Auto Club Offers UCI Staff, Students Free Vehicle Inspections At "Autopalooza"

(IRVINE, May 7, 2009) Money-saving maintenance tips and free under-the-hood vehicle inspections will be provided to UCI students, faculty and staff by the Automobile Club of Southern California at campus Autopalooza, a car and truck maintenance clinic and “green” expo featuring the UCI Sustainable Transportation Research Team and the Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center.

Master certified automotive technicians from the Auto Club and AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities will offer free 38-point vehicle inspections and maintenance advice to UCI students, faculty and staff from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 21. The fair also will feature an automotive exhibit, battery testing, child safety seat demonstrations, UCI’s Mechanical Engineering 189 class projects and complimentary food and beverages. The event is designed to help the campus community to drive safely and save money on vehicle care.

The Autopalooza will be held at the campus’ CT parking lot off of California Avenue and Arroyo Vista Drive. Vehicle inspections are performed on a first-come, first serve basis. Inspections will focus on function and condition of lights, fluids, belts, hoses, batteries and tires.

“Typically, more than half of all vehicles brought through check lanes during AAA car care clinic events are in need of repair or maintenance. Well-running cars save on mechanical repairs, and fuel consumption and reduce vehicle emissions to help keep the air clean,” said Steve Mazor, manager of the Auto Club Automotive Research Center.

“We’re pleased to bring the resources of the AAA to the UCI community to promote safe and green commuting,” said UCI representatives. “Parking and Transportation Services is committed to reducing vehicle emissions and the AAA can assist vehicle owners by advising them on needed repairs and proper maintenance to help them keep their vehicles running efficiently.”

Vehicles are likely to exhibit fluid problems ranging from dirty or dangerously low oil to rancid transmission fluid – to worn-out drive belts on alternators, air conditioners and engine cooling fans. The Auto Club will provide UCI motorists with a list of reputable mechanics for car and truck repairs. Other frequently found problems by the Auto Club include inoperative headlights, brake lights, tail lights and turn signals, dirty air filters and under-inflated tires.
UCI Parking and Transportation and UCI Living Well are hosting the event. More information can be found at or by calling UCI’s Lynn Harris at 949-824-1467.

The Auto Club offers all motorists the following car care tips:

Read the vehicle owners manual and perform recommended periodic maintenance checks.

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 car’s 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 should be properly adjusted. Excessively fast idling wastes gasoline.