I'd like to start this blog by introducing myself using the picture above.
That, was my front yard growing up.
That, was my brother's Ford Mustang. (Yeah baby.)
And that man to the right and in the back? That, is the man who taught me that girls can do anything boys can do.
My father never said it in words, but he taught it in the way he let me under the car and under the hood during the perpetual rebuilding of our family cars.
We were THAT family. You know, that ones who have at least 5 non-working vehicles parked out front at all times? Yep, that was us. And I loved it.
You have to understand, my grandpa was a mechanic in the army and worked on tanks. My dad grew up rebuilding engines and finding peace in his father's well-organized tool shed. I, in turn, grew up learning to love the smell of oil and gasoline, the feel of grease on my arms, and the satisfaction of getting a little dirty and a little high on the thrill of self-sufficiency.
I am not your 'authorized dealer' type of mechanic. I am a novice who came from the school of ingenuity, creativity, and 'if it runs, those extra parts apparently weren't necessary'. I don't do complex jobs without my dad sitting on a chair right beside me, guiding me with his experience and telling me he really is going to give me my own breaker bar for Christmas.
But I can change my own oil, replace a tire, do a break job, and reinstall a slipped serpentine belt. I've changed spark plugs on a 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan (not advisable, by the way), changed out radiators, alternators, A/C compressors, batteries and air filters. I know what a Haynes manual is and how to order parts. This may not sound like much to an experienced shop mechanic, but for a woman nowadays? Saving herself money and the likelihood that she'll get scammed if she takes her car to a shop? It's invaluable.
If you can get comfortable working around your car you can learn to do a few money-saving items yourself and feel more confident if you get stuck out on the road.
I'm looking forward to posting some easy to follow DIY turorials as we maintain our own cars. If you have any requests - post below! (Every car is different, btw, so the approach for your vehicle may differ, but the general ideas in how the systems function and interact are similar enough, that I'm hoping the upcoming videos, etc... will, with your manual, give you the confidence you need to get to know and be able to do basic maintenance on your vehicle.)