Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Car Needs A Man

I know just enough about cars to get by. I can't change a flat tire. Don't know how to check the oil. I can't even put air in my own tires. When it comes to that stuff, as sad as it sounds, I look for the closest man for help.

And I get it honestly. A conversation with my mom just this week revealed that she, too, is clueless when it comes to many car-related matters. I recently explained to her the importance of getting an oil change every few months and getting your tires balanced and rotated.

But I digress. This is about the big stuff. The big-ticket car repairs that, it seems, end up better when a man handles them.

When something major goes wrong with my car, I don't have that luxury. Being a single woman and having moved away from my hometown more than eight years ago, I'm on my own when it's time to put the car in the shop. So I trust mechanics to fix it, whatever "it" may be. But a few recent mishaps have me wondering if sometimes it really is better to have a masculine touch for such situations. Perhaps it's a macho thing -- Men feel like they can "relate" to one another, so they explain the needed repairs fully and don't cut any corners.

For instance, if I, as a woman, tell the auto repair shop, "I hear the brakes making a squeaking noise every now and then," I can feel the skepticism hanging in the air. Several months ago, I told my auto repair shop just that, and because they didn't hear a similar noise themselves when they took my car for a test drive, they wrote my concerns off.

Well, it turns out--in this case anyway--that the woman (read: ME) was right. Just a couple of months later, I learned that my brakes were indeed failing because they were wearing unevenly. But might this problem have been found earlier--at a much cheaper cost to me--had they taken my concern seriously in the first place? And if I were a man, would they have been less likely to believe that the brake noise that I complained of was all in my head? I think that's a real possibility.

All of that is of little consolation to me, though. For now anyway, I'm still on my own when it comes to car repairs, unless someone comes up with a rent-a-man business just for this sort of situation.


  1. Every car owner, regardless of gender, should know how to do basic car repairs. When I had my first car, I made it a point to learn about even the simplest ways of fixing up my car. I can say that I am prepared for anything should I ever be in any situation involving car trouble.

    -Andre Brennan

  2. Indeed, changing a flat tire is better when a man handles it. However, even if you’re a woman, you still need to have an idea about it. It’s not everyday that there’ll be a kind person who will help you when you’re stuck in this situation, so might as well learn about it on your own.

    Dewey Setlak

  3. A little knowledge can save you big time. Knowing basic car repairs and maintenance is part of being a responsible car owner. May I suggest that you find another car repair shop? The fact that they were not able to fix your car problem is a sign that they’re not worth your money. Your car deserves only the best service.

    -Michelina Douglass