Students learn vehicle maintenance at Manistee Youth Center

MANISTEE – An ounce of prevention is better than cure, the old saying goes, and Parkdale Auto Sales & Service owner Tyler Reed is working with the Armory Youth Project to give Manistee students the knowledge to operate their automobiles as long as possible.

Reed visited the Armory on Tuesday to teach the first of a pair of lessons in an introductory automotive maintenance course.

“I see a lot of people coming into my store who are adults who don’t know what items we’re going to cover. A lot of times by the time this vehicle comes to me it’s costing them a lot of money and they don’t aren’t really happy,” Reed told the 10 students in attendance. “My goal is to teach you some things to look out for that will help you once you start driving, or now that you’re driving, and help you save money. money down the line and make your vehicle last longer.”

Reed said the program had been in the works for a few months and came about when the Armory was named Parkdale Auto’s Charity of the Month for October.


“I had spat out the idea of ​​doing a class teaching kids about the importance of credit and car finance and stuff like that – stuff you don’t learn in class at school – and then that idea came up. been launched,” he said. “I think (Armory executive director) Amy (Wojciechowski) made it up, honestly. I said, ‘Absolutely’. I think if we can teach it to young people it will help them down the road. saving them money and headaches.”

Reed spoke with the students about the importance of keeping track of vehicle maintenance. He discussed tires, fluids, filters and more before answering questions.

“It’s something you use pretty much every day,” he told the students. “…I just want everyone to know that it’s important to get your hands dirty and know what you’re doing with this thing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or a girl, you’re going to end up driving. “

Students learned how to identify leaking fluids by color, optimize tire life and more.

Tyler Reed, owner of Parkdale Auto Sales & Service, offered these car care tips to Armory Youth Project students this week:

• Proper inflation maximizes tire life and fuel economy. Rather than inflating tires to the maximum PSI listed on the sidewall, look for the manufacturer’s recommended PSI in the door jamb. Overinflation can cause uneven tread wear, and underinflation hurts gas mileage.

• Tires should be rotated every 6,000 miles to allow tires to wear more evenly. Many tire retailers offer free rotations throughout the life of the tire.

• The average quality tire should last 45,000 miles or more with proper maintenance. Tires are not designed to last more than 10 years. The age of a tire can be determined by looking at the last four digits of the Department of Transportation code on the sidewall. The first two digits refer to the week of manufacture of the tire and the last two to the year.

• Oil should be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, depending on the type of oil used, to help the vehicle run as long as possible. Be sure to use the correct oil for the engine. On most vehicles, this is on the oil cap located under the hood. Otherwise, consult the owner’s manual.

• A good rule of thumb is to check your oil level every time you pump gas to make sure there is the correct amount. With the engine off, remove the dipstick, wipe off any visible oil, reinsert the dipstick fully into the dipstick tube, remove the dipstick and check that the oil level is within the safe zone.

• It is also important that the transmission fluid, brake fluid, engine coolant and power steering fluid are filled to the proper levels. Transmission and power steering fluid usually have dipsticks, while brake fluid and engine coolant levels can be checked in their respective reservoirs.


Robert Schmidt, a junior at Manistee High School, said he would get behind the wheel soon and felt the class would help him keep his car running.

“I wanted to take this course because I didn’t know much about cars or tires or how to do anything,” he said. “I thought I could take this course to learn a few things. That way it doesn’t cost so much when I eventually have to have stuff incorporated.”

Next week, Reed plans to bring two vehicles to the Armory to let the kids get some first-hand experience.

“I’m going to bring a vehicle and physically show them where to check these things. I actually have someone coming with me, so we’ll have an older vehicle and a newer vehicle, because they’ve changed a lot,” he said. said. “The goal is to put them into practice a bit more, to see them firsthand and get your hands dirty.”

Wojciechowski said she was thrilled that Reed wanted to teach the class.

“We are very grateful to Tyler and Parkdale Auto Sales & Service,” she said. “We truly believe in it taking a village to help support our youth, and Tyler is a great example of how we can partner with community members and have a positive impact.”

Classes will culminate with students putting their newfound knowledge to good use at Parkdale Auto’s Auto Rama safety check event from 10 a.m. to noon on May 21. Members of the community will be able to enter the store and have their vehicles inspected by the children.

“We’ll set up a course where the public can enter and we’ll have different stations to check different fluids, belts, tire pressures – that sort of thing,” Reed said. “We will have our team members overseeing everything.”

Wojciechowski said Auto Rama is a great opportunity for students and residents of Manistee.

“Tyler is such an awesome person who really has a heart for young people and the community,” she said. “He dreamed of teaching young people various aspects of vehicles and then giving them the opportunity to apply it in a way that they give back to the community with the Auto Rama.”

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