Southern’s Technology Department has celebrated National Car Care Month by performing free vehicle inspections at the Samaritan Center in Ooltewah for the past nine years. This year’s inspection takes place October 7 from 1-4 p.m.
The vehicle inspections began as a way to give students in the automotive program an opportunity to reach out to the community using their unique skills. After the success of the first event, the inspections have turned into a department tradition.
“The free inspections are a great learning experience for both the students and the car owners,” said Dale Walters, chair of the Technology Department. “The event gives them both the opportunity to troubleshoot what might be wrong with a car.”
The inspections are conducted by Technology Department faculty and automotive service majors. The technicians follow vehicle inspection sheets that are supplied by the National Car Care Council and use professional knowledge and diagnostic scanners in the evaluation. Both foreign and domestic vehicles can be inspected.
“We usually inspect around 25-40 vehicles in three hours,” Walters said. “The technicians look for about 30 routine things like low fluids, engine lights, and issues with lights, horns, and filters.”
Vehicles will be inspected on site, but not repaired. For repairs, car owners will need to contact the Technology Department Auto Shop or another auto garage. The Technology Department Auto Shop is a full-service auto repair shop that provides basic to advanced vehicle repair. Staff includes two full-time technicians and four part-time student technicians.
Although the inspections are free, donations are accepted on behalf of the Samaritan Center. For more information, visit southern.edu/technology.