A Woman's Guide to Overcoming Car Trouble

It is increasingly drilled into us that driving is a man's domain. One of the most tired tropes is that women don't know how to drive properly, despite evidence to the contrary. This becomes especially evident if, as a woman, you suffer a vehicle-related setback. All of a sudden, everyone around you is a car expert ready and willing to offer their insight into what you're doing wrong.

It's crucial that we arm ourselves with knowledge so that we can deal with car trouble by ourselves and avoid the dreaded mansplaining. Here is how to deal with some of the more common setbacks that usually leave women scratching their heads.

Filling Up with the Wrong Fuel

Despite what people may tell you, putting diesel in a petrol engine or vice verse is more common than you think. It's an error in judgment that has affected most drivers at some point or another. Knowing how to handle the situation will save you the embarrassment of phoning your husband to admit your mistake.

"Help! I've put the wrong fuel in my car!" isn't the death sentence for your engine that you might think. Provided you don't start the ignition, you can make amends for your mistake. Getting in touch with your breakdown cover will allow your car to get towed to a safe spot and drained of the wrong fuel. This minimizes the damage to your engine. That way, your seemingly costly mistake can remain a little secret between you and your breakdown service of choice.

If you haven't been so lucky as to uncover your error before starting your engine, things get a little trickier. You'll have to check whether your insurance covers you in this instance as you may need to replace the engine depending on the extent of the damage.

Jump Starting the Battery

There is only one thing worse than driving along when your car battery suddenly cuts out. And that's waiting by the side of the road for your knight in shining armour to come and rescue you. Our destiny is in our own hands, ladies. Arming yourself with the necessary tools and knowledge will keep you from being left red-faced when someone has to come and bail you out.

Jump starting a car is a two-person job, whatever way you look at it, but it's certainly not a man's job. All you need is another willing car with a working battery and a set of jump leads. Now, turn off everything that could possibly be draining the battery. That includes headlights, radio and air conditioning. Never try to charge a damaged or leaking battery, as this can spell trouble.

Connect the positive cables to both battery's positive terminal, and do the same with the negative terminal of the working car. Take care not to touch the terminals with your bare hands. Touch the metal of the flat battery with the remaining cable to earth the car. Start the assisting car and allow ten minutes or so until your car can fire up again. Job done.

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