Feeling powerless when it comes to keeping your car up and running? Suspicious that your mechanic’s bill is padded with unnecessary, overpriced repairs? Turns out, you’re not being paranoid and you’re not alone. A study by researchers at Northwestern University found that women are often charged more than men when they don’t know what to ask about car repairs. And our intuition says it’s even worse for us “women of a certain age.” That’s why you’ll want to get to know Patrice Banks and her all female mechanic shop.
She’s a former engineer who got fed up with the situation, decided to become a mechanic herself, and later launched the Girls Auto Clinic, an all-female-operated garage in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, offering “sheCANic“ workshops to help women improve their relationship with their cars.
“Yesterday a woman from Virginia drove to Porsche of Conshohocken with her 3 year old daughter to attend the Girls Auto Clinic car care workshop. A woman from Toronto drove to our repair center to see the shop and meet me and the ladies,” Patrice wrote on Instagram in August 2018. “Women have driven from Upstate NY, Connecticut, DC. Flown from Atlanta and Colorado to experience Girls Auto Clinic and our #sheCANic movement. I’m so blessed y’all! And when I feel like I can’t do anymore, I’m reminded of how awesome women are and how important it is to do our work. Thank you for the inspiration tonight Dulce and all the ladies who came out!”
No worries if you can’t make it to Upper Darby. Banks recently published the Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide, written in a conversational tone, with delightfully intelligible illustrations. It is a reassuring and easy-to-follow guide to the ins and outs of car care, even for the biggest auto ingenues among us. Beyond being a smart guide to the basics, it has wise advice on what not to tackle yourself and how to work with a mechanic. She also offers webinars and a video membership in which uou get a personal mini workshop with a certified sheCANic where you will discuss a five-year maintenance plan for your car.
Okay, ladies, start your engines!