Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why every girl should take auto shop in high school

Here's an old Rodney Dangerfield schtick about how to succeed as a car mechanic.

I'm pretty sure this clip is mandatory viewing in every car mechanic course in the world to this day.

My dear daughter called me up tonight from the waiting room of a Canadian Tire store in Toronto. She was waiting for Rodney or one of his proteges to change a five dollar headlight bulb. They were charging her fifty bucks for the labour.

I told her she can change that herself in about five minutes, no tools required other than your fingers.

She had no idea.

Throughout her high school career I was all over her taking auto shop. At least you learn the basics.

Even reputable repair shops like Canadian Tire seem to pursue the standard scam of ripping off every female who comes through the door, just because they are presumed to know nothing about the vehicle they drove in.

In today's case, while they're just changing a bulb, they told her the brake calipers were rusty and needed to be replaced.

The calipers were replaced less than a year ago. New brake calipers will appear rusty within a week or two.

That doesn't mean anything, but an unsuspecting consumer might fall for the "they need to be replaced" schtick and spend a few hundred dollars that don't need to be spent. After all, those are the brakes that expert is talking about.

You have to stay safe, don't you?

And that is exactly the sentiment that so many of these shops will take advantage of. It's been my observation that they don't try nearly as much of this crap on men. Guys are automatically assumed to have some rudimentary familiarity with how a vehicle works.

Women are automatically assumed to have none.

That's why every girl should take auto shop in high school.

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