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How we think about Cars – Men Vs. Women

It was 2002 and my freshman year of college. I was driving a 1986 Subaru GL that would only start when it felt like it and  would often die at the most incontinent times (such as the middle of an intersection). A very handsome young man, who would later become my husband, offered to help me with said vehicle so that I would no longer have to worry about SCDS (sudden car death syndrome).

He came over early in the morning and popped the hood. I stood on the sidewalk and rocked on the balls of my feet. He was looking deep in the engine, which I considered a good sign because I would have had no idea what I was looking at; except for the occasional “Oh! There’s the battery!” and “Oh! I think that has something to with how the car runs!”

He came out a few minutes later with grease stained hands and looked at me, “when’s the last time you changed the filter?”

I swayed for minute and turned up my eyes to think, “um…” I said, “there’s  filter in there?”

“You didn’t know you had a filter?” He responded with one eyebrow raised.

I rung my hands, “nope, is that a bad thing?”

He wiped his brow with his forearm, “When’s the last time you changed the oil?”

“Well, um, maybe I should call my dad, but I’m pretty sure the answer is… never,” I said.

The handsome young man shook his head and took me to the auto parts store where he purchased a new filter and some oil. The point?

Men and Women see cars very differently. I know, some women love to take care of their cars and some men don’t know the first thing about putting a gas cap on, but for the sake of my argument (which is an entirely fictional issue) I’ll make a gross stereotypical generalization of the genders.

When a man goes to buy a car, his thought process is something like this – “How much can I afford? What will I need it for? What kind of engine does it have? What is the carfax report? Has the previous owner taken good care of it? Etc. etc.”

When a woman goes to buy a car it’s more like – “It should get me from point A to point B, and it I would be nice if it was dark blue or black. I hope they have one with a sunroof.”

You see, for some women buying a car is more about vanity than it is about getting the best bang for their buck.

I was lucky enough to marry someone who has a little more sense than that and he has taught me many a thing when it come to cars (like how to know if your oil is bad). Thank goodness for his influence because If it wasn’t for him, I might still be hanging on to that beat up Subaru GL.

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