Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Top 10 Things Women Should Know About Cars

It's the off season so NASCAR news isn't as prevalent as it is between February and November. With that in mind Skirts and Scuffs contributor, and mechanical engineer, Jenny Sigelko decided it was time to school us in the Top 10 Things Women Should Know About Cars. It's not your typical Skirts and Scuffs post but it's chock full of information to keep you safe, keep your car running well, and maybe even turn a head or two with your knowledge.
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1161348_stick_shift Recently, a friend sent me a Top 10 list of Things Men Should Know about Cars. I thought it was very interesting, both because I’m a bit of a fan of Tanner Foust, and I’m a bit of a car gal. Follow the link to read it for yourself.
http://www.askmen.com/top_10/cars/top-10-things-every-man-must-know-about-cars-with-tanner-foust.html

I thought that it deserved a “response”.

Top 10 Things Women Should Know About Cars

10. Don’t ever make fun of the PT Cruiser

This is in direct response to TF’s slight knock of the PT on the Top Gear America show. This car was unique in its styling and cargo capacity. It was not a bad car! Also, the company that signs my paychecks made this car, so I am required to defend it. The PT made it nearly 10 years without needing major restyling. Also, I saw a Ford Festiva in the Target parking lot yesterday with the hood up. ‘Nuff said.

9. Don’t tailgate, especially in bad weather

Distance between you and the car in front of you equals time to think in an emergency, and time to think in an emergency equals options, and options may mean the difference between a very bad accident and a near miss. Tailgating doesn’t mean that the guy in front will go any faster, and it’s just not cool.

8. Learn how your car behaves in adverse conditions

Don’t panic when sliding or spinning. Keeping calm takes practice. Most of us don’t have a skid pad or test track at our disposal, so find some lonely wide stretch of road and try to slide, and try to spin. Really feel what the car is doing. Gain confidence by controlling your car, steering out of the spin. Do this early in the winter to remind yourself.

7. Learn some automotive words

I’m not saying that you have to be fluent in car talk, but learn about accelerating, braking, hesitation, and some descriptive adjectives. If there’s ever something wrong, you can accurately and intelligently describe the problem to someone. Understand the difference between a buzz, a squeak, a rattle.

6. Learn basic maintenance

Know where your hood release is! Learn where all your fluid reservoirs are, check the oil, washer fluid, and know where to add more if you need to. Learn about tire pressure and check your tires often, and know where the gas station with the air compressor is.

5. Go off-roading

I’m not talking about just driving down a dirt road. Find a friend with an off-road vehicle, a Jeep preferably, and go to the trails. Learn to drive on a log bridge, learn to climb over rocks, and watch your self-confidence skyrocket. It will make you feel 10 foot tall and bulletproof to master your vehicle over these obstacles. This self-confidence will boil over into other areas of your life.

4. Keep the interior clean

I actually completely agree with TF on this one. A clean interior shows maturity and respect for your possessions. A car filled with debris doesn’t say “I’m a professional” it says “you should see what my house looks like”. It’s not going to impress anyone.

3. Learn to drive a standard transmission

This should be taught in driver’s training. Knowing how to operate a manual transmission is essential. You really never know when you might need to be able to use a stick shift. It’s not that hard, find a person with a stick shift car, and a large parking lot. I’d also suggest something with a large displacement motor; they are far more forgiving for novices than smaller engines.

2. Learn some classic cars

Especially if you have someone to impress. Just a few classic car facts will get you a long way. It’s like name-dropping, except for cars. They don’t have to be just sports cars, or muscle cars, even a few factoids on the Pinto, or Nova will suffice.

1. Enjoy driving

Take some time tomorrow and shut off the radio and hang up the phone and just drive. Feel how your car corners, how it stops and accelerates. Enjoy the experience, and enjoy your car!
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Photo Credit: Stock.xchng user Sky 24

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