Local female mechanic offers essential car tips
IZABELA SZYDLO/FOR METRO VANCOUVER
Britney Biggar conducts an oil change at a Mr. Lube shop in Surrey. She encourages drivers to learn basic car care to avoid being stranded on the side of the road.
Britney Biggar pops open the hood of a car and reaches in without hesitation.
“You’ve got to have a certain amount of coolant in the car to make sure it runs well,” she explains while unscrewing a lid to check how much of the liquid is left.
Men in greasy Mr. Lube uniforms rush about around Biggar. She is the only woman in the shop.
Biggar, who works at Mr. Lube in Surrey, said that although the car industry may be male-dominated, women should not feel intimidated about going into a shop or learning basic maintenance procedures.
“Before a woman goes into a shop she should talk to someone that she trusts about her vehicle,” she suggested. “Take time to think about it before you jump in and make decisions.”
Basic maintenance helps catch problems before they leave you stranded, the following are some essential tips:
Read your owner’s manual. It tells you when and how to check your oil and other basic car care.
To check your oil, pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag. Insert it again and when it is pulled out, the oil should be between the upper and lower limits of the dipstick.
Oil in most cars should be changed every three to six thousand kilometres.
To check tire pressure use a gauge found at most gas stations. Insert the gauge into the tire, the pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (psi). It should match your owner’s manual.
To check your handbrake, pull it and if it makes more than a few clicks when the car is being parked on a hill, the cables need to be serviced.
Push down on each corner of the car and release it to see if the shock absorbers are in good condition. If the car settles into normal position they are fine. If the car bounces, the shock absorbers need to be replaced.