If you’re a woman who can’t tell engine oil from coolant, find your car’s air filter or check your tire pressure, some automotive education is key.
Lloyd Frey’s Garage in Floradale is hosting a car care clinic for women with former race car driver Kelly Williams on Mar. 12.
The clinic is partly to make women more comfortable when they bring their cars into the shop, said Dennis Frey.
“They so easily feel intimidated when they go into a shop. Our goal is to make them feel more at ease, make them understand their vehicle, so that when a technician talks to them about it, they don’t look with a blank stare.”
The other goal of the clinic is to educate motorists on the maintenance needed to keep vehicles running reliably. This is particularly important for young drivers, the group least likely to bring their vehicles in for regular maintenance.
A survey by the NPD Group for the Automotive Industries Association of Canada found 15 per cent of drivers aged 18 to 24 either didn’t know their vehicle’s oil had to be changed or had it changed only when the engine oil light came on.
“It makes it easier for us too, knowing that somebody understands somewhat about their vehicle,” Frey said. “Our relationship is definitely trust-based, and it’s both ways: they have to trust us and we have to trust them.”
The garage offered a car care clinic last year, and it proved so popular it turned into three clinics. Last year’s event attracted female drivers ranging from teenagers to grandmothers.
“It shows that they have interest, they do want to know,” Frey said.
Williams, who started driving race cars when she was 17, is now a spokesperson for Car Care Canada and a BMW driver training instructor. Her workshops cover a range of topics, from fluids to filters, checking tire pressure to emergency roadside kits.
“We have a vehicle up on the hoist so they get to see the underside of it, and we pull the wheels off so they get to look at the brakes,” Frey said.
The free workshop starts at 6 p.m. with some light refreshments and a meet-and-greet. The informal clinic lasts about two hours, followed by a question-and-answer session.
The workshop will be held at Lloyd Frey’s Garage in Floradale, 2316 Floradale Road. Seating is limited; call Dennis at 519-669-8818 to reserve a space.