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Auto Hobby Shop: more than just an oil change

The auto hobby shop offers a variety of tools for people to work on their cars or trucks. The shop also provides self-service bays for those who prefer working on their own vehicle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño)

The auto hobby shop offers a variety of tools for people to work on their cars or trucks. The shop also provides self-service bays for those who prefer working on their own vehicle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño)

Allen Aniciete, 92nd Force Support Squadron mechanic, removes a rim using a bead breaker machine at the auto hobby shop on Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Jan. 18, 2013. Allen has worked at the auto shop for two years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño)

Allen Aniciete, 92nd Force Support Squadron mechanic, removes a rim using a bead breaker machine at the auto hobby shop on Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Jan. 15, 2013. Allen has worked at the auto shop for two years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño)

Kirk Sadowski , a mechanic with the 92nd Force Support Squadron, searches for a leak on a car at the auto hobby shop at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Jan. 18, 2013. Having a leak on a vehicle can cause severe damage if not taken care of right away. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño)

Kirk Sadowski , a mechanic with the 92nd Force Support Squadron, searches for a leak on a car at the auto hobby shop at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Jan. 15, 2013. Having a leak on a vehicle can cause severe damage if not taken care of right away. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño)

Airman 1st Class Thomas Steinke, 66th Training Squadron survival, evasion, resistance and escape student, tightens the screws on his car battery at the auto hobby shop at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Jan. 18, 2013. Steinke chose to use the auto hobby shop because of the affordable price to rent the bay as well as the convenience of being on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño)

Airman 1st Class Thomas Steinke, 66th Training Squadron survival, evasion, resistance and escape student, tightens the screws on his car battery at the auto hobby shop at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Jan. 15, 2013. Steinke chose to use the auto hobby shop because of the affordable price to rent the bay as well as the convenience of being on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño)

The auto hobby shop comes equipped with 21 bays that have ten lifts and a full line of tools for do-it-yourself maintenance and repairs. It’s open Monday through Saturday and located across from the fitness center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño)

The auto hobby shop comes equipped with 21 bays that have ten lifts and a full line of tools for do-it-yourself maintenance and repairs. It’s open Monday through Saturday and located across from the fitness center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Maintenance is important, just ask anyone flying 50-year-old planes.

Cars are no different, which is why the auto hobby shop offers Team Fairchild with an affordable and convenient way to maintain personal vehicles.

The auto hobby shop comes equipped with 21 bays that have 10 lifts and a full line of tools for do-it-yourself maintenance and repairs. It's open Monday through Saturday and located across from the fitness center.

"The shop has certified mechanics on staff who will work on your vehicle if you don't like to get your hands dirty," said Ed Tuell, Auto Hobby Shop manager. "We've got mechanics from everywhere, with a wide variety of experience."

The staff offers classes by appointment and will work with people on their vehicle, supplying tools and expertise. The staff helps customers learn how to make repairs on their own and ensures they are being done correctly, said Tuell.

"This is my third time here, it's really nice being able to access the shop, everyone is very helpful," said Airman 1st Class Thomas Steinke, 66th Training Squadron survival evasion resistance and escape student. "With all the tools and equipment they provide I'm able to save a lot of money bringing my car here."

If the shop doesn't have a particular part, they will order it and a local auto parts store will deliver it, usually within the hour, Steinke explained.

Aside from maintenance, the auto hobby shop provides other services as well. Since there are so many variables in buying a vehicle, the auto hobby shop offers a pre-buy inspection on any vehicle.

"There could be something wrong with the car that cannot be seen without taking a closer look," said Tuell. "We will let you know any issues the vehicle may have."

Auto hobby shops not only support those at Fairchild, but also support families of deployed members by offering vouchers for car care, which can be picked up at the Airman and Family Readiness Center.

Along with providing Team Fairchild all these services, they also provide safe and proper disposal of hazardous materials such as batteries, oil, florescent light bulbs and anti-freeze at no cost. For more information call 247-2310.

"We're here for you guys," said Tuell