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Basic Auto Mechanics Every Black Woman Should Know

Auto mechanics is traditionally a male dominated field and I recommend that dark skin black women and girls exude femininity at all times including in their career choices and hobbies. However, I do suggest that they are knowledgeable of general vehicle maintenance and should be equipped with the basic skills as an operator of a motor vehicle.

These tips should also, make you privy to tricks, scams, and avoid doing business with a shady auto mechanic. Whether you are out here making moves alone, always on the go, fortunate to have a reliable mechanic, or someone knowledgeable who can offer vehicle maintenance and repair advice. These tips will certainly prepare you for just about any auto repair/maintenance disaster.

Our family and social economic backgrounds vary. Some of us were afforded the opportunity to be guided through the steps at becoming a licensed driver and provided with financial assistance for car ownership, while others have had to figure out the process through trial and error every step of the way with very little guidance, and if you're like myself you fall somewhere in the middle.

I've had to learn a lot on my own as a motor vehicle pilot, but fortunately my grandfather has been involved in teaching me firsthand some of the auto mechanic basics. He told me a woman should always know how to check her oil, tires for air, change the tire if she gets a flat, notice when her tires are balding, keep a record of routine service done to the car such as the car's most recent brake job and tune-up, and know when she's being overcharged for routine or basic mechanical work.

The tools needed to change a flat tire are :

  • Emergency Warning Devices

  • Car Manual

  • Car Jack

  • Lug Wrench

  • Spare Tire

  • Tire Tools

  • Flashlight

  • Wheel Chocks (Optional)

Check your tire tread using the penny test. This can prevent driving with balding tires and teach the identifying signs of when your car is due for a wheel alignment.

Basic car maintenance such as a tune-up and brake job should be prioritized. It is recommended by that a tune-up is done every 30k-60k miles. Some signs that your car may be in need of a tune-up are stalling, difficulty starting the engine, reduced fuel mileage, strange noises, and the maintenance lights on your car's dashboard. The average cost is between $50-$150 for a basic tune-up. Keep in mind that the more luxurious the car the more expensive the maintenance.

Typically an oil change is apart of a tune-up. ​Brake pads tend to last between 20k-60k miles. Signs that you need new brake pads are: if you hear squeaky or grinding noises when you tap the brake pedal and if the pads are less than a 1/4 inch. You can check this by looking through the spokes of the wheel, the pad is usually rubbing against the rotor which is what the brakes grab onto to slow the vehicle down. Be careful not to ride around with thinning pads as this wears on the rotors and could result in a replacement. The average cost for brake pad replacement is typically between $100-$150, this includes the pads and labor, keep in mind most pricing for repair shops generally offer this service in pairs (i.e. front or back brakes) rarely as a set of four.

This is probably one of the most important resources to have as a driver. If you have not done so already make room in your budget for emergency roadside service. Some auto insurance companies offer roadside assistance with their services. If not companies such as AAA offer roadside side assistance in the form of tows, changing of flat tire, dead car battery, and locksmith. There is a one time annual fee less than $50 and they are available 24 hours.

Lastly, remember to keep these car items accessible in case of an emergency: flashlight, spare quart of motor oil, anti-freeze (if driving an older model), jumper cables, jack, spare tire, and lug wrench. These items are like a first aid kit for your vehicle. Hopefully, your drive from point "A" to point "B" will be hassle free.

A' Cylo ( ˈā/ˈsil/ lō) - “I am a writer with a passion for using my voice to speak on the issues many refuse. My hobbies include writing, dancing, and gardening. I'm a fan of all shades of blue; with a slight addiction to popcorn, chips, and salsa. I teach but more importantly I learn; continuously. Did I mention I'm a writer; and I'm serious about my content"?!

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