No, I’m not talking about bikini-clad girls showing off some hot sports cars. (Haha). I’m talking about the stereotypical girl that is absolutely clueless when it comes to cars.

I know there must be some girls out there that know their stuff when it comes to cars….but I’m NOT one of them. Neither is my mom, sister, aunt, nor is any other girl I know, actually.

When I went to get my oil changed a week or two ago (and the time before, actually) the guy writing up my ticket noted that I had more than 25,000 miles on my car and he commented “did you know that you’re due for your 25k mile maintenance, and your 30,000 mile maintenanced is coming up soon.” I didn’t (obviously), and made a mental note of it. He said that it’d take over an hour and I didn’t have the time for it that day.

On Friday I decided to finally make an appointment for my maintenance (as I was sitting in horrible traffic with nothing better to do). I told the guy I had 30k miles on my car and that I had Saturday available “oh, and by any chance do you know what that’s going to cost me?” The answer: $344.90!!!!! What?!! I immediately asked what it included and why it was so high. They had previously told me it was around $150 (and that was true), so why was it more than twice as much? He explained and I had no clue what he was talking about.

I got home and later that evening asked my mom if she thought it was too much. She had no clue either so I asked my dad. He offered to go with me to the dealer to find out what they were talking about and what they were going to do to my car. Its a lease, and since I’d be turning it in fairly soon (about 8 months) there might be unnecessary things they were doing to it in there.

We got to the dealer, and (finally) sat down with one of the guys. He pulled out their “Service Menu” and pointed out what was included with the $345. First of all (even I noticed this) there was an oil change included. I’d just had mine done! The other half of the things in there was just an inspection of a bunch of things (that is done with each oil change in the first place), replacement of a few filters (that my dad could buy at a discount from a friend and install himself), and just the inspection of the back brakes. All in all my dad said the only thing on that list I really needed was transmission fluid, which they could do for $79.99. He asked if the front brakes were included in there, and they said no (at the previous inspection they said I’d need to get those replaced soon….and I drive a lot for work. As far as my dad’s concerned, the brakes were not to be ignored!). This really surprised him, and so he asked how much they charge for it. It was $179. So if I got those two things done it was about $285. Eventually the guy decided to give us 10% off (I guess to convince my dad I should get my brakes done there and not as his friend’s shop) and so it came out to $257 and change. Plus he’d make sure they checked out the back brakes for free (which they don’t typically do automatically. I thought that was weird, especially since we were getting the front brakes replaced).

Anyway, after that little “adventure” I came to a serious conclusion. I need to educate myself about cars!!!

I remember back in college they offered a series of three classes to teach people about basic car mechanics (they were free), but I didn’t take them for some reason. I think I reasoned that I didn’t have a car and wouldn’t have one for a couple years and that I’d forget what I’d learned. Well, I regret not taking those classes, and I’ll be looking out for something similar in the near future. Learning a bit about cars can perhaps save me from unnecessary repairs, therefore saving me a few bucks (or so I hope.) Plus, I’d love to see the look on a guys face when he realized I know my stuff….there’s no fooling this girl!

Anyone know of any resources I can use to educate myself?!

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