Back in the day, when I was in college, I drove a ’64 VW Bug. I changed the oil, adjusted the valves, gapped the plugs on a regular basis. One day I lent it to friends without checking the oil level and it siezed up on them.
I spent the summer of ’83 rebuilding a VW engine in the parking lot of my old dorm, spending what little money I had on parts. I had the assistance of How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot and a couple (male) friends with greater car knowledge and upper body strength than I. But mostly I did the work myself.
One evening as I was working away, a woman on her way to a seminar came up to me and pronounced me “a woman of the ’80s.”
I got a little taste of that tonight when I changed out the PCV valve & hose (and little rubber gasket) and breather hose on the little Saturn. It’s very satisfying to pop things off, screw them back on, get my hands dirty and have everything fit back together correctly.