Jump start your cars...

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Michelle Vickers
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
Surrounded by old tires and cars of various decades, Hurlburt Field's auto hobby shop provides customers a convenient spot to turn a wrench or seek advice on automotive needs.

With eight lifts and 11 stalls, paint booth, prep room, welding bay, and free oil and filter disposal, the professional equipment at the shop can complete many automotive repairs.

"To have this kind of equipment at your house would be a guy's best dream," said Senior Airman Joel Brashear, a crew chief with 801st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and an auto hobby shop customer.

Even those who are not amateur mechanics can take advantage of the auto hobby shop as there are mechanics available to provide expert advice.

"We have no problem with people coming here and saying, 'I've never worked on a car before' or 'Can you help us?'" said Dan Spencer, an auto hobby shop mechanic with 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron. "It's our job to help you out and show you how to do it right and safely. "

While many professional automotive shops charge for labor costs, doing the work yourself can provide significant savings.

"They're going to save a tremendous amount of money, you can come here and work on a lift for $8 an hour and then you get the knowledge too," Spencer said.

Car advice is not just limited to when you need to perform routine maintenance. The mechanics will also look over cars that customers are considering purchasing to ensure they are a good buy. They will check over estimates from professional auto shops to make sure they are in line with actual repairs that a car may require.

"You wouldn't believe how many cars do come in here and don't really have the problem that the estimate says they have," Spencer said. "You're talking serious money."

The auto hobby shop also works in conjunction with the Airman & Family Readiness Center to provide oil changes for spouses of deployed Airmen.

"Well, it's more convenient for me than dropping it off at the dealership and then finding a ride back and forth," said Nina McCormick, a spouse of a deployed Airman, who is taking advantage of the oil change program. "It's also saving me money and providing peace of mind as my husband normally takes care of the car."

For more information, please call the auto hobby shop at 884-6674.