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Free basic auto maintenance class for new drivers Sunday
Brent Ward inspects a car. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

Brent Ward has seen firsthand what can happen when you don’t pay attention to your gauges.

And he wants to make sure that parents of teenage drivers don’t have to shoulder the financial burden that can come from not paying attention to the oil pressure or the engine temperature.

As the owner of Main Auto Repair, Ward will once again be offering a free class to new drivers and anybody looking for a refresher course on how to avoid major automotive breakdowns that can easily be avoided.

The annual event will begin Sunday at 2 p.m. at 1031 W. Yosemite Avenue. It is tucked into the small business park between Center Street and Yosemite Avenue just east of Hansel and Gretel Daycare Center.

“I remember after I went driving with my oldest son after he got his permit and doing a recap in my head of whether he did everything he was supposed to. Then it dawned on me – not once did he look down and check his gauges,” said Ward. “I realize that kids don’t listen to their parents – my dad used to call them ‘idiot lights’ and I never paid attention to what he told me.

“But it was me looking like an idiot walking home in the middle of the night because the car broke down. That doesn’t have to happen.”

Topics he plans on covering include how to check tire pressure, what each of the gauges on the instrument panel mean and what they represent, how to check oil levels and what to look and listen for.

With a pair of teenage sons of his own, Ward knows that a hands-on approach – allowing those who attend to glove-up and actually poke around under the hood – is the best way to learn.

“All that we ask them to do is bring the car that they’ll be driving down here so that they can become more familiar with it and know what it is that they’re doing,” Ward said. “Parents love this. It’s always better for them to ask questions in advance instead of having them call up later and tell me that the car started making a noise and their kid kept driving.

“Sometimes there’s no coming back from that. And while kids might not listen to their parents, I’m not their parent – I’m a guy who fixes the things that they break when they don’t listen. I’d rather have them coming by and having me check their oil than having me tear the motor apart.”

Main Auto Repair is located at 1031 W. Yosemite Avenue – accessible by either Yosemite Ave. or the alley behind Hansel and Gretel Daycare Center that leads to the small business park in the back. For additional information call (209) 239-8900.