By Justin Creech, Belvoir EagleJuly 21, 2011
The Kawamura Arts and Crafts Center Auto Skills Shop offers two classes for residents who want to learn how to take care of their automobile.
Automotive maintenance classes are Monday and Tuesday nights and an auto skills safety class is offered daily. The safety class is a 20-to-30 minute video that reviews basic hobby shop operations; safety features within a hobby shop; and how to put a vehicle on a lift.
“The car care class is basically anything they want to learn about the car,” said Andy Toler, center director. “They let us know what they are interested in learning and then we tailor the class to that.”
The basic skills course reviews the car’s components, from what fluid levels to check; how to check the car’s belts and tire pressure; and how to change a tire.
A more advanced class shows students how to change brakes, spark plugs, the air filter and different fluids within the car.
“You can get into a more advanced class by teaching them how to overhaul the engine, if they want to know about that stuff,” said Toler.
Toler said he has a wide range of people who take the automotive maintenance course, including Scouts and women.
“We have classes, where it’s Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, teaching them how to change flat tires and how to check air pressure,” Toler said. “I’ve had women take classes who want to learn how to change a tire if they get a flat on the road and how to install child safety seats. So, whoever wants to take the class can take the class.”
The shop has 13 bays and seven lifts and offers some car care services. Toler said the services he offers are oil changes, brake replacement, turning rotors and drums. The shop also has welding capabilities.
Toler said the shop only has two technicians which are why he limits the services offered to minor jobs. He also said he would prefer folks have some automotive maintenance knowledge when they come into the shop to work on their vehicles.
“I have two technicians on the floor, one tool room attendant and one manager to assist people who don’t really know what they are doing,” said Toler. “We prefer that people have an idea of what they are doing when they come in here because the tech can’t stay with you the whole time.”