Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Is Her Car Okay?

There’s a joke about a woman who went into the auto parts store and asked them for the “710 Part” because she’d lost the one from her car. Of course, the salesman had no idea what she was talking about, so he asked her to describe it. She told him that it was a little round thing that sits on top of the engine, which you take off to put oil in. She never realized that she was reading it upside down.

Well, I’d have to say that she was way ahead of most women, at least as far as her knowledge of cars and engines are concerned. I don’t know about your wife, but I can show my wife 20 times how to check the oil and put it in, and she still doesn’t get it. It’s not that she’s not intelligent; it’s just that she’s not intelligent in that way. Cars, and for that matter, anything mechanical, just aren’t her thing.

So, I’ve always made allowances for that. Ever since we got married, 25 years ago, I’ve always made sure that she had the better car to drive. Although we’ve never had new cars, she always drove the newer of the old cars which we had. Even now, her car is newer than mine, with lots less miles on it.

Of course, being newer doesn’t exempt her car from having problems. Anything mechanical is going to have breakdowns every now and then. That’s why I’ve always made her car the family car. As such, I end up driving it whenever we go someplace as a family. Why? Not to keep everyone out of my car, but to make sure that her car is doing well. Since she’s not mechanical, I can’t expect her to notice if the car has a problem, that’s my job.

I remember when one of my daughters started driving. As far as cars were concerned, she was the epitome of a woman driver. Not in the sense of being a bad driver, but in the sense of not paying attention to the vehicle. I must have had to rescue her for being out of gas 30 or 40 times in that first year. She always said the same thing, “The car broke down, I know it has gas in it, because I bought some the other day.” The thing was, she bought $5.00 worth of gas, and drove it for two days.

Then there was the string of power steering pumps she went through. I must have changed the power steering pump on one car seven times. It had a slow leak which I couldn’t find, so I kept telling her to add fluid. Of course, she didn’t. She didn’t even notice that the car had problems until the battery went dead because the belt fell off.

The topper to all this was that she destroyed two cars for not checking the oil. Yep, seized two engines in the same year. The only good thing I can say about that was that they were both old junkers, so it really wasn’t much of a loss.

What’s the point of all this? Simple, don’t expect your wife to check the car herself, she’s not equipped for that. She’s equipped to put the key in it and push the gas pedal, that’s about it. Expecting more from her really isn’t fair. You need to do that for her.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to get a bit nervous when my wife is late coming home from somewhere. Not that I don’t trust my wife, just that I don’t trust the world around her. There are plenty of things which can go wrong, none of which are her fault. One thing I don’t want to go wrong is her car breaking down and causing her problems. Taking care of her car is helping to take care of her too.


  1. It's nice to take care of her car for her, but the idea that most women aren't smart about cars is a bit sexist and outdated. I see just as many women as men at Jiffy Lube, and with today's modern, computerized cars, I think both men and women have about the same about of ability to read the warning signals, use the GPS, etc.

  2. Excuse me, Rosemary, I wasn't intending to be sexist. I personally don't know any women who know much about cars. BTW, taking a car to Jiffy Lube doesn't show me that they know about the car, changing the oil themselves does. So, I guess those guys you're seeing there don't know much about cars either. :-)