Montreal

Quebec mechanic seeks to empower women by teaching them how to care for their cars

Annie Barrette is an electrician and millwright by trade, and she holds mechanic workshops for women who want to learn how to take care of their cars.

Annie Barrette is showing women how to boost a car's battery, change tires and perform an oil change

Annie Barrette is an electrician and millwright by trade, and she holds mechanic workshops for women who want to learn how to take care of their cars. (Claude Rivest/CBC)

A Chicoutimi woman is travelling across the province in an effort to drive more women to learn something she thinks everyone should know — basic auto mechanic skills.

Annie Barrette is an electrician and millwright by trade, and she holds mechanic workshops for women.

"I wanted to empower women to make them [aware] that they can do it as much as anyone else," Barrette said.

Part of that is making sure women know when they need to fix something on their cars, and when a mechanic might be overcharging them.

"I think the fun thing is to make [clear] to women that they actually know more than they think," Barrette said.

Annie held one of her workshops in Sherbrooke on Saturday. (Claude Rivest/CBC)

She held one of her workshops in Sherbrooke on Saturday. One of the participants, Alicia Cleaver, purchased her first car last fall.

"If I have a car, I want to be able to take care of it," Cleaver said.

At the workshop, she learned basic theory on how a motor works and how to access the car's manual.

Then, Barrette showed participants how to boost a car's battery, change tires and perform an oil change.

Cleaver said she wants to be able to help her friends who might not have mechanical savvy.

"Many times there are people who don't know how to do things on their own car," she said. "I'd like to be able to help others just as much as I'd like to help myself."

While the class is oriented toward women, men are welcome, too.

With files from Claude Rivest

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