-Electric Vehicles (EVs) Work
  • How Hybrid Vehicles Work
  • Charging an Electric Vehicle
  • What Is Range?
Recommended Tool Kit

Learning objectives include:

  • List the components of a basic tool kit for your vehicle
  • Identify simple repairs for which you can use each tool

Topics include:

  • What's in Your Tool Kit?
  • Quick Roadside Repairs
Emergency Kit

Learning objectives include:

  • List the emergency supplies you should keep in your vehicle
  • Identify the situations in which each item would be helpful

Topics include:

  • Building Your “Just-in-Case” Kit
    • Hazard Triangle or Flares
    • Jumper Cables
    • Tire Plug Kit
    • Spare Tire
    • Jack and Lug Wrench
    • Utility Shovel
Cold Weather Supplies

Learning objectives include:

  • List the emergency supplies you should keep in your vehicle
  • Identify the situations in which each item would be helpful

Topics include:

  • Building Your Cold Weather Kit
    • Ice Scraper
    • Snow Chains or Cables
    • Sand, Salt or Kitty Litter

Module 2: Regular Maintenance

Checking and Adding Oil

Learning objectives include:

  • Describe why oil is vital to your vehicle's engine
  • Check the oil level in your vehicle
  • Identify the appropriate weight of oil for your vehicle
  • Add additional oil to your vehicle

Topics include:

  • What Oil Does for Your Vehicle
  • Oil Changes
  • When You Should Check Your Oil
  • Checking Your Oil
  • What Kind of Oil to Use
  • Adding Oil
Checking and Adding Other Fluids

Learning objectives include:

  • List fluids other than engine oil that are important to keeping your vehicle running safely
  • Check the level of each type of fluid
  • Identify the appropriate type of each fluid for your vehicle
  • Add each fluid to your vehicle

Topics include:

  • What Are the “Other Fluids?”
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Brake Fluid
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Radiator Fluid/Coolant/Antifreeze
  • Windshield Wiper Fluid
Tires, Wipers and Belts

Learning objectives include:

  • Check tire treads using the penny test
  • Select the right tires for your vehicle
  • Identify the correct air pressure for your vehicle's tires and check the air pressure
  • List the signs that your vehicle's windshield wipers should be replaced
  • Replace the wipers
  • Inspect the condition of your vehicle's belts and hoses

Topics include:

  • Tires
  • Wipers
  • Belts and Hoses
Brakes and Batteries

Learning objectives include:

  • Determine when to get your brakes checked
  • Describe how to maintain your vehicle's 12-volt battery

Topics include:

  • Brake Pads and Drums
  • Drum Brakes
  • Disc Brake Rotors
  • Disc Brake Pads
  • Batteries

Module 3: In an Emergency

Learning objectives include:

  • Identify the meanings of standard dashboard indicator lights
  • Explain how to address issues that cause these alerts
  • Jump-start a battery
  • Describe the process of changing a tire

Topics include:

  • Dashboard Indicators
  • Jump-starting a Battery
  • Changing a Tire

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should take this course?

This course is designed for new drivers or anyone who wants to learn how to properly maintain their vehicle to stay safe on the road. It includes information on gas, electric and hybrid vehicles and preparing for winter driving hazards. You can combine this training with our online Texas Driver Education and Defensive Driving courses.

How long does it take to complete the course?

You can finish the course in about one hour. However, you can take as long as you need to explore interactive demonstrations and other course topics.

Can I complete this course online?

Yes, you can complete this course 100% online using any device.

How long do I have to complete the course?

Once you register for the course, you will have 180 days to finish before it expires. You can download and print the free Basic Vehicle Maintenance Reference Guide to refer back to after you complete your training.

Does this course provide a certificate?

No. This is an informational course that doesn't provide a certificate or require you to pass a final exam.

Do I have to take a test to pass the course?

No. The course does not have graded quizzes or a final exam, but each section ends with a knowledge quiz to help you review all topics covered.

Do I need to purchase books or other training materials?

No. The course provides all the information you need. In addition to the customizable course topics and interactive demonstrations, you'll receive a free Vehicle Maintenance Reference Guide that you can download and print.