Thursday, October 15, 2009
My Car Needs A Man
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.