Radio Show Archives

Teresa’s Garage Radio show airs weekly at   and covers topics on everything Automotive and features special guests. Listeners are encouraged to call in, come in or tune in the Reno, Nevada area at 101.3 FM Tuesdays at 2:00-3:00 PM and 1180 AM. Or you can listen to previous shows right here on Teresa’s Garage website.

If you do not live in the Reno/Sparks, Nevada area you can connect on your Iphone or Computer by clicking this link, for live streaming on America Matters Media Radio Show.

If you want to listen to previously recorded shows, click here Teresa’s Garage Radio Shows . Teresa’s Garage is constantly looking for special guests, people who love cars, own classics, belong to a car club and want to promote your events or just want to talk about your classic, then call toll free 844-790-8255 or locally 775-827-8900. We love hearing from our listeners.

Happy Motoring





Automtive and First Responders – What’s the Connection?

Is there a connection between those who have a passion for anything automotive and those who want to be a first responder? For me, since childhood, I wanted to be two things in life: a mechanic and a police officer. It was a challenge for me. Today that dream is within reach. During my upbringing, these professions were considered taboo for women. Women knew their so-called place in society – barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.

In 2018 with the Me Too movement, that last phrase was probably ripped from the male vocabulary. Women have made big strides over the years within the workplace. First, there was the right for women to vote in 1920; then in the 1960s, the women’s movement helped more women enter the workforce. The most common jobs held by women are:

1. Secretaries and administrative assistants 

2. Registered nurses 

3. Elementary and middle school teachers 

4. Cashiers 

5. Nursing, psychiatric and home health aides 

6. Retail salespersons 

7. First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers 

8. Waitresses

The two careers you do not see on this list are mechanics and police officers. These types of jobs were considered unfeminine, and society felt women were not physically capable of performing these duties. If you tried, they considered you an outcast.

Times have changed and so have the women. On my weekly radio show, “Teresa’s Garage,” I have interviewed hundreds of women in the automotive and racing industry since its first airing in 2014. Learning about what makes these women and young girls tick, I have found something very interesting.

With some of those I have interviewed, we are years apart; others are close to my age. The one thing I found interesting among 85 percent of all of these ladies is this similarity that seems to connect us: we all have interest in automotive work as well as wanting to be a first responder.

At first, I thought it might be a coincidence, but as time went on, the number of women with both interests grew, which increased my curiosity. So what is the connection between the two careers that makes us want to include both in our lives?

For me, it was an easy decision; I knew early on I wanted to be both, but for other women, I am still trying to find the link to the reasons. I find it very interesting that these two careers really have a connection, even though they are so different from one another.

Let’s break down each career. First Responders are quick to respond; they help people; they are doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers, etc. Lifesaving is a top priority. They repair lives, work on call, wear a uniform, solve problems, work as a team, and must have tools to do their job, not to mention the adrenalin rush this profession creates on a daily basis.

Now let’s look at the automotive industry. This industry is not just about mechanics, it also includes race car drivers. Like first responders, mechanics must solve problems, diagnose issues, and wear a uniform; they save lives by performing their jobs correctly and keeping the customers’ cars operating safely. They work as a team most times, and they need tools to perform their duties.

Race car drivers get an adrenalin rush when soaring down a track at high rates of speed. They must help their mechanics solve problems with the race car and working as a team is a must. On the track, maintaining control of your vehicle under these intense conditions saves lives, otherwise more crashes could occur. They wear a racing suit and helmet for safety, and depend on their mechanics to ensure the car is safe at such high speeds.

So these professions do share some common elements – but what is the true connection between these two careers? Frankly, I could not pinpoint the answer. The one thing I learned is we are tomboys. I will continue to pursue the reason and continue to enjoy the interviews of all these amazing women who dare to be different and follow their dreams.

Happy Motoring.

Do my brake pads absorb humidity?

I recently received a question from a reader about humidity, asking if it has an effect on brake pads. The mechanic informed the car owner that the reason her front pads were squealing was due to humidity. Still not convinced that the cause of the car’s brakes sounding like a cat squealing at a high pitch was humidity, she reached out to me for clarification.

There have been studies done on this topic with results that are quite interesting. Passenger cars with NAO (Non-Asbestos Organic) disc pads were subjected to low and high humidity conditions. Humidity was found to measurably affect pad dimensions, pad hardness, compressibility, friction, pad wear, disc wear, disc roughness, DTV (Disc Thickness Variation) and brake noise. Also, the friction film is found to absorb a significant amount of moisture.

In order to clarify the influence of humidity on the coefficient of friction and brake squeal generation, a series of brake rig tests have been performed. The influence of both air humidity and pad humidity was evaluated. The results show that, between 20 and 80 percent relative humidity, air humidity has a limited influence on the coefficient of friction. Nevertheless, in a humid atmo- sphere, the friction coefficient was considerably lower than in a wet environment for two of the pads and higher for one pad. This is believed to be an effect of different mechanisms of tribofilm formation on the pad surfaces.

The tribofilm observed on the pads mainly consists of iron oxide originating from the disc. The film is more easily formed in dry environments and usually by the pads with low often seen during each individual metal content. The friction increase stop is slightly lower at high air humidity. This effect is more pronounced for the pads with high metal content. Generally, the pads with smooth surfaces were less sensitive to changes in humidity. Only a limited correlation was found between relative humidity and brake squeal generation. One of the pads generated considerably more squeal in low humidity. None of the pads showed the opposite behavior.

If you’re lucky, the squealing or squeaking noise that your brakes make when you first drive your car in the morning, particularly after rain or snow, is just surface rust being scraped off the rotors by the brake pads the first few times you apply the brake pedal. It could also be the result of moisture and dirt that collects on the rotors, including from condensation caused by high humidity. If the brake squeal goes away after a few brake applications, no worries.

If the noise persists most times or every time you apply the brakes, or you hear squeals continuously while you’re driving, the cause is more serious – and the brake job will be more expensive. Because there are several possibilities causing squealing brakes – and because brakes are a crucial safety feature – it’s best to have a pro inspect and diagnose your vehicle’s brake noise.

A grinding sound usually means that the brake pads have worn away, and now the backing plates on which they were mounted are being squeezed against the rotors. This metal-to-metal contact means that you will need to replace the rotors, as well – and that you probably ignored some earlier warning signs of brake wear. This can be avoided by reducing the noise within the vehicle while driving so that you are able to hear what your car is trying to tell you. In this case, if your brakes are metal to metal, not only did you not hear the brake wear indicators screeching, the cost of a brake job will be considerably more.

The advice to my reader is, get a second opinion and be sure that your vehicle is using the type of brake pads recommended by the manufacturer. If you find that aftermarket parts (not made by the manufacturer) are repeating the same issue, then replace them with an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) set of pads to see if this eliminates the problem. After the repair is performed, request a test drive with the service writer or mechanic to insure that the problem has been resolved before you pay. Happy Motoring.

How to Eliminate Crimes of Opportunity for Car Thieves

By Teresa Aquila

For the last five years, the Honda Civic is not only the most popular car selling at dealerships, but also the number one most-stolen car in America.

But Honda is not alone. The top five cars stolen besides the Honda Civic are, in second place, Honda Accord, third place Ford full-size pickup, fourth is the Chevrolet full-size pickup and rounding off fifth, is the Toyota Camry.

With all of today’s new technology, one would think that it is nearly impossible to drive off with someone’s new vehicle? According to LoJack here is their list of the top five most stolen cars that have its security system:

1. Honda Accord

2. Honda Civic

3. Toyota Camry

4. Toyota Corolla

5. Chevy Silverado

While we cannot completely account for criminal behavior, it is important to note that the Accord has been one of the most popular vehicles in the U.S. for over 30 years, and in 2013 it was the best-selling new car to individual American buyers. Quality, reliability and durability are hallmarks of the Honda brand, and more Honda vehicles sold in the last 25 years are still on the road than any other brand, making it attractive to thieves. How can you make it harder for that professional thief to consider stealing your car? Nothing ruins your day faster than finding your car missing from its parking spot.

Obviously, thieves know which cars are easiest to sell, which is certainly a backhanded compliment to the Honda Motor Company. You can take several steps to prevent your Honda or any other vehicle from being stolen, including:

Lock your vehicle: Keep your car locked at all times, including while you’re driving it.

Parking: Never leave keys in a parked vehicle. Don’t leave the vehicle with open windows or sunroof. Never leave your car running when it is unattended. Hide your vehicle title where a thief won’t find it. Don’t park your car in a high crime area or in a dark spot.

Valuables: Don’t tempt thieves by leaving valuable items in the car, such as laptops, cameras or cell phones.

Immobilizer Theft-Deterrent System: An immobilizer theft-deterrent system is standard on the Honda Accord and Civic models. The system uses an ignition key with a built-in transponder. The car key carries a transponder code which must match a code in the vehicle computer. If they don’t match, the engine won’t start.

Glass: Have your VIN etched onto each of the vehicle’s windows. It discourages thieves, who don’t want to pay to replace all the windows.

Transceiver: Have a radio frequency transceiver installed on your vehicle that allows police to trace the location of a stolen car.

Steering wheel lock: While these aren’t foolproof, they discourage thieves who will likely move onto another car without a steering wheel lock.

With winter approaching in many states, car owners dislike jumping into a cold vehicle with frosted windows and no heat. This is a crime of opportunity by leaving your car running in the driveway or in the garage thinking that you are close enough to deter a would-be car thief. Think again. By the time you hear or notice that someone is behind the wheel of your car, it is too late. If parking outdoors is your only option, then consider purchasing a remote starting system.

Even if a thief did break into your car, it would be impossible to drive it away without the key. A remote starter will only allow a car to run without a key for a predetermined amount of time, usually 10 to 20 minutes. If the key is not inserted in the ignition before that time is up, the car will shut down. Meanwhile, the car is warmed up and ready for you to travel in comfort, and you won’t get a ticket for an obstructed view from not de-icing your windows, or get into an accident because you were unable to see your surroundings. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Happy Motoring

Teresa’s Garage Radio Show Special Guest Lea Ochs – Racer

Lea Ochs, named Female Motorsport of the Year for 2018. Carchix Calendar Girl and Racer. Her nice name is Lead Sled Lea. Lea was the special guest on the show, November 27, 2018 explain how she was born into a racing family, how she achieved her racing title for 2018 and excited to be a part of something special, Racing. She loves to encourage other women to take the leap and give racing a try.  Watch it prerecorded. Go to Special Guest Lea Ochs



By Teresa Aquila


It is time to replace your car’s brake pads. You hear your brakes making a noise, or braking appears soft and doesn’t seem to grab like it used to, so you seek out an auto shop to perform the repairs. Before dropping off your car and agreeing to the repairs, put on the brakes and do your homework. Brake pads and rotors are not created equal.

Shops need to keep their profit margin in mind, and in doing so, parts play a role in this decision. If you are not aware of the parts your shop is using, you might want to inquire what type of pads they will be installing, where they purchase their parts from, and if they are made in the U.S. or China.

If you are going to replace the pads yourself, do you know what type of pad your vehicle uses? The following explains each type of brake pad in detail.

Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

These types of brake pads are made from about 30-65 percent metal and are commonly made out of steel wool, wire, copper or other metal materials. These types of brake pads are considered to be very durable, but also may wear brake rotors faster. Also, semi-metallic brake pads may not function well in very low temperatures.

Non-Asbestos Organic

This type of brake pad, commonly referred to as NAO, is made from organic materials such as fiber, glass, rubber and even Kevlar. These types of pads are usually softer and don’t create much noise, but they tend to wear faster and create a lot of dust.

Low-Metallic NAO

These are made primarily from an organic formula mixture, with small amounts of copper or steel added to help with heat transfer and provide better braking. Because of the added metal, there is usually a considerable amount of brake dust and these pads are often noisy.

Ceramic Brake Pads

Ceramic brake pads are composed primarily of ceramic fibers and other filler materials. While ceramic brake pads are usually more expensive than other types of pads, they are cleaner and produce much lower noise levels. Also, they provide for excellent braking and don’t cause a lot of wear on the brake rotors. Personally, I am not a fan of products made in China. We have all heard the saying that China-made products are equal to America-made. Not so. In 2002, the U.S. government examined this very claim. American companies were afraid that China-made mirrored products would hurt the American market for aftermarket parts.

Here is what they determined when it came to the type of metals used. Brake rotors are generally produced from gray iron, which has high wear resistance, excellent machinability, a relatively high coefficient of friction, and vibration absorption. This metal is also easily cast into rather complex shapes at a relatively low cost. After the raw casting is formed, the article undergoes machining, such as grinding and drilling, to reach the finished product. Unfinished brake rotors have undergone some grinding or turning, but are not functional as brake system products. Semifinished brake rotors have also undergone initial grinding and have been drilled or pierced. The commission also determined that OEM rotors and drums and aftermarket rotors and drums, although physically similar, were different products made by different manufacturers for different markets.

As a fleet manager and automotive mechanic, I have used both America and China-made products. My personal experience proved that the America-made outlasted the China-made products. The distortion was less on the America-made parts. In one instance, the China-made rotor used on a truck actually came apart after heavy use within three months, causing the need to replace the rotors again. The part was under warranty, but the downtime cost the company.

Brakes are a vital part in keeping a vehicle’s occupants safe. When it comes to replacing and purchasing parts for a brake repair, I will pay the extra for America-made products over China-made. The one factor that may be your decision maker is your financial situation. Make the right choice. After all, your life depends on it. Happy Motoring. Teresa is a top-notch mechanic with more than 40 years of experience repairing everything from Porsches to school buses. Currently she teaches a basic auto-repair class for women.

We are going LIVE on Facebook

Today will be our first Live Facebook show. America Matters Media is introducing Live Facebook. Other talk shows from America Matters Media will be joining the line up for on air showing soon.

We are looking forward to interacting live during the show via questions or by calling in toll free at 844-790-8255. Hope you will joing us. You can also find archived shows right here on my website, locate the link on the main page.  Teresa’s Garage Facebook link