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Ladies Start Your Engines!

Published Aug 14th 2006, 4:21am by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles
By Lori JohnsonLori_teaching

Ladies, Start Your Engines! might sound like the beginning of a race on a feminist track, but really it is the beginning of a lifelong dream to help women understand more about the automotive world.  I remember back when I was wrenching on cars and female customers would come over to me to ask questions, they just seemed to feel more comfortable asking a woman. After I gave them an explanation many of them would say “you should teach a class for women.” I would smile, and go back to work.

I finally did start teaching those classes and found out that I enjoyed teaching them as much as women enjoyed taking them. After teaching this class for more than 10 years at an occasional dealership, I decided that there was enough interest to teach this class on a more consistent basis.  This year I decided to make it official and start my own business. On August 7, 2006 I launched my website, to what I hope, is the beginning of empowering women with automotive knowledge. After many years of trying different methods, I have been able to put the most important information into a 2 hr. class. Over the last 20 years I have been certified in Automotive Technology, acquired my A.A.S degree, spent 7 years working for a Honda dealership as a technician and a service manager, 3 years as an editor for Chilton automotive repair manuals and the last 6 working for the Community College of Philadelphia in the Automotive Technology program. I enjoy what I do and it shows when I teach a class. In this class women learn the basics of how an engine runs, the purpose of oil and anti-freeze, battery maintenance, the components of the braking system, how to check and change fuses and how to change their own wiper blades. The most important aspect of the class however is that every women learns how to change a tire. Since this is a hands-on class, they loosen the lug nuts, jack up the car and install the spare.

No woman should have to stand at a service desk unsure of what is being told to them about their vehicle or feel forced to buy parts she is not sure she will need. Women should not be afraid to ask questions and should be treated with respect.  Ladies, Start Your Engines! gives women the confidence to perform their own light maintenance and to talk with service personnel in a self-assured manner. My goal is to work with dealerships, independent shops and women’s organizations to educate women about their vehicles. I also plan to continue my work with schools to show girls that there are many career opportunities in the automotive industry and that there are women working in those fields.

Remove_tire_1 Women are major consumers of automotive products and service and it is in the best interest of every automotive facility to make sure that women are made to feel comfortable in doing business with them. My plan is to be that mediator between the two so that everyone is satisfied in the end.

My second love is motorcycle riding. My new Heritage Softail is my pride and joy. As if I don’t make men shake their heads at me enough, you should see the look on their faces when I pull up on that beauty and take my helmet off! For 3 years I was also an instructor in PA for the motorcycle safety program. This was also a great opportunity for me to have contact with women and encourage them to not be afraid to go after anything they dreamed of. Believe me, if a 5 foot woman can ride a Heritage Softail, then they could learn to ride a 250.

My goal in life has always been to share the knowledge that I have learned and to inspire women to never be afraid to be or get out of life what they want. So, go out and take that automotive class you’ve always wanted to take, and know that there are a lot of women out there cheering you on.

Touching_rotor_sm Lori Johnson

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