Do we need to haveThe Car Talk along with The Sex Talk? Do The Wheels and The Rotors come before or after The Birds and The Bees?
My dad never really had the car talk with me. I learned the other day that he didn’t really have it with my siblings either. To be fair, I don’t think he ever gave the sex talk either. In the [mumble number] of years that I’ve been driving, I think I’ve successfully changed my own oil twice. Usually I just take it in. It’s easier, albeit definitely not cheaper. I can change out my own battery and I can change my own tires. Not mount them, but if they’re already mounted and ready to be put on I can handle it. I’m pretty sure you need some magical tire mounting device to do that anyway.
Nobody showed me how to pump gas. Or at least I don’t remember anybody teaching me how to, but some of those things I think you just pick up by
osmosis watching your parents do it anyway. Weirdly enough I’ve made sure that my kids accompany me at least semi-often when I get gas so that they know how to do it. It just seemed like one of those things to do.
No one taught me how not to get bent over at the car dealership, or at the mechanic. No one taught me how to know the difference between my belts squealing because it’s breaking and my belt squealing because it’s cold. Once I had a fully broken serpentine belt. You know what a serpentine belt does? Well, they do a lot, but the one I broke was to my alternator. Which meant I was using all my battery power and not replenishing it. It meant I had to call my mom at 4AM when my car stopped on the side of 95 headed home from Miami. One of many occasions that led to me not driving to Miami. Ever. Because who checks the serpentine belt?
On another car, I had a hole in my radiator. Different car that the one with the serpentine belt problem, by the way. My dad accused me of getting under that car with a hammer and chisel and purposely making that hole, because how on earth else did it get there? Well, to this day I don’t have an answer for that other than “I didn’t do it”, but I hated that car, so I can’t blame him for [jokingly] accusing me.
My sister went in last week to get her car fixed. I’m pretty sure she went in for an oil change, brake check, and general check after that. She came out with two new tires because her tires are almost bald. She also needed new brakes because her brakes were squealing and luckily she didn’t need to have her rotors resurfaced. Been there done that. No one explained to me that I needed to get my brakes fixed before they made that noise, or it would cost me five times as much when I wore down the rotors and they had to be resurfaced.
I had one car, that just to spite me, fell apart after routine maintenance. Apparently the sludge in the transmission truly was holding it together. I had at least six cars before I finally bought a brand new one and took really, really, exceptionally good care of it. Yep, that was my learning curve. See, all my used cars had different needs. So I learned all sorts of fun mechanical tidbits on each of those cars. Like the Lincoln with the airshocks that kept going out. Nope, not driving a pimped out hoopty. Driving a beat up Lincoln. Glad you think I’m rocking a bad ass car tho, random dude at the gas station.
Our dad is not exactly mechanical.
Our mom was not exactly Betty Crocker.
We’ve learned a lot on our own just because it’s not something that was either purposefully taught growing up, or learned by (as already stated)
osmosis watching your parents do it anyway. I never expected to have to have the car talk when I took on the twins. The sex talk? Of course! But cars? Who has a car talk? Well, apparently I do. Definitely adding it onto my ever-growing list of “Things I need to teach my kids”.