Basic Auto For Women Seminar

Women with cars 001Have you ever had the desire to become more knowledgable about your automobile, then this Basic Auto for Women Seminar is a must? Do you want to feel more secure when taking your car in for repair? What is that Pesty Check Engine Light? How Do I check my fluids and more, then this class is for you. Teresa Aquila from Teresa’s Garage will be hosting a 3 to 4 hour seminar on just how to master these questions and come out feeling in control.

This course is designed for people who really don’t know anything about their car except how to drive it and how to fill up the tank. This class will offer students instruction in the basics of simple automotive services such as changing a flat tire, and checking the oil, understanding maintenance schedules, preventive maintenance and repair, along with the terminology, proper use of tools, and procedures required to perform these tasks. This class will empower the students to not only be able to perform simple tasks themselves, but it will help them to have confidence if they take their car into the shop to have someone else work on it.

Opening your hood should not feel like going down into the tunnel of darkness. There really isn’t anything under your hood that should scare you. Simple things like keeping your battery clean, steam cleaning your engine, checking your anti freeze, oil and transmission will no longer be a chore, but a way of saving you hard earned cash.

On May 16, 2015, Teresa’s Garage Seminar, held at the Reno Town Mall, in Reno, Nevada is the place to be. Sign up now by emailing to reserve your seat. You won’t be disappointed and there will be door prizes, so everyone should go home with more than they arrived with.

The class will be filmed and hosted on Teresa’s Garage website. I will then also choose a student or students to be my special guest on Teresa’s Garage Radio Show and discuss with the listeners what you obtained from this Seminar and answer any questions from callers who call into the show. Save the date and sign up now!

Cruising, Dancing and Classic Cars, A&W 1990

Here is a video that I filmed in 1990 during Hot August Nights at the A&W. During the summers when temperatures were warm, days for long and cruising was on every classic cars owners mind. I was no exception.

People would get to the A&W early in order to save a spot by parking their classic sometimes all day just waiting for the evening to arrive along with all the other car lovers and on lookers wanting to participate in the fun.

This was a place to meet up with friends or even make new ones. Some couples started their relationships at the A&W by hooking while hanging out to enjoy the festivities.

The building has been torn down now for sometime, but those of us who lived and played at this A&W in Reno, Nevada remember it well and with fond memories. This is just a one of many videos I will be posting for all to enjoy. Click A&W and enjoy.

A&W Crusing Reno, Nv 1990


Do You Have What It Takes To Drive In The Snow?

Due to recent snow storms in the area, it’s not difficult to locate which drivers know what it takes to travel safely and those that are still in the learning process; they are proudly displayed all over the roadside. I, of course, prefer the more experienced winter driver over the not so experienced, since the latter of the two will most likely be the one who can single handedly wipe out an entire section of the highway, causing accidents and holding up traffic for hours. Throw distracted drivers into the mix, and you have a recipe for a long commute.

So what should you do to prepare yourselves and your vehicle for these types of situations? First off, make sure your vehicle has the proper tires for the weather conditions.

All-season tires are a design compromise which allow you to maintain a basic level of both winter and summer performance, but don’t offer maximum control in either season. In some ways, all-season tires are like tennis shoes. Sure, you can wear them on the beach and in the snow, but flip flops on the beach and warm boots in the snow provide better comfort and performance in those specific weather conditions. If you live on the fringe of the Snow Belt and drive in snow once or twice in a winter, then all-season tires will suffice as long as they are relatively new. But for those of us who live in the Snow Belt, or who visit snowy areas on a regular basis, winter performance tires, sometimes called snow tires, are the responsible choice.

The winter tire, or snow tire, is designed to provide maximum performance in low winter temperatures and on ice, snow and slush. This tire performs better due to its combination of more flexible sidewalls, winter tread patterns, deeper tread depth, and perhaps most importantly, tread compounds which remain soft in the lowest winter temperatures. Be wary though: retailers offer a wide range of tires sold as “winter tires” with an “M&S” (mud and snow rating), but they are not at all equal in performance. Many of these tires are thinly disguised all-season or lower quality tire brands, using outdated technology to give the impression that the tires are suitable for winter use.

The best performing winter tires have a mountain/snowflake symbol branded on the tire’s sidewall. The RMA (Rubber Manufacturers Association) designates winter tires that meet the newest severe snow standard with this special symbol. This rating sets the true winter tire apart from other standard M&S rated all-season designs. Tires that have earned this symbol can be expected to provide twenty-five to fifty percent more traction in winter’s worst conditions, which may easily be the difference between driving safely and losing control in the snow and ice. In fact, winter tire technology has improved so dramatically in recent years that several states and provinces are considering requiring the use of winter-specific tires in designated areas to improve traffic safety.snow accident

Summer tire tread compounds and tread designs provide the best performance, handling, and wear in warmer temperatures. However, the very attributes that make summer tires work so well, will severely limit their winter performance. A tire that performs brilliantly on high temperature roadways typically has stiff sidewalls and offers a harder, shallower tread compound. This compound becomes even harder, almost like plastic, when exposed to lower winter temperatures. As you have probably noticed, plastic sleds slide quite well on snow. Summer tires won’t help you drive safely in the snow.

Be sure not to be drawn in on tire specials that may or may not perform in the snow or rain, but are great in summertime. Personally, I own two sets of tires for my vehicle, one I use during summer months and the other set for winter driving. This way I know that I have the proper rubber on the road when I need it.

The other important aspect of winter driving is learning to handle the road. It is imperative that drivers of all ages learn to drive in their respective weather conditions. Waiting for the snowfall is probably not the best time to test your skills, if you have not learned how to do so beforehand. Insurance companies can pay dearly during inclement weather conditions, and one spin on the ice might have you wishing you stayed home, or obtained the skills to handle this type of driving conditions.

Here are some safe-driving tips that will help you when roads are slick with ice or snow:

• Get the feel of the road by starting out slowly and testing your steering control and braking ability. Avoid spinning your tires when you start by gently pressing your gas pedal until the car starts to roll. Start slowing down at least three times sooner than you normally would when turning or stopping.

• Equip your vehicle with chains or snow tires. Chains are by far the most effective, and they should be used where ice and snow remain on the roadway. Remember that snow tires can still slide on ice or packed snow, so keep your distance.

• Reduce your speed to correspond with conditions. There is no such thing as a “safe” speed range at which you may drive on snow or ice. You must be extremely cautious until you are able to determine how much traction you can expect from your tires.

• When stopping, avoid sudden movements of the steering wheel and pump the brake gently. Avoid locking up the brakes on glazed ice as it will cause a loss of steering and control. Every city block and every mile of highway may be different, depending upon sun or shade and the surface of the roadway. (Check your vehicle owner’s manual, if the vehicle has anti-lock brakes, you may apply steady pressure to the brake pedal.)

• Maintain a safe interval between you and the car ahead of you according to the conditions of the road. Many needless rear-end crashes occur on icy streets because drivers forget to leave stopping space.

• Keep your vehicle in the best possible driving condition. The lights, tires, brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, and radiator are especially important for winter driving.

• Keep your windows clear. Don’t start driving until the windows are defrosted and clean – even if you’re only going a short distance. In many cities and states it is illegal not to clear your windows of snow and ice.

• Watch for danger or slippery spots ahead. Ice may remain on bridges even though the rest of the road is clear. Snow and ice also stick longer in shaded areas.

For more winter driving tips go to to purchase a winter driving DVD from Bridgestone.

Happy Motoring!

Never Change Points Again

Never Change Points Again:

If you are the owner of a classic vehicle and want to keep that original equipment look when you open up the hood, finding parts that not only look original, but outperform, is not always an easy task.change_points

One area that really needs an improvement would be under your distributor cap. Classic car engines were designed to operate with a breaker point ignition system, where a cam is rotating on the distributor shaft, opening the points at exactly the right moment, sending up to 2500 volts to the spark plug. The spark occurs at the spark plug almost the instant the contact points open.

When the engine is idling, the spark occurs just before the piston reaches top dead center. But at higher speeds, the spark is advanced, or moved ahead, so that it occurs earlier.

As the points wear, the point gap increases sending a weaker amount of electrical current to the spark plugs and the vehicle will begin to run rough, as if it misses a beat. If you fail to check the gap periodically, it will decrease your fuel mileage and one day the engine could fail to start.

This will always occur when you are far from home, heading to a car show, or out for a cruise, showing off your cool ride, only to have it fail to start. This is not the time to consider checking or changing your ignition points.

Pertronix has invented a product that has been around for several years, offering a pointless ignition set up, while still using your original cap and rotor. It gives the appearance of original equipment while performing just like an electronic ignition.


Pertronix Specifications:

For over thirty years, the Ignitor has proven itself in applications ranging from race cars to tractors. The Ignitor replaces breaker point and troublesome factory electronic ignitions with a dependable, self contained and maintenance free electronic ignition system. The Ignitor has been called the “stealth” ignition because of its quick installation and nearly undetectable presence under your distributor cap.

• Operating Voltage: 8-V to 16-V DC
• Temperature Range: -50º to 300ºF
• RPM Range: 0 to 15,000 RPM
• 12-V NEG Ground (some 6-V NEG, 6 & 12-V POS ground kits available)
• System is designed for use with most point-type coils, optimal performance achieved when used with their Flame-Thrower® 40,000 volt coil.
• Works great in stock point-type distributors as a trigger for multi-spark CD ignitions, eliminating the need for expensive aftermarket distributors.
• No complicated wiring makes installation easy.
• A solid-state electronic ignition system. “Never change points again!”

I have Pertronix installed in all of my classic vehicles, giving me worry free start ups. Pertronix is sold at most auto parts stores and you can find them at Summit Racing.

For more information on Pertronix products, visit their website at

Happy Motoring

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Take Charge of Your Car With BlueDriver

I am always amazed at new technology that can help you keep up with your automobile’s repairs, and monitor its every move. For example, staying abreast with trouble codes as they happen, clearing trouble codes with one click, diagnosing problems even before heading off to your repair shop, sharing your car’s data with your mechanic from miles away, receiving live data from all your car’s computers, and even knowing if your car is ready for its smog test.

Here is a device that can do all that and more. BlueDriver, by Lemur Technologies, has developed a plug-in OBD-II that can take much of the worry out of car repairs. When a sensor goes out of range and trips that pesky check engine light, you will be notified via your cell phone. It will tell you which sensor has tripped the check engine light, and even suggest possible fixes. When you head to the repair shop, you will have knowledge of where the problem is and no longer need to rely on the Service Adviser to tell you the bad news.

Lemur’s BlueDriver, at, is a very sophisticated scan tool that can take the guess work out of costly repairs and keep you informed as you drive. It links to your smart phone or tablet by downloading a free app that connects to your car’s computer. Click on the link to learn how to purchase a BlueDriver, and you are on your way to Happy Motoring.

Dan McGee reviews Teresa’s Garage Radio Show

Dan McGee, owner and publisher of, interviews Teresa Aquila, owner of Teresa’ Garage after her weekly radio show on February 17, 2015.

RENO (Feb. 17) — It not often a child’s dreams come true. But for Teresa Aquila, that’s exactly what happened to her.

“When I was very, very young, I’m going to say 5- or 6-years old I wanted to play with tools and wanted to be a mechanic ever since I was a little kid,” she said. “In my first grade an officer actually came to the school and I thought, ‘that’s what I need to be.’ So I wanted to be two things, a cop and a mechanic.”

Teresa Aquila stands with a vintage car and with the symbol for her radio show.
Photo courtesy – Teresa’s Garage

It wasn’t easy as back then society had definite ideas about the careers open to girls and women.

“In my fourth grade school the teacher asked all the students to put down on a piece of paper what you wanted to be when you grew up then they would put it up on the wall for open house,” she said. “Mine said I wanted to be a cop and a mechanic and she pulled me aside after class and said, ‘you got to change this. She said girls don’t do this, this is not what girls can do.’”

teresa and windy head phones

Teresa Aquila stands with a vintage car and with the symbol for her radio show. Photo courtesy – Teresa’s Garage

After being threatened with an “F” she changed her goal to secretary. But at the open house Aquila stood by that sign and told everyone that wasn’t her dream.

“The teacher went to my mom and said that I was pretty defiant,” she said. “My mother said, ‘no she’s focused.’”

While growing up in Petaluma, California an art teacher found she wanted to go into mechanics. So he suggested a drafting class would be good since she would eventually have to be able to read schematics.

Unfortunately the drafting teacher was old school and rejected her application. So her art teacher went to the principle, got the decision reversed but in the class she wasn’t treated very well.

“At the end of the class I was probably about a B or B+ student and when I got my final grade it was a D-,” she said.

Faced with this and knowing the teacher wanted her to get angry, she chose a different response.

“I told him that I learned everything everyone else did. And I said that a grade is just an opinion and walked out of the class,” she said.

Later she started teaching herself mechanics.

“I got my first car when I was 18, it was a ’63 Chevy which I still own today and restored it years ago,” she said. “That was my everyday driver and I paid $300 for it.”

She needed to paint the car and a friend of her stepfather’s, who was a professional painter, taught her how to paint the car.

“He was a great Samoan, very knowledgeable in mechanics and he sat me down and said, ‘you’re doing everything, I’m just going to stand by and you’re actually going to turn those nuts and bolts,’” she said.

Even today Teresa Aquila works on cars like this one at her business, Teresa’s Garage. Photo courtesy – Teresa’s Garage.

Even today Teresa Aquila works on cars like this one at her business, Teresa’s Garage.
Photo courtesy – Teresa’s Garage.

At that time mechanics was a male dominated field and women weren’t really welcome. Still undeterred Aquila kept chasing her dreams.

After starting at Ralston Purina in the office she learned about an opening in their maintenance department. It was a struggle but she finally got accepted for the position.

“My first day on the job was comical in one respect but insulting in another because they actually had you build your own bottom toolbox,” she said.

Knowing how to weld she used the materials they gave her and built the box, built the top box, bought all new tools and her co-workers painted the bottom box white with pink polka dots and a bow on it.

“So I actually pushed that cart around Ralston-Purina for weeks until they got so upset,” she said. “It was also a learning process.”

Aquila explained that she wasn’t trying to blaze a trail for women but just work in the field she wanted to be in. And in 1977, same year she went to work for Ralston Purina, she joined the Sheriff’s Department as a reserve deputy where she still serves.

And that led her to other opportunities.

“One of the captains came to me and said, ‘you know Teresa you’re really good at mechanics’ as I was working on his car on the side,” she said. “And he said why don’t you go get a business license and we’ll see if the county commissioners will hire you as an outside vendor. I went, ‘wow,’ I’m game for that so I got a business license and that’s when Teresa’s Garage started in 1977.”

For the next two or three years she worked as an outside vendor maintaining patrol cars. And she switched day jobs and hired on as a technician with Porsche Cars of North America.

Eventually the Sheriff’s Office created a maintenance section and she took the test to qualify.

“There were 400 people applying for this one position,” she said.

Unfortunately she scored seventh in the four and a half hour test so wasn’t offered the job.

That was the same time where she got a new boss at Porsche, who felt that women had no place there as technicians. After getting written up for almost anything plus the stress and getting injured on the job she left about a year and a half later.

Looking back at that time she said, ““The worst of it in my career has been the negativity in my younger years trying to get to where I am today and having to focus because I am a woman. There were some days that throwing in the towel seemed so much better than having to go back he next day and fight for my space in this industry. But then that’s the easy way out and I’m not one for giving up so it hasn’t been an easy road to travel but the end result has been awesome.”

Oddly enough things were better in law enforcement.

“You know the cop side was a lot easier and I think it was because of the mechanics side,” she said. “That’s because the guys and I could talk nuts and bolts as we’ll be in a patrol car, we’ll be talking cars, or they have a problem with their car or we see some cool cars on the road while we’re driving around. And too it would also come into play when we had to do an investigation so it kind of worked in my favor in several ways.”

Today the automotive field has changed and Aquila is glad for that. Now the technical schools like UTI and Wyotech accept women and many are going into the field.

She mentioned Cambria Robin, a guest on her radio show, who attended both Wyotech and NASCAR Institute where she graduated at the top of her class.

“It was easier for her to actually register, for me back then they wouldn’t even let you get near the door. So it’s so much easier today but still if you have a focus and something you want to be you need to go and do it,” she said. “And if you find it’s not for you, at least you tried.”

With the massive changes going on in the automotive field Aquila stressed the need for education and continuing education for anyone entering the field.

“The technology is changing day by day so like I was saying on my radio show, mechanics are doctors of the automobile,” she said. “So we’re always having to learn, always practicing.”

But she’s found there is a downside as new technicians are problem solvers and many don’t have a full grasp of the mechanics involved in a vehicle.

“I think those mechanics of the future are going to be limited in what they know,” she said. “We’re a dying breed, the mechanics of my era, because if you ask a new technician today how to set points in a classic vehicle they are going to look at you, scratch their head and go, ‘what the heck is a set of points?’”

This past November she found a new way to share her knowledge as well as that of others. And it all started when a friend, who participates in open mike sessions at America Matters media called her.

Teresa Aquila behind the mike at her radio show that airs on America Matters Media

Teresa Aquila behind the mike at her radio show Teresa’s Garage that airs on America Matters Media


“She called up because Eddie Floy said they wanted to branch into other programs and one of them was automotive,” she said. “So I asked her what she had in mind and she said, ‘how would like to have your own radio show?’ So she put Eddie on the phone, we discussed it and he said, ‘come down and meet me on Tuesday.”

Well it started out very different than she thought.


Teresa Aquila offers some water to a recent guest. Brett Shore manager of Les Schwab at 9500 So. Virginia St.

Teresa Aquila offers some water to a recent guest. Brett Shore manager of Les Schwab at 9500 So. Virginia St.

Teresa Aquila offers some water to a recent guest, Brett Shore, manager of the Les Schwab store at 9500 South Virginia.

“I came down here on a Tuesday thinking I was going to have a sit down interview with just Eddie. When I got here he said, ‘sit down, put those headphones on, your show starts in five.’ So I flew by the seat of my pants for the first couple of shows, kicked out on my own,” she said.

While Teresa Aquila and guest Brett Shore from Les Swhwab discuss brakes and their upkeep, America Matters engineer Craig Moss keeps track of the time and makes sure commercial breaks are handled.

While Teresa Aquila and guest Brett Shore from Les Swhwab discuss brakes and their upkeep, America Matters engineer Craig Moss keeps track of the time and makes sure commercial breaks are handled.

While Teresa Aquila and guest Brett Shore from Les Swhwab discuss brakes and their upkeep, America Matters engineer Craig Moss keeps track of the time and makes sure commercial breaks are handled.

Aquila is indebted to the staff at America Matters and to Kelly Rush for their mentoring and guidance. Her live show is aired every Tuesday from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. on KRNG 101.3 FM or 1060 A.M.


   Banner for Teresa’s radio show on America Matters Media.