When wives fix cars | Living with Gleigh

There are a few things around the house that I can't do anything about and fixing cars is one of them. My husband’s hobby is working on vintage cars, in which I only share an interest for the summer, family entertainment value going to car shows offers us.

So when my daughter’s car broke down last week, my interest only stemmed from the inconvenience of having to share a vehicle with her. The bigger problem was my husband still had to go to work; adding to it the fact that he’s working a lot of overtime lately and the car had to wait.The lack of action made me a little insane, but no matter how I felt about it, I still could not fix a car, nor could I make my husband fix it faster.

I tried to be the helpful partner and suggest different approaches. The first of which was that instead of scrambling to get it fixed before the really cold weather hit he clear out the HEATED shop and put the car in there to work on it.

He never did do it. His excuse was, "It will only take a minute." My reasoning was, "But it's a minute you'll be warm." The car sat on the patio for about four days, my husband froze his butt off a minute at a time for four days.

My other helpful, wifely suggestion was that he call another car friend for advice. At least he could ask someone if it was that easy to wipe out the car's entire coding system with his new code reader.  He did finally call someone; probably to get me to shut up. His friend wasn’t much help except to assure my husband he probably couldn’t delete the all the car’s computer codes.

As we were crawling into bed on the fourth night, I advised my husband to start from the beginning: 1) It wouldn't start, but once started it drove just fine. 2) He replaced the starter and it would start, but would choke when you tried to drive it. 3) The code reader said it was the cooling sensor 4) He replaced the cooling sensor, then it wouldn’t start at all. I said back the truck up (car) and retrace your steps.

If it had been up to me I would’ve made a big pot of soup, served it with some fresh, crusty bread and invited all my car friends over to discuss the best approach. Then we’d have all gone out there and had it fixed in an evening.

But, alas! I can’t fix cars nor do I have car friends of my own. The only thing I know about cars is when they don’t work, I should tell my husband. So when my husband was at work the next day, I did the only thing I could do on my own, I deep cleaned my bedroom.

I used my husband’s drill to extend my nightstand with an additional shelf; I got out the vacuum and sucked up all the feathers that had escaped my feather body pillow (I swear there was a whole bird’s worth); I installed a hook for my husband’s bathrobe, again using the drill; I dusted, I wiped things down, I organized.
It may not have been a car, but it was rather satisfying, especially the power tool part. Then when my husband got home that evening – even though he won’t admit it was my advice that spurred him on – he went back to the beginning, discovered the problem and had the car fixed in an hour.

Who says I can’t fix a car?


Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is committed to fixing cars the only way some wives know how. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh.” Her column is available every week at under the Lifestyles section.
We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 26
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates