Many women as well as a surprising number of men do not know the basics of vehicle maintenance therefore fear being taken advantage of when they have a vehicle problem. The reason I stated “a surprising number of men" is because we tend to think men know about vehicles just based on gender. But with our lives becoming so busy and full, many men don't have the time or desire or necessity of working on their own vehicles.
Good Shop, Bad Shop
There are a lot of reputable repair shops out there but the bad or unethical ones, introduced to us by news cameras or friends who paid too much for repairs, are the ones that stick in our minds inspiring fear.
The reason an unethical repair shop might rip someone off is that, they know we are dependent upon our vehicles and do whatever is necessary to get fix them. Whatever is necessary may differ drastically between shops.
Empower Yourself With Vehicle Basics
As the daughter of a military airplane mechanic and vehicle mechanic, I want the same empowerment of vehicle knowledge for all women that I've been blessed with since I was a little girl.
In this article, you will learn simple, basic steps you can take to not only maintain your vehicle but gain knowledge to give repair shops a heads up that you are not the person to take advantage of. You will also have an opportunity to receive one of my most popular documents to help you further. Sound good? Read on. . . we'll take a short journey through what was formerly known as “man land" and make ourselves safer in the process.
You Might Be Asking. . . Question: How often does my vehicle need to be checked out?
Answer: At least twice per year (exceptions below) and Spring and Fall are great reminders; before extreme heat or cold.
Question: What is the best way to keep my vehicle healthy?
Answer: Learn the basics of what your healthy vehicle should look like so that you can provide health care instead of sick care.
Here are some examples:
- tires should be properly inflated (monthly or more often and if vehicle pulls left or right while driving)
- spare tire should be present, in good condition and properly inflated (your life may depend on it)
- oil and filter should be changed every 3,000 - 5,000 miles depending on your vehicle model
- radiator coolant should be present and accounted for, proper level
- windshield wiper blades should wipe cleanly, may need replacement annually
- wiper fluid for severe weather or bug season
- head lights, tail lights, brake lights, turn signals should all work well
- brakes should be in good condition and quiet
- brake fluid at proper level
- transmission fluid present and accounted for at correct level
- all belts should be in excellent condition and replaced immediately when worn or dry
- watch for leaks or weird smells
Question: Where should I take my vehicle for these checks?
Answer: Great question! Ask around for referrals, check out reviews online and look before you need something done. If you go to a reputable lube and oil shop for an oil change, they should check tire pressure and condition among other things. Since they do not sell tires, they have no commission incentive to be dishonest. They can check other things too like belts and fluids. You may need to ask and possibly pay a little extra. It is probably worth it. Of course, if your vehicle is under warranty, you can go to the dealership for serious issues (they will probably wash and vacuum it before giving it back but sometimes charge a lot more for simple oil changes, etc. ).
You might even look up a high school mechanics shop and arrange for a student to check the simple things, or a friend who can check tires, fluids and simple stuff on the side (at your own risk). I've checked many a girlfriend's vehicle myself and replaced headlights, turn signal bulbs, etc. As the daughter of a mechanic, auto parts super stores are like Disneyland to me! (Don't tell anyone else that, okay?) Fact: It is truly possible to be a girly girl and still know enough about vehicles to keep you out of avoidable trouble.
Trust Your Gut Feelings
I have to mention this because it is the key to unlock your safer future. (Read my other articles on Women's Personal Safety Secrets) Remember to trust your gut feelings! If you get the “creeps" in a mechanic's shop, leave like a tree. If it feels wrong it's wrong, period! That is why it is good to find someone you trust before you are in a desperate situation.
So, how does it feel to know more about your car, truck, van or SUV? Of course, these are just some basics but that may be all you need. Check out the bonus I created with my dad in the paragraph below. And congratulations, you are now safer and know more about vehicles than many men and most women.
Bonus Safety Tip: By the time the “idiot light" illuminates on your dashboard, you may already be in danger and need expensive repairs. And now I would like to offer you free access to printed and audio versions of the “Seven Deadly Personal Safety Mistakes" as well as an additional bonus document “Vehicle Maintenance Basics for You and Those You Love, " when you subscribe to my free weekly Safety Quick Tips; a 52 week newsletter on Personal Safety. You can get your instant access at http://www.PersonalSafetyTrainer.com