Facilities conducts free car maintenance clinic for students

Car Car Clinic
Cassidy Longo, a sophomore health sciences major, uses a digital gauge to check tire pressure under the watchful eye of John Copela, senior superintendent of grounds at Quinnipiac.

Nov. 15, 2013 - The Hill-Village Parking Lot was transformed into a classroom of sorts Nov. 14 when the Facilities Department conducted a free "Car Maintenance 101" clinic for students.

John Copela, senior superintendent of grounds at Quinnipiac, and mechanic Bill Dallas taught students how to change a flat tire, jump start a dead battery, change windshield wiper blades, check oil pressure and use a digital tire gauge during the two-hour workshop.

"Some kids don't even know how to open the hood," Dallas said. "It's mostly common sense."

Cassidy Longo, a sophomore health sciences major, used a digital gauge to check tire pressure, while Rachael Cox learned how to change a flat.

"I'll be honest, I'm not exactly talented when it comes to driving and everything that comes along with it," said Cox, a sophomore legal studies major. "I just got my first car, so something like this is pretty useful knowledge. I'm sure at some time in my life I'll end up in a predicament. It's good to know how to change a tire or remove a nail."

The clinic was part of the Sophomore Programming Initiatives (SPIN) Life Skills Week, which also included a nutrition day and resume building activities.

"Car maintenance is one thing a lot of students here know nothing about," said Janelle Joseph, a graduate student and resident assistant who helped coordinate the clinic. "They go to a mechanic who charges them outrageous prices. It's all about awareness and education."

Copela and Dallas used a Chevrolet Cavalier belonging to groundskeeper Joe Zaffino and a pick-up truck from the Facilities Department for their demonstrations.

"I hope the students learn a little bit more about vehicle maintenance and safety," Copela said. "It is really important to have a little awareness about your car." 

Nalicia Williams, a senior computer information systems major, had met Copela and Dallas just one day earlier when they helped her fix two flat tires. She stopped by the car clinic to vouch for their expertise.

"They gave my car the star treatment," said Williams. "I brought one of my friends with me. I want her to learn because she has the same kind of car that I do."