Studies show women are more likely than men to get a higher quote for repairs when they don’t know how their car works. So Christian Brothers Automotive is offering women free car maintenance classes as part of its mission of community outreach, which ranges from giving all employees weekends off to hosting a raffle at its grand opening April 27.
Diane Moca: Have you ever brought your car in for a little tiny noise, and the mechanic gives you a big fat quote? What the heck? And guess what, ladies, it's more likely to happen to us. But a recent study says it won't happen if you seem more informed about what might be wrong with your car and how much it might cost to fix it. So a local shop is giving free lessons to women about how cars work. So come along with me and let's take a look under the hood. Tyra Steele: Just what little things like an oil change. I will come in and they'll ask me, "What kind of oil does your car take?" And I'm like, "I don't know, I can get the book for you or I can try to find the sticker that the last place gave me." And I know right then, that's me coming off as ignorant to the fact. So that's opportunity for someone to upsell me and not even know that I'm being upsold. And it's important for me to keep it in the best shape because I have three young children, so I don't want to ever be in a situation where I'm stranded on the side of the road. Diane Moca: So Tyra Steele decided to spend a recent morning away from her family to attend a car maintenance class at Christian Brothers Auto in Aurora. Tyra Steele: So just having the knowledge that I gained with the difference of conventional oil and synthetic oil, and how often to come, and how to check my own oil, are just key points for me to go in to a shop confidently, knowing that I've already checked my oil so I kind of know what the levels are. So you can't sell me more oil and not actually put the oil in my car because I've checked it already. Simple things like that could probably save me a great deal of money. Diane Moca: I am here with Ken Dickerson, the owner of Christian Brothers Automotive. And I want to know what made you decide to give this free class. Ken Dickerson: The group that was here this morning, they came with all of these questions, and this is how all of this started in the first place, was the interactions that we would have with the customers as they would come in. And they would share with me that, "Sometimes I'm a little naive and I'm just not feeling comfortable when I come into the automotive environment." Diane Moca: Ken said this class represents his focus on community, and that's what convinced him to buy a Christian Brothers Auto franchise when he was on the verge of investing in a different business. Ken Dickerson: And as I looked into it deeper, it's a faith-based automotive repair. And so now I'm really curious about what's going on. And as I dug into it, its values just align with my personal values. That's when I really started hearing a lot about the outreach into the communities, the work week of Monday through Friday, so that your employees are off on the weekend so that they can enjoy their families and friends. And then also if they choose to, they can worship God. And so all of these things, it just fell in line for me. Diane Moca: That's why Ken called the Home Office when a single mom brought in a car that was unsafe to drive, but would cost more to fix than the car was worth. They referred Ken to a national non-profit that found a free car for that local mother. Ken Dickerson: Providing the car to one of our customers, that's something that just blew me away, that I had the ability to do that. And so that's the difference to me, is the focus on being a light in the community. Diane Moca: Ken hopes to keep that kindness rolling along by offering more classes to help customers like Tyra. Tyra Steele: I feel like I'll be more confident with me speaking, with me asking questions. I'll be able to ask follow-up questions to information that I'm given, just because I know a little bit more. And that's a piece of mind for me because I don't want to spend unnecessary money on a vehicle, especially when there's so much other things in life going on. Diane Moca: We think it's great that you are spreading the word that people shouldn't dread going to a mechanic. Ken Dickerson: Yes. Diane Moca: And all you really have to do is just arm yourself with some knowledge, and then you can get back on the road without maybe having to pay quite as much as you would have. For Talking Cities, I'm Diane Moca.