Hundreds of free automotive safety inspections will be performed as the Automobile Club of Southern California hosts its 3rd Annual Car Care Fair on Saturday, October 11, 2003. The free community event, "Give Your Car Some Love. Or Just Fall in Love with Another One," is part of AAA Car Care Month and is designed to help motorists drive safely and save money on buying and maintaining a vehicle.
Technicians from the Auto Club's Approved Auto Repair facilities, along with volunteers from the Automotive Service Councils, will offer the vehicle inspections and maintenance advice. The event is open to Auto Club members and the general public.
"Seventy-seven percent of all vehicles brought through check lanes during AAA Car Care events are in need of repair or maintenance. Well-running cars save on mechanical repairs and gasoline, and reduce vehicle emissions to help keep the air clean," said David Skaien, Approved Auto Repair Program Development Manager and the fair's maintenance inspection coordinator.
The 3rd Annual Car Care Fair and Car Show will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Auto Club's Administrative Offices, 3333 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa. Vehicle inspections are performed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Inspections will focus on proper function and conditions of lights, fluids, belts and pulleys, hoses, batteries and tires. The fair also will feature child-safety-seat inspection, speedometer and battery testing, windshield chip repair, an automotive vendor exhibit, a used-car sale, and complimentary food and beverages. Motorists seeking inspections are requested to enter the site from Susan Street.
Last year, technicians performed 550 inspections and found that three-quarters of the vehicles had a fluid problem ranging from dirty or dangerously low oil to rancid transmission fluid -- and at least a third had worn-out drive belts on generators, alternators, air conditioners, and engine cooling fans. The Club provided motorists with lists of reputable mechanics for car and truck repairs. Other frequently found problems by the Auto Club included inoperative headlights, brake lights, tail lights and turn signals, dirty air filters, and under-inflated tires.
A 100-plus vehicle car show with judging and trophies will feature muscle cars, classics, street rods, customs and motorcycles also will be on display at the free event. A 1957 Chevy Corvette Roadster was last year's President's Choice Award, and Best of Show was a 1965 Chevy Malibu, according to Ed Lindsay, the AAR Program Development Manager and car show coordinator.
Top-selling vehicles in Southern California, including passenger cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles, will be on site for test drives and purchase from the Auto Club and Enterprise Car Sales. Vehicle financing and automotive services information also will be available that day.
Race cars, including the Auto Club's own NHRA Top Fuel Funny Car, will be displayed along with vintage vehicles from the Auto Club's historical vehicle collection. Would-be Jeff Gordons will have a chance to sit and feel like a race car driver in a racing simulator depicting the track at the California Speedway.
The Auto Club also offers consumers the following car care tips:
- Check the oil level each time a tank of fuel is purchased, or at least once a month. Regular oil changes can reduce engine friction and make the engine last longer.
- Check the air filter once a year, or more often in dusty conditions. A dirty air filter increases fuel consumption and contributes to air pollution.
- Inflate tires to recommended tire pressure. Under-inflated tires are a hazard and can cut fuel economy by as much as two percent per pound of pressure below the recommended level.
- Inspect tires for cuts and excessive tread wear.
- Inspect belts, hoses, and clamps, making sure hoses are not cracked or spongy. If there is excessive wear, replace immediately.
- Ignition timing should be properly adjusted and the engine's idling speed should be set to specification. Excessively fast idling wastes gasoline.
- Read the vehicle owners manual and perform recommended periodic maintenance checks.
The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest AAA affiliate, has been serving members since 1900. Today, Auto Club members benefit by the organization's roadside assistance, financial products, travel agency and trip-planning services, highway and transportation safety programs, insurance products and services, and automotive pricing, buying and financing programs.