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Women and Wheels Introduction

Women and Wheels Workshops

Women and Wheels WorkshopsMy Dad was in the car business so I grew up around cars. I got to drive some really “cool” cars when I was very young, however, I was NOT shown the general maintenance on cars. Dad would show my brothers the car “stuff”. So I became reliant on the men in my life to do all the car maintenance for me. Sound Familiar??

Then one day when I was in my late 20’s with my firstborn in the car, I had a flat tire on a lonely country road. I didn’t have a clue on how to fix it!! Luckily a car came by and stopped and a kind gentleman fixed my tire. I then decided that I really needed to know some of the basics on car repair and maintenance,

I have participated car rallies for the past 30 years (either driving or navigating) and have traveled through 111 countries, including Mongolia, India, and Russia. My toughest charity rally was driving a rickshaw from the bottom of India to the top, a grueling 4200 kms in a 3 wheeled machine that went on average 50-70 kph. And there was a lot of maintenance with that rickshaw. I was with my daughter and her partner. We broke down nearly every other day and counted on various mechanics in the countrysides and cities to help us out. WOW did we learn a lot about this little beast.

Car RallyMy last rally in 2014 was from London, England to Ulanbataar Mongolia is a 2001 Subaru. I picked this wonderful Subaru up in Wales. She had 300,000 km on her yet was top notch. Traveling 36 countries including Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, sometimes you have to be creative and work with whatever you are given. I do it all the time in the kitchen and love being an amateur chef, yet fixing a broken radiator by shoving goat hair and some mystery goo into the cuts in the radiator was the most creative car repairing ever.

Cars have been around for years and they are here to serve us. They are not meant to be a burden…however, our cars need some pampering and regular care. Some things are inevitable like car repair. If we do not keep up with preventative maintenance we are guaranteed to have more breakdowns and costly repairs. Many issues can be prevented if noticed early by someone who knows what is needed and when the service should be performed.

Use your senses: smell, look, listen, feel You know your car, you drive it everyday, so pay attention to it.

LOOK – Walk around your car and look. If there is anything unusual looking, like tires looking low or something hanging underneath…

LISTEN – when you start it up – do you hear anything unusual and when you drive, anything different sounding?

SMELL– is there something smelling “off” or burning?

FEEL – how does your car feel when you drive? – anything with the steering – pulling, vibrations.

Elly Ruge

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