One thing I love about living in NYC is that I don't have a car. I buy my metro card each month and that's it! No gas, insurance, or maintenance fees.
But ohhh buddy, when I did have to take my car to get worked, it sucked. Not only was it expensive and time-consuming, but I had to deal with a lot of jargon I didn't understand. Yes, my dad taught me how to check all the fluids and air pressure and spark plugs (more than some people know, I realize), but I don't like feeling stupid. Let's face it, a mechanic "mansplaining" my transmission problems didn't make me feel like an educated person.
Until today, I had no idea that women-run auto shops (or "garages" as they're sometimes known) exist - with kick-ass female mechanics and everything! This is life-changing information.
Caroline Lake, the founder of Caroline's Cars in Norwich, Britain, decided to open her own garage after working as a mechanic for years and hearing many female customers complain about getting ripped off or being leered at by male mechanics.
"Women come here because they know they can trust me, and that I’m not going to rip them off," she tells the Daily Mail. "I want to encourage women to not be afraid and feel safe – it’s ingrained in society that women automatically know nothing about cars."
(Caroline is the mechanic on the left.)
While her garage started by catering just to women, her male patronage is strong and growing - apparently, men who don't know everything about cars are sick of being ripped off, too.
"It’s not just young women who prefer a female garage; men are exactly the same about big burly mechanics and their 'backstreet' reputations," Caroline explains.
No one's judged for their knowledge (or lack thereof) at Caroline's Cars; her goal is to run an honest, trustworthy business. Caroline also offers classes on the basics, like how to do a basic check-up, including a chance to rock her electric pink jumpsuits that all of her mechanics are required to wear.
The good news is, even though not all of us can get our cars over to the U.K., there are female mechanics and women-run auto shops in the U.S. - Google led me to a few.
Great Bear Auto Repair in Queens, N.Y.:
Owned and operated by Audra Fordin.
180 Degree Automotive in Phoenix, A.Z.:
Owned and operated by Sarah "Bogi" Lateiner.
And I've got to mention this future queen of car repair, a 14-year-old girl from Mount Pleasant, M.I. who rebuilt a Fiero sports car on her own:
I'd trust Kathryn Dimara with my wheels.
While auto mechanics isn't an industry with much female representation, I trust the Google gods to find something near your area as well. And check out woman-centerd sites like Vroom Girls to brush up on your own auto body know-how.
Thanks to the Daily Mail.
Photos via the Daily Mail, Great Bear Auto Repair, and 180 Degree Automotive.