We’ve all done it or had it done to us: “I know you aren’t a (put spouse’s occupation here), but you’re around it enough. Can you tell me if my ……?” And so it goes. Computer glitches, leaking faucets, legal advice, and yes, mechanical diagnoses are hinted out/ requested by well-meaning friends. My immediate response is always, “I don’t know anything about cars. That’s why I married a mechanic!” But in all reality, spouses know that they cannot be married to someone of a particular profession without having some of it rubbing off on us. For instance:
- If you can see the entire head of Abe Lincoln on a penny when you put it in the tread of your tire, it is time to get those babies replaced- you’re asking for an accident/ blowout and you definitely won’t pass inspection.
- If you let your gas tank go below a 1/4 of a tank, you get worse gas mileage and risk any sediment that may have collected in the bottom of your tank getting in your fuel line.
- a “Click, click, click” sound when you turn on your ignition is not usually your battery- it’s your starter.
- Too much stuff on your key ring will pull on your ignition and eventually damage it.
- Driving with “one foot on a pedal at all times” (either the accelerator or the brake) is NOT good for your vehicle- not only does it mess with your mileage, and go beyond damaging your brake pads, it will warp your rotors (and they do not make “performance rotors” for mini-vans!).
- There are more to tires than how big they are- there is width, tread pattern, and other factors that affect the ride and the mileage you get out of them.
- There are differences in windshield wipers! (But more on that another time)
And most importantly, it is essential to know how to do certain mechanical things yourself (change a tire- including KNOWING WHERE YOUR SPARE IS, adding oil and other fluids, knowing what those gauges on your dash mean and what to do about them) and knowing how to find a mechanic you can trust (if you aren’t lucky enough to marry one).