My friend Jennifer inspired this post. Jennifer saw a good deal on Groupon for an oil change for $24.00. She left there spending over $300.00. What happened? Most mechanics take advantage of single women who don’t have a man to help them weed through the mechanics bullshit. Here are some tips for the single ladies courtesy of my daddy along with my expertise as a former owner of a car sharing business and former Fleet Manager of a national auto rental company.
- FIND A RELIABLE MECHANIC. This mechanic is preferably someone either your family or friend regularly takes their car for service.
- ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE YOU ARE PARKING. Take special note of any leakage under the car and more impportantly, what area is it coming from and what color is the liquid? Green is antifreeze, red is power steering fluid and thick brownish color is oil. This is important in the event you need to tell your mechanic your car is having trouble.
- READ YOUR CARS MANUAL. Many of us are wasting money get an oil change every 3 months/3,000 miles. Most car manuals will recommend an oil change at 7.500 miles. This is the case for most Hondas. Reading the manual will save you money for it will give you a more realistic idea of when you should change the oil and frequency of maintenance.
- DON’T FALL FOR THE YOU NEED A NEW AIR FILTER. Air filters are equivalent to your nose nostril hairs accumulating dust and particles. Air filters can be RINSED off and put back in your car. You can actually do this yourself. THIS IS THE BIGGEST GIMMICK MECHANICS TRY AND SELL US ON.
- CHECK YOUR BRAKE LIGHTS. You can easily do this by paying attention to the lights reflection when pressing on the brakes while backing in your car. You can also have someone stand behind your car and tell you if they are all lighting up. Better them than the police.
- TURN DOWN THE RADIO ONCE IN A WHILE. How else will you hear your brakes whistling indicating they need to be changed or the rotors grinding saying “bitch stop”? Random rattling rumblings under the hood, etc. will all be missed if you don’t turn the radio down (off) every now and then.
- CHECK YOUR TIRES TREAD. This can be done by taking a penny and placing it in between the grooves on the tire. If you can’t see Lincoln’s head, its time to change them. Another sign they should be changed is the metal thread hanging out the tire. **take note that if the tread is wearing off more on the sides, you could need your tires balanced**
- LEARN HOW TO CHANGE YOUR CAR TIRES. My first day of work as a Fleet Manager, this author found a car in the fleet with a flat tire. I was able to remove the tire, using my feet on the crowbar, to loosen the lug nuts and remove. I recommend buying a used tire instead of using the doughnut provided. You will be able to ride longer and not worry about driving too fast. One day you could find yourself stranded without cell service to call AAA.
- GET A AAA MEMBERSHIP. EVERY single woman needs this card. Not only does it provide the peace of mind of having your car towed, tire changed and/or getting back in your locked car but it also comes with the benefit of having DMV services at their local office. There you can pay for your annual vehicle registration. NO more extensive waits at DMV.
These tips work well for both USED and NEW cars. For more tips on basic car maintenance or if you are looking for an upgrade, visit cars.com for more details!