Mechanic Shop Femme’s Guide to Car Ownership

Uncomplicating Cars for All of Us


By Chaya M. Milchtein

Formats and Prices




$25.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 9, 2024. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A comprehensive guide to car ownership and maintenance intended for anyone—regardless of age, gender or experience.

When did you last pick up a book about cars? Typically written for men, particularly automotive enthusiasts and mechanics, these books rarely appeal to the everyday car owner. Mechanic Shop Femme’s Guide to Car Ownership is different. Automotive educator, journalist, and social media influencer Chaya M. Milchtein is a queer woman who has spent the last decade deeply entrenched in the automotive industry.
In a country where economic injustices disproportionately impact marginalized people, particularly people of color and the LGBTQ+ community, a reliable car and an excellent relationship with a quality mechanic is vital to climb out of poverty. Chaya understands that a vehicle is an economic necessity that can provide access to career opportunities, financial security, and physical safety. She also understands that queer folks and women often find it daunting to buy a car and, subsequently, deal with the realities of getting it insured and repaired. 
In Mechanic Shop Femme’s Guide to Car Ownership, Chaya speaks to readers of all identities and socio-economic backgrounds, arming them with the necessary knowledge to navigate the intimidating automotive industry. At its core, this book is an accessible and comprehensive guide that will put readers at ease by providing them with basic knowledge about car ownership and maintenance. From buying a car, to getting it insured, finding the perfect mechanic, and dealing with car emergencies, Chaya encourages her audience to make educated decisions regarding their vehicles.  
Mechanic Shop Femme’s Guide to Car Ownership is a must-have—one that will last readers through a lifetime of car ownership.


  • “Chaya is your friend who knows a ton about cars—the one who will teach you how to check your tires and put on jumper cables, and who will go with you to the dealership to make sure you aren’t getting scammed. Once you read this book, you’ll be that friend, too.”
    Keith Barry, Automotive Journalist
  • Since 2017, Milchtein has been online, demystifying car ownership and maintenance for women and queer folks, creating an environment that is educational, inclusive, and empowering. Her first book reflects that ethos, and in 14 common-sense chapters, she breaks down the necessities... Affably written, Mechanic Shop Femme's Guide to Car Ownership should find a large audience ...especially among those traditionally left out of the car-buying and maintenance process.
  • "Milchtein’s story shows that inclusivity, education and innovation in the automotive aftermarket holds immense potential for creating positive change. By recognizing the unique needs of female and LGBTQ+ vehicle owners, businesses can not only enhance customer satisfaction but also expand their clientele base. Through proactive communication and a genuine commitment to understanding the diverse needs of their customers, shop owners and technicians can pave the way for a more inclusive and thriving industry. As we all advocate for inclusion within the industry, let us continue to find innovative ways to create a welcoming and supportive environment where every individual feels valued and empowered."
  • "Chaya Milchtein is an internet sensation and influencer for a reason: she garners deep, insightful knowledge of the automotive industry and she always presents her true self. [Mechanic Shop Femme's Guide to Car Ownership] is written in casual, fun, easy-to-follow language for regular folks who want to learn more about the basics of car ownership."
  • "Chaya Milchtein empowers women by educating them about cars."
  • "Mechanic Shop Femme's Guide to Car Ownership provides a world of benefit, not only to novice vehicle purchasers but to seasoned ones as well. Chaya has covered car ownership from start to finish. To anyone that is hesitant to plunk down a few bucks for Chaya’s book, don’t be: it will be money well spent and can be passed on to others when you’re finished."
    Eric Carlson, Master Hybrid Technician and owner of Grand Rapids Hybrids
  • "Weaving together straightforward how-to guides on basic car buying and maintenance with personal narrative from her own life and reported stories from others, Milchtein puts forth an accessible work of informational nonfiction that also seeks to directly confront the car industry’s rampant sexism, racism, classism, and homophobia, giving people tools to advocate for themselves. As a fierce advocate for her own work, she’s the right person to learn these lessons from."
  • "As an automotive writer and influencer, Chaya Milchtein is driven about sharing her knowledge with her followers. Now she has authored a guide to car ownership that puts her advice in the hands of everyday people."

On Sale
Apr 9, 2024
Page Count
304 pages
Little Brown Spark

Chaya M. Milchtein

About the Author

Chaya Milchtein is an automotive educator, influencer, and founder of Mechanic Shop Femme. She unapologetically stands out in a crowd, flaunting her fashion sense while teaching about cars, traveling the world, and breaking all kinds of norms. Chaya made it her life’s mission to educate women and queer people about their cars. She's dedicated her career to educating the average car owner, not automotive enthusiasts, about their cars – a career she found and built after aging out of the foster care system. She's taught her popular car classes at libraries, universities, non-profits, and businesses, including John Jay Criminal College, BMO Bank, and Vanderbilt University. Chaya has worked with national and international automotive brands, including CarMax, TireRack, iFixit, and Jerry. She has been featured in AARP, NPR's Lifekit, Oprah Magazine, Car Talk, and The Chicago Tribune. She's written for AAA's Via Magazine, Parents Magazine, Shondaland, and PBS's Next Avenue. Chaya lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her wife, tortoise, and black cat.

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