Getting to know what is under the hood is the topic of these car care clinics, sponsored by two local businesses.

By Brad Stager

Sooner or later, every new driver learns there is more to safely operating a car or truck than simply obeying traffic laws. One of those things is the performance of routine maintenance that can avoid a traffic breakdown or accident.

To help teens learn those automotive lessons, Auto Works of Brandon and Alafia Driving Academy are teaming up to offer knowledge about maintaining a vehicle by hosting car care clinics that cover basics such as checking fluid levels and maintaining proper air pressure in tires.

When the first clinic, scheduled for Saturday, February 29 at Auto Works of Brandon, was announced on social media, the response was enthusiastic and the event’s capacity was filled within hours. A second clinic is scheduled for Saturday, April 25. Waitlists have formed for both events, which run from 9 a.m.-12 Noon. Organizers said more clinics beyond the two may be scheduled in the future.

As a certified driving instructor whose classrooms are late model vehicles, Cole Dolmseth appreciates the value of proper maintenance and is happy to be involved in clinics that educate his students about it.

“Our focus is getting them on the road safely and getting them as much experience as we can, not the maintenance part, so it certainly helps to give them a chance to learn that,” he said.

Dolmseth, who also owns Alafia Driving Academy, entrusts the care of his vehicle fleet to Auto Works of Brandon and credits Owner Michael Rubio with coming up with the idea to hold the clinics. According to Rubio, teaching about cars is a way to help others.

“As businesses, we want to create opportunities to share knowledge that can help young people avoid accidents,” he said.

The car care clinics are held at Auto Works of Brandon on 211 N. Kings Ave. Contact the organizers about the waitlist and learn about future clinics by visiting Auto Works of Brandon or Alafia Driving Academy Facebook pages.