After our customer was concerned about a price that was set for her car at a separate location, our shop was able to be a resource and explain that she was given the wrong price for a repair, and that we wanted to help. I heard about another lady having a class and brought up the idea of hosting a weekend women’s car clinic to my boss. Once he was on board, I had my first car clinic a few weeks later on a Sunday afternoon in January of this year. It originally started as a weekly event, but I changed it to a monthly workshop.
The clinic is set up as a show-and-tell and attendees are encouraged to ask questions throughout. I want to bring honesty into the shop so everyone knows that technicians are trustworthy people. It’s sort of my goal to have students just feel comfortable in the shop.
We’re not open on weekends, so I’m the only one who opens up the shop for my class. As a service writer, I hear a lot from customers about the type of concerns they have with their vehicles. I usually try to keep the material pretty consistent, but I do often have requests for certain lessons that are posted on our Facebook group, “Womens Car Care Clinic.” I’ll post about upcoming clinics in the group and I’ll also answer any questions women have about automotive issues. I just want to help in anyway that I can.
There is really only so much I can teach since manufacturers are so different. Teaching has been a new experience for me because even though I’ve taught for a few months now, I still get a little anxious in the beginning. Once we start talking, though, I really enjoy getting to inform these ladies. The automotive industry can be confusing, so I want to make sure women are understanding the process as I go through the vehicle.
We’ll talk about maintenance such as spark plugs, carbon tracking, and how to jumpstart a battery.
I’ll then lift up the car and we all gather underneath to go over specific parts. I think it’s important to understand what a ball joint is, what a control arm is, a tire rod and all of those things. Afterward, we’ll go over the brakes and how the brake system works.
When I first started working for Wessbecker, I wasn’t familiar with the makings of the automotive industry; my dad is a master technician, so he would describe processes for me to understand which helped me in my position. Besides my dad, I really paid attention to how the process was being explained at the shop and I also read magazines in order to learn.
It surprised me how quickly everything came to me when I started to grasp how the mechanics work. During my work day, I spend a lot of time speaking with customers, but I’m also on the shop floor asking guys about questions.
Sometimes we have local businesses donate food before our clinic starts and that gives us the chance to eat and get to know one another.
I really enjoy getting the chance to talk with everyone before the clinic starts, and I especially love when there’s questions from attendants when I’m going over specific parts. My goal is build a better understanding of what the name of a certain part is or what it means to have a specific part fixed.
I’ve been really surprised by how this clinic has taken off since January. We’ve had visitors from 15 to 60 years old attend. I’ve had Girl Scouts come in and there’s always interest when I post about upcoming clinic on our clinic’s Facebook page.
In the future, I would love to have high schoolers visit the clinics, as well as driving schools.
I’ve reached out to both in regard to a partnership, and I’m still waiting to hear back. I think it would be beneficial to learn about the makings of a vehicle first hand, especially for girls just learning how to drive.