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Free class teaches women basic car knowledge, maintenance

Posted at 3:32 PM, Jan 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-26 19:35:34-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - Knowing what to do when something with your car goes wrong is an important skill set. The Oro Valley Police Department is teaching women who need to know the basics, for free.

The first Ladies! Start Your Engines class was held on Saturday, aimed to teach and empower women to know what to look for, and even how to do basic car maintenance themselves.

OVPD Officer Sonja Hudson leads the class with the owner of Catalina Towing and Recovery. They first go over the basics -- such as changing a tire, checking fluid under the hood, and replacing windshield wipers, to the class of 20.

Lisa Kaye says she went to the class because she feels like she's driving around scared something may happen with her car, and she won't know what to do.

"In the past, I've just always either called a friend, or called AAA," Kaye said.

Women of all ages attended the class -- from teenagers to seniors. Officer Hudson says a couple of women called her who are recently widowed or divorced, and wanted to attend because they suddenly found themselves needing to know the basics when it comes to cars.

The class also gets hands-on, demonstrating how to change a tire, check engine fluid, air filters, and more.

HOW TO CHANGE A TIRE:
- Pull off in a safe area where you're seen.
- Get your equipment ready -- spare tire, lug wrench, car jack. Also helps to have gloves, flashlight, and the owner's manual.
- Loosen the lug nuts -- lefty loosy, righty tighty. Step on wrench using your weight to loosen if lug nuts are very tight.
- Raise the car with the jack.
- Remove the lug nuts and put in a safe place.
- Carefully reach behind the tire/rim and pull it straight toward you.

Kaye says she got a deeper knowledge of how her car works, leaving the class empowered, and ready for whatever situation she may find herself in.

"I wanted to be able to actually know what was going on if something happened," Kaye said. "It's like CPR -- you learn it, and you hope you never have to use it. But I feel better knowing that now I could."

Officer Hudson says she hopes the women who attend the class leave with at least one thing -- confidence.

Jan. 26 was the first class and OVPD hopes to hold more in the future, either monthly or quarterly.

To register for a class, contact Officer Hudson at shudson@orovalleyaz.gov or (520) 229-5080.