TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Ashley Butler knows her customers. She’s the franchisee of two Ice Cold Discount Auto Repair locations in Tampa. She says women are the ones who make decisions in her stores.
Butler’s noticed that 65 percent of the time its the women who choose what’s worth spending money on for car repairs. That’s why the female-owned franchise hosted a clinic Saturday to teach women auto basics.
“The biggest thing is that when you buy a car there’s a manufacturer list,” Butler said. “Go by that list. It tells you when you need service. Just like the dentist says ‘let’s clean your teeth every six months’ it’s the same thing.”
Butler acknowledges that a lot of people throw that list under a seat and just forget about it. As part of the clinic, Butler coached the women to know the basics before walking into an auto repair shop. Always check your warranty and figure out what is covered. Butler also recommends asking the mechanic if you can get an itemized list of repairs before making the decision. She also says if you have an older car, you should really think about whether you should spend money on repairs, or save money to get a new one.
Carolyn Logan knows what it’s like to get taken for a ride by a mechanic. She attended the “open shop” clinic at 7901 West Hillsborough Ave. in Tampa. Logan shared her story of going to a different shop for a flat tire. The mechanic tried to sell her four new tires for $700. After her son called the store, the repairman called back with a better offer to sell her a used tire for just $37.
“It’s like when a mechanic sees a woman he thinks she has f-o-o-l written on her forehead,” Logan said. “They’ll try to sell you fried ice cream if they can. You have to be able to challenge them.”
Butler hopes the event will help make her female customers more confident the next time they walk into an auto repair shop.