As a female in a predominately male industry its quite funny how people perceive you.
Hi, my name is Teresa and I’m an automotive service writer. I’ve been doing this for the last 9 years or so. I guess in one way or another I’ve always been around the automotive industry. From my husband fixing our cars, to helping and assisting in my boat motor install to working for a huge corporate automotive company.
When I begin my last 9 years with one of the largest tire corporations in America I was just a “counter girl” taking in the cars, selling tires and offering maintenance services. It was fun and I really only wanted to work 4 days a week since my two girls were at the age where I didn’t really need to be a stay at home mom any longer. As time went on and I became more involved with the aforementioned company, I was amazed at all the technical things I was picking up without even realizing it! Before I knew it I was now writing and selling service. I took many online tests required by my company and achieved great scores! For the first time, when we had an issue with our personal cars, I was out there telling my husband what was wrong with them! He laughed because he had never before been able to talk about car repairs and trouble before with me and me actually be telling him things he didn’t know!
I am one of the professionals out there who believe in fixing and maintaining your vehicles. I don’t however believe that every time your car comes to my shop that I have to sell you a service! That’s where the corporate world would like us to do.. “You must hit this number or that number, sell more alignments, more fluids..etc etc etc! After 9 very stressful years, I finally got a new opportunity that just kind of fell in my lap. I am now at Steve’s Auto Repair at Hanco Center. It’s only my second week here, but OH MY GOSH what a difference! No more “numbers to beat”, no more stress, no more corporate policies and procedures, just locally owned and operated with fantastic people to work with every single day. I think this just may be my perfect job!
A lot of women who are forced to maintain their cars themselves and have them serviced feel that because they don’t have a lot of knowledge about cars themselves, that the moment they come through the door mechanic shops see a “easy sale”, Well I’m here to tell ya, you are not alone! I’m here to tell you that the way I explain what repairs need to be performed, is on a one to one basisand a level you can comprehend. You don’t need to know all the specs of your car to understand certain things.
I’m not going to try to sell you $5000.00 worth of work to your little $500 car, no matter whether you are a woman or man. I believe in keeping your car healthy and keeping it running for you. I will prioritize what needs to be done. Safety first! Not just for yourself but for the other drivers who share the road with you. You do however need to maintain vital fluids for your car to not have mechanical breakdown. Yes your oil should be changed every 3 to 6K miles, yes you should flush all the fluids that are testing out poor as over time and mileage, just like everything else, it gets worn down. Your cars fluids are the car’s blood line. These fluids are under a tremendous amount of heating and cooling down, which in turn causes your fluids to deteriorate over time. Power steering fluid is actually under more heat than transmission fluid is! I normally recommend every 30K to flush all these fluids, so it prevents power steering pumps and rack and pinions from mechanical breakdown and to continue functioning properly.
It’s very fun to be in this industry. First and foremost, it blows people’s minds when they come into your auto shop and think, “Oh there is a cute girl at the counter taking cars in” and then they come in and ask if they can speak to someone who can answer questions for them. DUH! What do you think I’m here for!? Haha…I love to shock them by saying what brings you in today and can you tell me what you are experiencing, and they describe the problem, I then begin asking more probing questions and then say what I think the problem is, and I’m right! I like to keep it real.
I once had a man stop by my shop and ask if I could get someone to check his oil level. Well you can imagine the look on my face. A man asking if someone could check his oil..I said sure, Lets you and I go out to your car! So we go out, I ask him to pop the hood, and then I proceed to ask him to come over so I can show him where his dipstick is and I showed him how to check his oil level. I couldn’t stop laughing, I said, “Sir, do you mind if I ask you what you do for a living?” He said, “Oh, I’m an IT guy..I just patted him on his back and said, today sir, you now know how to check your oil… so now you are a mechanic!” We both had a good laugh. He then became a customer of mine for life!