I’m a driver in a man’s world, apparently.

Things that amaze/shock people about me:

-I can check the air pressure in my own tires (I carry a gauge with me in my purse!), and air them up. (you’re laughing at this, I can feel it. But I seriously just met a girl that could do neither)
-I can drive a standard/manual transmission, and well.
-I can hook up and back up a trailer, when pulled by a pickup.
-I can change my own tire, in under 10 minutes.
-I can check and change my own oil (I hate this task, but I can).
-I can point out the main components under a hood of a car and truck (and open my own hood – also apparently, a really big deal).
-I know that turn signals do not take any sort of fluid to operate.
-I can feel and smell when something is wrong with my car.
-I know how to charge a battery, using cables, without shocking myself.
-I can drive across not one, not two, not three, not four, but as many states as I’d like by myself without panicking.

Thing that amaze/shock me about people:

-Most of the above is either impossible or shocking or both. Especially in this part of the country.

I guess I assumed that because I was raised in a house where independence was encouraged, that every female driver was. My dad is a trooper, so I’m finding out more and more that it’s not because I was a country girl, but that because he understood that if I didn’t have a firm grasp most of these things, I could potentially be a danger to myself.

We live in a part of the country where we get four legitimate seasons, bringing unpredictable weather and driving conditions.

I’m not writing to brag, or to sound feminist (most men are quite literally wired to grasp the mechanics of a car, women aren’t. I’ll never ever be able to tear an engine apart and enjoy it), I’m writing because I’m trying to grasp why women would prefer to take on the roll of a damsel, than try to roll out on those roads completely prepared. I’m not trying to offend or discourage, I’m attempting to inspire and raise awareness. It’d be like….diving straight into college without learning your ABC’s first.

Am I far off base with this?
Ooooooh pop quiz me! In comment form below, tell me what essentials should be in the trunk of your car year round, and especially in hazardous weather!

Making snow angels,


15 thoughts on “I’m a driver in a man’s world, apparently.

  1. “I’m writing because I’m trying to grasp why women would prefer to take on the roll of a damsel, than try to roll out on those roads completely prepared.”

    I don’t think women always prefer it. Cars just aren’t interesting to me. Therefore, I don’t really care about them or how to fix them. My stepdad and dad have always fixed my car and taken care of what needs to be taken care of for me.

    Will they always be around? No. But chances are, if they are’t around, and something happens to my car, it’s something serious that they wouldn’t want to/be able to fix either.

    I don’t change my own oil. Or put air in my tires. Or hook up a trailer. Or change batteries. But I know how. If I got in a jam, I could change my own tire. Or oil. Or battery. I just choose not to right now because other people are glad to be able to do this for me. My dad has no other way of being in my life aside from providing me these small comforts. So he does, and I let him. And I like it when he does it.

    It’s one less thing I have to worry about. Whew.

    But I didn’t go out searching for this information and how-to. I just picked it up. I’m around cars and men and men who love cars and cars who love men. Not everyone is or can be. And many don’t have time for it. Sometimes paying someone to do it is a fabulous convenience!

    (Though, DH doesn’t know how to drive a manual. And since this is all I drive, I’ve always felt sort of badass for knowing how!).

    • Oh gosh, I sure didn’t mean GO OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW AND PROVE IT. I just meant that if you don’t have the knowledge under your belt, your setting yourself up for danger.

      I loathe working on my car, haha!
      More truth: I ALSO feel like a badass for knowing how to drive a standard also. 🙂

  2. My father was a car GEEK! He could tell you what kind of car it was based strictly on the sounds and could spot a certain make/model from miles away… ridic!!

    Me… I can check the pressure in tires & air them up. That’s … about… it!

    If I have problems with my vehicle, I call Cowboy Dodge and make one of the nice gentlemen come figure it out for me.

    Oh… how I wish I could drive a standard but I’m too chicken shit.

    • The fact that you’re fully capable of surviving, AND know all the right people is good enough for me! 🙂

      I’ve never fully understood car geeks, but thank EVERYTHING for them, right?!

  3. My dad also taught me all of these things! My husband as you know can fix anything with a motor. So I usually don’t do anything of these things, because he just does them! (I am one spoiled girl!)

    As for things to keep in the car with me in of emergencies:
    Cell Phone
    Jumper Cables
    Tire Iron and Jack
    Spare Tire
    Pressure gauge
    Tow rope
    A HUGE pair of pliers (for those moments when the car won’t start and I need to give the battery terminals a good whack) it only works when the terminals are corroded.
    oil, power steering fluid and windshield wiper fluid.
    A map
    a seat belt cutter and a center punch to break windows (My husband’s addition to my car, maybe it is a fireman thing)

    And the EMT in me has a blood pressure cuff, stethoscope and gloves. (because you never know when someone may need my help)

    Wow that is a long list. Maybe I should mention for those that don’t know me a trip to town is fifty miles and with our weather it is better to be over prepared!

  4. I immediately feel stupid, because I think I can only do 2 of the items on your list! I was raised in a family of ALL girls and wasn’t even taught how to throw a baseball (and trust me, it’s SUPER funny to watch me throw a baseball, because it lands 2 inches in front of me…seriously, no joke.)

    Oh well, I’m fine with you being such a Rockstar, thanks to your dad! I’ll just wait on the side of the road for YOU or a Trooper to show up, if I’m ever in distress. And I’ll keep my doors locked until YOU show up! 😉

  5. Well thanks to Rocket I was not aloud to get my license till I could put in my own gas, check and change a tire . Like you can do in under 10 min. I have even changed tires for men pn the side of the roads 🙂 love there looks its priceless. I had to know not only were all the fluids were but how to change them. I was tought something special too. The love of going fast and to be on complete control. Now remember this was many many years ago when it was not cool to be a girl with these skills or passion for fast cars. Because of this I am the Semi, tractor,combine, and pulling truck kind of lady today. Tooting my own horn there are few things I can drive. ALL because of one great and wonderful Uncle Rocket. I am proud of any female who can do the basics to take care of ones self. Great job pretty lady

    • In colorado one should have the fallowing.
      First aid kit
      Tools to do basic
      Bottle water
      Flash light
      Duck tape
      A book
      Your car manual amazing what info is in there

  6. Having been around PERHAPS the world’s biggest car fanatic for as long as I have, I actually take a sense of pride in the fact that I can do the basics—change wiper blades, check/refill fluid, air up my tires & check the pressure—because then I can do them & Gus gets all *super aww* proud of me the same way I do when he actually reads things.
    The only things I always, always have had in my car are a flashlight, blankets (bonus for multi-seasonal use; always ready for impromptu picnics in the summer AND cozy if I ever get stranded somewhere in the cold), my scraper/brush combo, and, um, napkins. You’ve seen how I eat.

  7. I, too, was raised around people who could fix it motors… until the computerized ones showed up! I can change a tire (although I now have AAA road service to do that for me), can check all of the fluids in my cars. We had our own compressor, so I would fill tires regularly, but only do it if the tires look low. I learned to drive a standard transmission when I was 4 (things start early on the farm), use to drive tractors as a youngster – both wheeled and track – but I prefer automatics now. I have my own toolbox in my vehicles, along with these safety items: flares, jumper cables, rain parka, seat belt cutter with center punch, maglite (doubles as a weapon if need be), blanket, closed toed shoes for natural emergencies, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, paper towels, safety vest, jack, tire iron, gloves (cotton and leather work), nylon ties, spare tire, bungee cords, and some emergency $$$.

    • oh, and these women who rely on others to handle their problems for them… god help them if they ever get stuck in the wilderness on their own. I have always believed that I need to be responsible for my own well being. It’s like women whose husbands handle all of the finances and business – and if their husbands pass away unepectedly, they have no clue what they need to do for simple, basic things in life.

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