JJC offering free car checkups
By Denise Baran-Unland Correspondent November 1, 2012 1:14PM
Pete Krahulec (right) and Matt Asbrand remove lug nuts from a car during a class Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011, in the new automotive facility at JJC’s main campus. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
If you go
What: Free car checkups, as part of Discover JJC
When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday
Where: Joliet Junior College, Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet.
Etc: The event is part of the college’s open house.
Contact: Call 815-280-2493, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.jjc.edu/info/discover.
Updated: December 3, 2012 6:09AM
Many car owners tend to neglect five simple maintenance and safety steps: Quality of the wiper blades, air pressure in the tires, functionality of all lights, condition of the belts and hoses and level of freeze protection of the antifreeze.
Ignoring them, however, can make winter driving more hazardous.
To help keep you safe on the road, the Joliet Junior College Automotive Program will host a free vehicle checkup from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in conjunction with the college’s open house, Discover JJC.
Using the Car Care Council vehicle checkup form, faculty and students will inspect cars for common maintenance and safety issues and answer vehicle questions. The vehicle owner will receive a full report with conditions that need to be addressed.
“The event supports the national Car Care Council’s efforts to have cars checked as we enter the winter driving season,” said Curt Ward, associate professor of automotive technology. “It is designed as an opportunity for the students and the program to give back to the community.”
Faculty and students will inspect under each hood to assess the condition of all belts, hoses, fluid levels and antifreeze protection. In addition, they will check out the lights, wipers and tires.
“We will not be selling any product on the inspection day,” Ward said. “With the detailed report in hand, the customer can have the concerns addressed as they wish.”
Most manufacturers, Ward said, recommend checking wiper blades at each oil change and replacing them once a year to ensure the clearest vision during foul weather. Exposure to ultraviolet light and snow tends to degrade wiper blades.
Correct tire pressure is critical to maximizing tire wear and having proper traction when roads are slippery, Ward said. It is normal for tires to need air when the weather turns colder. Tire pressure drops by one PSI for every 10 degrees in temperature drop.
Because the days grow shorter as the winter driving season gets closer, it is very important to have all vehicle lights working properly so the owner can see and be seen.
Many drivers may not be aware of it, but belts and hoses do wear over time. It is important to replace these items according to manufacturers recommendations so their failure does not leave the vehicle — and it’s owner — stranded.
Car owners may not also realize antifreeze typically wears out in three to five years and needs to be replaced. The correct antifreeze protection ensures the vehicles engine does not freeze up, overheat or corrode.
Finally, Ward said, make sure an American Service Excellence (ASE) certified technician maintains the vehicle regularly.
“These technicians have the skills and the training to ensure the vehicle is ready for the winter and summer driving seasons,” Ward said.
For more information and resources from the Car Care Council, visit www.carcare.org.