Traditionally, women aren’t known as being particularly mechanically minded. While there definitely are women who know, love, and understand the inner workings of cars and other vehicles, this likely isn’t something that most people assume that women have a strong grasp on in general. Because of this, you as a woman might feel intimidated when you need to get work done on your car and worry about being taken advantage of simply because of your gender. Luckily, there are many things you can do to help break through the stereotype that women don’t know anything about cars. To help show you how to do this and give you more confidence in this area, here are three tips for working with a mechanic as a woman.
Learn The Lingo
Before you take your car in to get work done, you’re first going to want to ensure that you can competently and adequately describe what the problem is or what you’re needing help with. According to Jim Gorzelany, a contributor to Forbes.com, this means learning the lingo that your mechanic will be familiar with. If you can properly communicate what your vehicle is doing—whether it’s backfiring or misfiring, surging, or more—the mechanic will not only be able to help you more effectively, but he or she will also take you and your business more seriously. And when you’re being taken seriously, the chances for being taken advantage of decrease.
Stand By Your Research
When it comes time to get the actual repairs done, it will serve you well to have done your own research about parts and costs so you can have a better understanding of the quote you’ll be given by your mechanic. But even after doing your research, Nanette Fondas, a contributor to The Atlantic, shares that some mechanics will try to discredit the understanding you think you have. If this happens, stand by your research and express that you’ll be fine taking your business elsewhere. And if you feel like the prices are beyond what they should be, don’t be afraid to negotiate or ask for a discount.
Know What You Can Just Take Care Of On Your Own
While there will be some things that you’ll have to see a professional for, like auto body work, there are quite a few fixes you can make to your own vehicle even if you’ve previously had very little experience working with cars. According to Thorin Klosowski, a contributor to LifeHacker.com, things like replacing a filter, replacing spark plugs, changing your oil, and other small tasks are things that you can do on your own within the time of an afternoon. So if you have access to the Internet, some time on your hands, and no fear of getting a little dirty, try doing some of these repairs on your own to avoid having to deal with a mechanic in the first place.
If you’re a woman who feels intimidated in the auto world, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you feel more at ease when speaking and working with mechanics.