The Woman Warrior Project

The Woman Warrior Project

Finding Women passionate about working on cars is becoming easier than it was five or ten years ago. Recently I received a message on Teresa’s Garage Facebook page from a young woman who liked the page. Being inquisitive, I responded back to see if she too was an admirer of vintage iron.

It turns out she was, and in turn, she referred me to another Facebook page where a group of women were more than admirers, but actually mechanics, or currently working in the Automotive Industry in some capacity. I find it exhilarating to see that other women are performing incredible things with cars.

This group is undertaking the Warrior Project. Just what is the Warrior Project? Their Mission Statement says it all: To encourage participation of women in all aspects of the automotive industry.

So what is this project all about? AMX-rolls-to-loading-300x176

The Warrior Project started out as a conversation about doing a rebuild project on a car. This was during the annual SEMA Show, the world’s premier automotive specialty products trade event in Las Vegas. This was the initial idea and it grew from there. This project is like no other; and it will demonstrate the talents that women have in the Automotive Industry.

According to the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) women, the number of certified female technicians has more than tripled in the last ten years, but still makes up only one percent of the total ASE-certified technicians.

Let’s look at how women add up in the automotive corporate world. There are seven women out of 52 officers for Ford Motor Company, and their female engineers have more than doubled since 1990. The number of men has only jumped 21% during the same period.

So are women really good for the industry? Absolutely! They think differently, are well balanced, and have core values. Women are relationship builders with a strong sense of community responsibilities. And since women make up 80% of the buying decisions, they are able to understand the needs and desires of a woman when it comes to their cars.

AMX-at-Paint-and-Body-Show-740x431This project, known as the Valkyrie Project, has a wide range of talented women in the automotive industry working hard to design, fabricate and rebuild this beautiful, powerful 1969 AMX, which will debut at the Hot Rod Power Tour 2015, the largest road trip in the world, with several thousand cars traveling to seven cities in seven days.

The exciting part for me is that a few of these women will soon be guests on Teresa’s Garage Radio.

Who makes up this amazing group of women and what role does each play in bringing this project to reality?

Susan Carpenter – President, JR Products

A fearless leader, Susan has successfully served the automotive and recreational vehicle related industries for over 20 years. Leading JR Products into their 15th consecutive record sales year, she credits the company’s industry leading retail packaging design, aggressive marketing and specialized merchandising programs along with award winning customer service as contributing factors to their continued success.

Dr. Karen Salvaggio – Owner, Thunder Valley Racing

Personal motto: Dream big; Work hard!! Karen brings a wealth of motorsports, education, and leadership experience to any project. A military veteran and master mechanic, Karen served nine years in the U.S. Air Force as a crew chief on B-52’s and KC-135 aircraft. Karen garnered numerous Distinguished Service Medals before leaving the military to pursue her advanced education. She holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

Nan Gelhard – Advertising Manager, Summit Racing
Nan is an advertising and PR pro and knows the performance automotive aftermarket industry. Since she has worked directly with many of the industry’s movers and shakers, from manufacturers to the media, she will be working with manufacturers to get parts for the AMX, and with the media to bring the project to enthusiasts. Nan also currently serves on the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Select Committee.

Christina Kwan – Kwan International Marketing & Media

Since founding her company in 2007, Christina has dedicated her efforts primarily to representing clients in the capacities of marketing and public relations in the automotive and motorsports industry. Having represented an NHRA Nitro Funny car, to building her own drag boat from bare block, Christina enjoys writing press content equally as much as she enjoys working on engines and racing.


JoAnn Bortles – Owner, Crazy Horse Custom Paint

JoAnn Bortles is an award winning custom automotive painter, airbrush artist, certified welder/fabricator, author, and photo journalist with over 30 years of experience in the automotive industry. She has appeared on The Today Show, NBC News, Musclecar TV, and TruTv’s Motor City Masters.

Julia Johnson – Instructor of Automotive Technology, Skyline College

Julia Johnson began her automotive career as an auto tech student at Skyline College. During her student years she built a 12-second drag car, won 9 scholarships, worked in independent repair shops, earned 6 ASE certificates, and an EA Smog License, and started teaching automotive classes, just for women.

Amy Fitzgerald – Owner, Cool Hand Customs

Amy Fitzgerald is co-owner, along with her husband EJ, of Cool Hand Customs, an old school Hot Rod Shop and a high-end painting, airbrushing and fabrication business in Middleton, Wisconsin. Amy’s lifelong passion for cars has helped the business expand; moving from working on motorcycles in their garage to managing a broad range of projects on new and vintage automobiles, motorcycles and trucks. In the world of custom vehicles, Amy is used to being one of the only women in the room, but that doesn’t bother her at all. Her favorite part of the industry is working with the younger generation.

Reference: Warrior Projects

Will Tinkering With Your Own Car Soon Be Illegal?

Will Tinkering With Your Own Car Soon Be Illegal?

Have you ever thought that someday you might not even be allowed to tinker with your own automobile? Or how about repair shops? They might not be allowed to perform repairs because they might be infringing on Copyright laws.

Well, all of this just might come true sooner than you think. There have been more than 300 written comments submitted to the Federal Copyright Office. Soon they will decide whether to grant an exemption in Copyright Law that preserves the legal right of outsiders to fix or modify their vehicles.

The opportunity to comment on this issue ended on April 30th, 2015 and in the next week or so, the Copyright Office will release the latest comments, which come from organizations and individual citizens alike. A broad majority of those who wrote in support an exemption.cartoon under hood

Ever since internal combustion engines were invented, many American motorists have maintained and personalized their cars and trucks. They do it to save money, to fix a problem, to adjust a vehicle to better meet their needs, or they just enjoy working on their cars.

So what has changed on this issue over the past century you might ask? The difference is that cars aren’t just mechanical in nature anymore. Whether you realize it or not, today’s cars are largely controlled by many small computers called electronic control units or ECM. In this whirl wind of copyright laws, automakers and equipment manufacturers have argued the software and computer codes that run these units, are proprietary and are protected under the copyright laws.

To sum it up, they do not want you or me messing around with that coding, or making unauthorized modifications, which they feel could lead to malfunctions or even car accidents.

What does this mean? It means that the home mechanics may no longer be able to continue working on their own cars. These restrictions not only effect car enthusiasts, but it could also mean you may no longer even be able to choose your own repair shop.

If the Copyright Office denies an exemption to the Copyright Act’s Section 1201, automakers could only authorize repairs at dealerships, or sell the access codes necessary to perform the repairs to preferred shops.under car

John Deere and General Motors have argued that motorists don’t necessarily buy a car, they merely buy the license to use the car for the duration of its life.

So you pay upwards in the 10’s of thousands for a car and you own the car, but not what controls it. To me, where is the sense in this as a consumer?

This would leave some 6800 aftermarket auto parts makers out of business at a time when the country is trying to bring back jobs. Many of the devices on vehicles today originated outside of the automotive industry long before automakers made them standard equipment. Now they feel they own them.

DMCA, The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States Copyright Law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as Digital Rights Management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Passed on October 12, 1998, by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17 of the United States Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of online services for copyright infringement by their users.

This is readdressed every three years and 2015 it is up for review again. This year there are 27 different proposed exemptions and a half dozen apply to the automotive industry. The report will be out sometime in June or July of this year.

Michael Lombardi And His Electric Car

Michael Lombardi, The Sky Is The Limit

I find it very encouraging when talking to young people today, to see that some are actually being very productive and not just sitting around addicted to their cell phones or computer games.

Recently I was chatting with my nephew, Michael Lombardi, on Facebook after noticing a photo he posted of his new electric car. I wanted to know more so I got in touch with Michael, and his response was, “I made it.”

This of course sparked my curiosity since Michael is only 10 years old. I knew I needed to dig into this a little deeper. Michael has always been a very bright young man who impressed me even at an earlier age.

It was almost as if he’s had an older soul since birth.

Michael’s younger years were very challenging, to say the least, but I firmly believe he prevailed, not only because of his so called older soul, but also because he has a father who loved him very much and was very supportive.

I contacted Michael by phone to ask some questions about the self made electric car. The first question was, what started the idea of building an electric car? He responded proudly and with some excitement in his voice that he asked his science teacher if he could have one of the small electric motors that were left over from another project. The teacher happily responded, yes you may, but you will need to make it a project. Let’s see what you can do with it as a science assignment.

Being very excited to be given this electric motor, Michael already had an idea in mind of what he was going to use this motor for; building an electric car.

Michael rushed home after school to show his father the electric motor and to discuss building an electric car with him. The first step was to plan out what parts he would need to build the car, and then purchase them. They headed to the hobby store in order to purchase pulleys that he would need to move the vehicle, and then set out to the Dollar Store to buy a friction car.

Oh, and let’s not forget the power for this car, 2 – 9volt batteries. Back at home, Michael’s dad was preparing a business for grand opening, so a friend of his father’s stepped in to help Michael begin his fabrication of an electric car.

Since this was all new to Michael, there were many things he would need to watch and learn how to do. Like soldering the wires on the motor and attaching them to the batteries, installing an on and off switch, installing pulleys, cutting the car door for access to the motor, and finally, adding the switch to make it run. After watching the first solder operation, Michael was ready to finish the rest.Michael and car

All the parts were in, wiring installed, and now the true test, flipping the switch. But there was one minor problem, the car only went backwards! This really confused Michael since he knows he installed everything correctly. Since his father is very good with electrical circuits and electronics, he pointed out to Michael and explained to him about reverse polarity.

Normal polarity in electronics is when the positive is hooked up to the positive battery terminal and the negative to the negative terminal. Reverse polarity would be having the positive hooked up to the negative terminal and the negative to the positive terminal. The same concept can be applied to magnets.

So Michael reversed the polarity and the car was now heading in the correct direction. I asked him what he learned from this project. He replied, I never knew how to solder before, I didn’t know how to install wires, and especially, I never knew about reverse polarity. But I do now.

Michael proudly took his electric car to school and demonstrated it to his Science teacher and the class, which earned him an extra grade. The teacher was so impressed by what he learned from this, that she advised the class that if anyone wanted to attempt such a project to ask Michael for some advice. Who knows what his next project will be or what he might invent for the future? The sky’s the limit.

AWAF Working Hard For Women In The Automotive Industry

AWAF Working Hard For Women In The Automotive Industry

With all the challenges that women undertake on a daily basis in the automotive industry, it is nice to know there are organizations out there working hard to help make the road a little easier to travel.

I recently came across an organization dedicated not only to women, but women in the automotive industry. Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) promotes leadership by women in the automotive industry by awarding scholarships to women who are either entering into, or seeking to further, their careers in the automotive field. When AWAF became a non-profit organization, that to date, they have awarded nearly $230,000 in scholarships to 93 deserving recipients pursuing a wide range of automotive disciplines.

AWAF was started over 20 years ago and was established as a non-profit organization in 2001.

The Executive Board of AWAF is made up of the Officers of the AWA Foundation who are employed within the automotive industry. They are elected by the Board of Directors with a term of one to two years.

Currently, members are mostly concentrated in southeastern Michigan, but they do accept members from all over the world. How can you become a member of such a great organization? Go to their website, and click on the join button. What are the benefits of becoming a member of AWAF?

· Support the automotive education of women

· Build relationships with a dynamic group of automotive professionals

· Learn from leaders who have shattered the glass ceiling

· Stay connected to news, with special discounts on select business publications.

Women are proving to be a very vital part of the automotive industry, and not just as consumers, but so much more. Women have been inventors of products such as the windshield wiper, airplane exhaust muffler, even Kevlar. If the world only allowed men to be inventors, it would be doing everyone an injustice.

In organizations such as this, women now have the opportunity to surround themselves with others who share the same passion and dream. Women have come a long way over the past 30 years and are making further strides every day.

I was pleased to learn that Board Member, Patricia Price, will be my special guest on Teresa’s Garage radio show airing

Patricia Price

Patricia Price

May 5, 2015. Be sure to tune in at  2:00 pm PST, you won’t want to miss it.

So for more information on the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation, go to Become a member, it just might be what you were looking for.

What Does A Vehicle Salvage Title Mean?

What Does A Vehicle Salvage Title Mean?

A Salvage Title on a vehicle typically means that at some point in the vehicle’s history the car has been claimed a total loss by an insurance company because of an accident or flood damage. It can even apply in some states if it’s a recovered stolen vehicle – so, all pretty much not good things. Also, government agencies routinely test new vehicles, and cars sold after the government gets its use out of them are given a Salvage Title as well.

When a total loss happens because of damage, the car can sometimes be bought back by the owner or sold to someone who will repair the vehicle and put it back on the road. When this happens it’s issued a Salvage Title. Laws and regulations regarding salvaged titles vary from state to state, so be sure to check with your state’s motor vehicle department for the most accurate information.

Salvaged cars typically go through an inspection by the state’s motor vehicle department before being issued a Salvage Title, but inspection procedures also vary by state and some may be a simple VIN code and emissions system check. Others may be a more thorough safety inspection.

A Salvage Title can significantly change the equation when you’re looking into buying a car. In many states, this type of title indicates that the vehicle has been damaged, recovered after being stolen, or written off as a total loss by an insurer. In some states, a Salvage Title may prevent you from legally driving the car on the road and might even prevent you from purchasing the car in the first place. On the other hand, some of the reasons a car may receive a Salvage Title have little to do with its history, functionality or safety.salvagetitle

While every state has different regulations, there are a number of common reasons for a car to receive a Salvage Title. Insurance companies will consider a vehicle totaled if the cost to repair it after an accident exceeds a certain percentage of its value. Many states specify standards for this valuation, though for many insurance companies, the standard limit is 75 percent of the vehicle’s total value. In this situation, the insurer sees replacing the vehicle as a more financially wise option than repairing it. (Source: Carfax.)

A Salvage Title should, first and foremost, be a warning flag that a car may have been damaged in an accident. The plastic body panels and high-tech components that go into today’s cars can mean that even a small accident might lead to very expensive repairs. An accident could also cause subtle but irreparable damage to the car’s frame or other critical parts.

Insurance companies may be more likely to repair a car if they choose to use alternative parts components from manufacturers other than the one that built the car. While the quality of these parts is supposed to equal that of the original vehicle, it’s worth investigating how a car was repaired if it was ever in an accident. If the car was totaled and you’re in the market for a fixer-upper, you owe it to your safety and that of your future passengers to thoroughly understand the extent of the damage, and determine if it’s within your ability to repair it. Improperly selling a salvage vehicle can be a serious felony offense. Sellers must disclose in writing that the vehicle is a salvage vehicle.

In the state where I reside, Nevada, let me explain the rules pertaining to Salvage Titles.

“Salvage vehicle” is a motor vehicle that at one time has been declared a total loss vehicle, flood-damaged vehicle, non-repairable vehicle, or had “salvage” or a similar word or designation placed on any title issued for the vehicle.

Total Loss – A vehicle that has been damaged to the extent that the estimated cost of repair, not including the cost associated with painting any part of the vehicle, would exceed 65 percent of the fair market value of the vehicle immediately before the damage was incurred. Vehicles with less than 65 percent damage are not considered salvage vehicles.

Flood Damaged – A vehicle that has been submerged in water to a point that the level of the water is higher than the door sill of the vehicle and water has entered the passenger, trunk or engine compartment of the vehicle and has come into contact with the electrical system of the vehicle; or a vehicle that is part of a total loss settlement resulting from water damage.

Non-Repairable – A vehicle, other than an abandoned vehicle, that has value only as a source of parts and scrap metal, or has been designated by its owner for dismantling, or has been stripped of all body panels, doors, lights, etc., or has been burned or destroyed beyond a restorable condition.

Salvage vehicles in Nevada are issued an orange-colored Salvage Title. A salvage vehicle may not be registered or operated on any public street until it has been rebuilt and inspected. Once a salvage vehicle has been repaired, it becomes a rebuilt vehicle and may be registered and/or sold if the proper procedures below have been followed. Non-Repairable vehicles are issued a Certificate and may not be restored to operating condition.

Older Vehicles

Vehicles 10 model years old or older are not considered salvage vehicles if the only repairs needed are a limited A-on-production-linenumber of items. Specifically, the hood, the trunk lid, and/or up to two of the following: doors, grill assembly, bumper assembly, headlight assembly and taillight assembly.

If the vehicle requires more repairs than this, the 65 percent damage rule applies (other states are higher). For example, the 65 percent rule would apply if the grill, front bumper and one headlight assembly were replaced. If only the hood, the grill and the bumper were replaced, the 65 percent rule would not apply and the vehicle would not be considered a salvage vehicle. The 65 percent rule does not include any cost of paint or labor to paint the vehicle.

Rebuilt Vehicles (Non-Salvage)

Vehicles which have had certain repairs must be titled as Rebuilt even if they do not meet the definition of a salvage vehicle. See Non-Salvage Rebuilt Vehicles. (Source: NRS (Nevada Revised Statue, state of Nevada.)

If you’re interested in a car that has a Salvage Title, and the owner claims it was stolen and recovered, find out why the car hasn’t been re-titled yet. The owner should have done this before offering the car for sale as a matter of good business; failure to do so may be a sign that there’s something else wrong with the car.

So if you are purchasing the vehicle of your dreams, make sure to check the vehicle’s history to ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck.

Why Is My Car’s Temperature Gauge So High?

Windy weak bladderWhy Is My Car’s Temperature Gauge So High?

The temperature gauge measures the temperature of your car’s engine coolant. It is important to take note of this gauge because it will tell you if your engine is overheating. Typically, the gauge should read “cold” when you start the car and get warmer as you drive.

1. You have lost coolant. This may mean a small leak or gradual evaporation. Check your engine to make sure you have enough coolant and add more if necessary.

2. The thermostat is broken. A malfunctioning thermostat may not be letting coolant into the engine.

3. There is a water pump or a water pump gasket failure. This failure may cause the engine to overheat.

If you notice the temperature gauge is reading higher than average, and it is not particularly hot outside, you should have your car’s cooling system checked out as soon as possible. If the temperature warning light comes on or the gauge reads higher than average while driving, you should safely pull over to the side of the road. It is likely that your car’s engine is overheating and further driving may cause severe engine damage.

You can turn on your car’s heater to cool down the engine as you pull over. If it is hot outside, you can also roll down the windows and direct the air vents away from passengers. This is a quick way to cool down the engine as you look for a place to pull over to check the engine’s coolant and water levels. You should never open a hot radiator. If needed, you can add water through the overflow tank.