Ladies can be top car carers too

Taking care of the car, whether it be general polishing using car polish applicator pads or getting down and dirty under the bonnet, can be seen as something of man's job.

However, an automotive enthusiast from the United States is keen to show women that they can buck the trend in what is widely considered a male dominated area.

Wendy Doviken has survived more than two decades in the testosterone-fuelled world of car maintenance and in June this year she decided to spread her wings and open her own auto-shop.

As a woman she feels can offer a unique service plus a wealth of advice to females who struggle with motoring issues.

Last Saturday she hosted a ladies-only day at her Star Quality Auto Centre in New Windsor, New York and 55 people turned up to eat cheese nibbles and learn about all the ways they can look after their car themselves without the aid of a man.

On the visitors, Ginny Nelson, said she was tired of garages trying to rip her off because of her sex and added that the open day was a great way for her to learn more about the inner workings of her vehicle.

She told the Times Herald-Record: "I'm a nurse and I know the human body. But I don't know a thing about the car."

Ms Doviken said that women make up more than 50 per cent of her clients but too often when the time comes to make a decision on what should be done with a car the ladies say they have to ask their boyfriend or husband first.

She went to list a series of things ladies can do independently of male help, although it is information that male readers can probably benefit from also.

She said that you should ensure you wheel alignment is checked around May or June each year as traditionally this the time of the year that pot holes in roads are filled in.

Also, Ms Doviken urged the women to get their tires checked regularly, to replace an parts at the first sign that they may be wearing out and to always carry an emergency kit when going out on long journeys.

She then had the ladies scribbling frantically into their notepads as she fired off a tips on how to look after brake pads and ensure fluid levels are correct before demonstrating how a series of automotive parts work and how to spot wear and tear.

Prevention is cheaper than the cure, she added. You should never put off routine maintenance just because it saves you a little bit of money.

Many of her top tips echo those issued by IAM Drive & Survive's head of training, Simon Elstow.

In addition to the suggestions made by Ms Doviken, he recommended that you thoroughly check all aspects of your car before driving off on any trip this winter time.

He suggested that you should make sure your wiper blades are in good condition, always taking the time to remove any condensation ice or frost before driving anyway.

If the blades are in anyway squeaky as they move up and down, then it is probably for the best that they are checked out or even replaced at the first opportunity.

He added that the cold weather in the coming months can take a serious toll on your car's battery and suggested that you keep the top of the battery as clean and dry as possible.

Batteries which are three or more years old should be checked regularly as the last thing you want is not being able to drive anywhere because it has run flat, he added.

Posted by Mark Henderson 

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