Studies show that women significantly lag behind men when it comes to knowledge about cars and how to fix them. This leads many female drivers to feel intimidated and unsure of who to trust with for services. As a young female driver, I have found myself in this predicament more than I’d like to admit.
A few weeks ago, I found myself stuck, waiting for hours on end in the dingy lobby of an auto parts shop… again. Much to my dismay — and the dismay of my bank account — this wasn’t the first, second or even third time that I’d been in a similar predicament over the past few months.
When I came to college, I quickly realized that having my own car was A LOT different than always having my dad to rely on when it came to car problems. Having car problems while on my own made me feel vulnerable and overwhelmed, and I realized that my lack of knowledge was a major contributor to this stress. While many stereotypes are untrue or outdated, the one about women knowing less about car repairs rings true for me at least.
It’s stressful and frustrating when mechanics explain problems with my vehicle that I don’t understand with words I have never heard. While it’s unlikely that I will ever be as well versed in the language of cars as my dad, I think that women should have at least a basic understanding of how cars work. I’m just as guilty of this ignorance as anyone else, but I think if women were more informed, much of the stress of auto shop visits could be alleviated. Self-awareness is the first step towards self-improvement, so I think I’m making progress.
Photo: O. Lopez