The new Haynes Women’s Car DIY Manual is probably not going to make it to the top of many female motorists Christmas present wish list, but it does have some great advice that will benefit ALL drivers – not just women we might add!
However, we particularly enjoyed the article by Sunday Times journalist Emma Smith who decided to put its advice to the test. She started off explaining: “My own tiny snapshot survey of female friends and family revealed an alarmingly cavalier attitude towards car maintenance (myself included). The most diligent of respondents checked fluid levels and tyres every two or three months, and in several cases nothing was checked between annual services (Haynes recommends checking tyre pressures weekly).”
So she decided to have a go at checking her tyre pressures, following the advice in the guide. This is what she wrote: “I have no problem getting my car serviced, booking it in for an MoT test or talking to a mechanic, but for some reason using those air pumps at the filling station fills me with dread. It’s something akin to performance anxiety, imagining other drivers smirking condescendingly as I fumble clumsily with my dust caps. On this occasion there was an AA mechanic parked alongside, no doubt keen for a little entertainment to help while away his tea break, so I was actually glad to have the manual along for moral support.
“Ideally you should check your tyres when they’re cold so I went to the filling station around the corner and waited a moment before beginning the process. I always worry about running out of time once the money’s in the slot but, following the guide’s advice, I removed all the dust caps first before feeding in a pound coin (the caps are just there to protect the valve — “they don’t keep the air in”, explains the manual helpfully).
“I didn’t like to think about how long it had been since I last checked the pressures, and, sure enough, the front tyres were about 2psi too low, the rear about 3psi too low (that’s pounds per square inch). My manual informed me that the correct pressures are usually written “on a sticker at the back edge of one of the front door pillars”, so I didn’t even need to dig out the handbook. The whole process took seconds and was completely painless (although in the long term it is better to invest in your own pump, so you know it’s accurate and the tyres are definitely cold when you check them). Incorrectly inflated tyres have an impact on handling and stopping distances, so this is something I’m going to take charge of from now on.”
The new Haynes Women’s Car DIY Manual provides advice on all areas of owning, maintaining and caring for your car, with colour step-by-step photos showing how to carry out general procedures. It also explains what goes on with servicing and MoTs, showing you how to save money and learn more about your car by tackling some of the jobs yourself.
Denna Bowman, Head Office