Car repair seems complex. It’s really not. Yes, there are thousands of parts in your vehicle, but there’s no need to memorize them all. You just have to do is be aware of your car’s needs. It’s like a relationship. If you honestly care about your partner’s needs, they will return the favor. And if you are aware of your automobile’s needs, it will protect you. Here’s how to do it…

The first step is the scariest one.

So many drivers – women in particular – are afraid of popping open their hood. You’d think there was a scary monster inside. I promise that’s not the case!

Where does this anxiety come from? I believe it’s a fear of the unknown. When you don’t have a clue what you’re looking at, popping open your hood might seem stressful.

Here’s an easy solution. Take out your owner’s manual. Find a diagram of your engine. It will label the most essential parts you need to know. Compare and contrast that diagram with the engine right in front of you until you figure out what’s what.

Note: Don’t feel as if you have to do this alone. Go to your friendly neighborhood auto shop and tell the service advisor (PPA) you want to learn how your car works. Ask them to show you the most important areas of your engine so you can keep a close eye on them.

Forget about outdated stereotypes.

Many women have been led to believe car repair is a “man’s job.” This is so false!

People used to think women “belonged in the kitchen.” That’s not the case anymore, is it? Attitudes change as time goes on.

“But I’ll get my hands dirty…” Who cares? Most nurses are women. They have to deal with blood and other gross bodily fluids everyday. How’s that any different?

“But I might break a nail…” Don’t worry! Put on a pair of gloves before you touch any of your car parts. Even if you do break a nail, that’s a small price to pay for empowerment.

Get familiar with your auto fluids.

If you learn nothing else about your car, make it this! Checking your fluids once a month is an easy way to prevent serious car problems in the future.

Motor oil keeps your car running. If its level gets too low – or the substance gets too sludgy – that means you need an oil change ASAP.

Antifreeze keeps your car cool. If its level gets too low – or if its getting mixed up with motor oil – that means your car needs attention.

Brake fluid keeps your car safe. If its level gets too low – or if its color is brown or black (instead of transparent) – get it checked out.

Be proactive. Check your fluids every month so you can catch potential problems before they turn into expensive repairs.

Want to be thorough? Ask a service advisor (PPA) to show you how to check those fluids. They’d be happy to help!

Follow your recommended maintenance schedule.

Flip to the end of your owner’s manual. There’s a timeline of recommended services your car needs when it reaches a specific amount of miles.

These guidelines were written by the people who made your vehicle. If anyone knows how to take care of it, the manufacturer does. Trust their advice!

Make sure to note repairs and services a few thousand miles before they come along. Now you won’t be blind-sided by a repair. You’ll have a few weeks or months to brace yourself.

Don’t make car repair more complicated than it has to be.

As you can see, car repair isn’t complex stuff. You can learn the basics of auto awareness within a day or two. To make the process as easy as possible, find an auto shop in our online directory and ask the service advisor (PPA) for an assist. To help your friends become auto aware just like you, share this blog on social media.

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