Give your car a lift

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jose L. Leon
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Across the Air Force, many installations offer goods and services for Airmen to utilize, ranging from barbers to hobby shops.

The auto hobby shop here is just one example of a service offered on-base as an alternative to businesses found off-base.

McConnell AFB's auto shop is unique compared to other auto shops in Wichita, Kan., in that it is a self-service facility enabling a cost efficient shop while still providing services to McConnell.

Managed by the Arts and Crafts Center, the auto shop is co-located in Building 424.

"One advantage of having the auto shop is that anyone who has access to the base can come in and do their own work using one of the 11 bays," said Teresa Eftink, 22nd Force Support Squadron arts and crafts shop manager.

For base residents, working on vehicles in dorm parking lots and in base housing is prohibited. There are also no on-base receptacles to dispose vehicle fluids such as transmission fluid and motor oil.

"If you work on your vehicle here we can dispose of any type of fluid that needs to be disposed of," said Eftink. "Not only is it better for the environment, but it is also legal."

A change made within the past year to the auto shop is that there are no longer mechanics that will perform maintenance for a fee. Patron wishing in to utilize the shop must now perform maintenance and provide parts for their vehicles.

The professionals who work at the auto shop are only available to assist patrons by answering questions about maintenance or repairs.

Patrons are able to perform maintenance in one of the 11 vehicle bays, five of which have lifts, allowing work to be done from beneath a vehicle.

Utilizing a bay also provides shelter from the local weather extremes, said Eftink.

Unfinished vehicles can be left in the bay for a fee, or pushed into the storage lot for a discounted fee.

"Self service is meant for anyone that knows what they want to do on their car and has the knowledge to do it," said Eftink. "If there are things people want to do on their cars and they don't know what they are doing they need to take a class offered by our mechanics."

Classes, for anyone 15-years or older, are available for a fee and cover areas such as:
  • basic air filter and oil change
  • tire changing and rotation
  • disc and drum brake inspection
  • steering and suspension inspection
"I come here any time I have car trouble," said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Marshall Carter, Detachment 1 Engineer Maintenance Company electrical engineer. "The best part about working on cars here is having a lift and tools available."

For more information about the auto shop, call (316)759-4084.