Vehicle leaks can cause havoc for drivers and the environment, but a new program called “Don’t Drip and Drive” puts Western Washington residents in the driver’s seat for finding an affordable fix. During the month of April, drivers can take their vehicle to a participating repair shop for a free and easy visual inspection (a diagnostic service valued at up to $80). The free inspection is especially recommended for vehicle models built in 2005 or earlier.
If a problem is found, the driver will receive a coupon for 10 percent off service (up to $50) to fix the problem, for a total inspection and service savings of up to $130. All participating technicians can be found at fixcarleaks.org. All technicians are members of the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and meet ASA’s standards of quality.
Bellingham and Western Washington University are offering a free leak check event to WWU parking permit holders on Wednesday, April 24 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the C and 12A lots. Event volunteers will perform no-touch leak checks for those drivers who give them permission. A drip sheet will be left under the engine area of the car for 30 minutes, and volunteers will leave a completed vehicle leak report card on the windshield if a leak was found.
Emily Johnson, environmental educator for Bellingham, said the service offers real value to drivers. “Leaking cars are not reliable, and no one wants to get stranded on their commute or on a road trip. A little maintenance up front can save a lot of trouble in the future.”
Johnson continued, “Many of us may not realize our car is leaking. Finding and fixing leaks early can help keep our cars running longer and save us costly repairs down the road.” Studies show that 67 percent of drivers who find a leak will fix it, so Johnson noted this program is really about arming people with the information to make smart choices.
Protecting the environment is also a key goal of “Don’t Drip and Drive.” Preventing oil and other pollutants from entering the waterways helps preserve the area’s ecology.
To take advantage of the free inspection, visit one of these participating ASA repair shops in April.
They are located in Bellingham, unless otherwise noted.
Angler Automotive Inc., 2207 Valencia Street, 360/738-1245.
Bellingham Automotive, 4116 Hannegan Road, 360/738-2909.
Rod’s Japanese Auto Care, 5292 Guide Meridian, 360/398-2944.
Unlimited Service, 1515 N. Forest Street, 360/734-4610.
Unlimited Service 2325 E. Bakerview Road, 360/734-2828.
Pete’s Auto Repair, 6209 Portal Way, Ferndale, 360/380-2277.
Marlin’s Auto Service Inc., 899 E. Pole Road, Lynden, 360/354-4976.