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Shops offer ‘drip and drive’ checks

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Auto shops throughout Pierce County have joined the fight to cut down on runoff pollution by participating in the Don’t Drip and Drive program, designed to educate Washington drivers about the importance of checking for vehicle leaks and of regular vehicle inspections.
Don’t Drip and Drive was created by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology in an effort to quell the pollution in local waterways. Partnering with the Automotive Services Association (ASA), AAA, and Envirostars, auto shops that are participating in the campaign offer a free leak inspection, a free estimate for potential repairs, and 10 percent off (up to $50) leak repairs.
For those who wish to self-diagnose, experts recommend parking cars over a piece of cardboard after driving for approximately 15 minutes. Then, after waiting for about 20 minutes, pull the cardboard out from under and check for drip spots. If spots are present, it is recommended that the car be serviced by professionals like those at Sterling Automotive Center at 10218 24th St. E. in Edgewood.
Cars that leak fluid are more common than many might think. “I’d say about seven out of 10 cars are leaking something,” said Deven Peterson, manager at Meineke Car Care in University Place. “Pretty much anything over six or seven years old should be checked for leaks.” Peterson also explained that the most common leaks occur due to simple wear and tear to the vehicle. The cost to fix these leaks greatly varies by make, model and where the leak is occurring.
It is estimated that about 7 million quarts of toxic automobile fluids drain into the Puget Sound watershed each year. Every time it rains, toxic auto fluids mix with the rainwater, flow into the storm drains, and ultimately end up in the sound. The goals of the Don’t Drip and Drive campaign are to offer drivers a unique opportunity to save money on vehicle maintenance while helping protect our waters for future generations.
Don’t Drip and Drive also offers a two- to four-hour workshop throughout the year at participating local schools and colleges in an effort to further educate the public on proper engine maintenance, how to check, and identify leaks, and how to clean up existing leaks. Following each class, instructors will offer a free car inspection for every attendee.

Participating auto shops in Tacoma include:

All Transmissions & Automotive, 3113 S. Pine St.
Bristow’s Exclusive Auto Repair, 4731 S. Washington St.
Cooper’s Auto Repair Specialists, 1718 103rd St. E.
Cooper’s Auto Repair Specialists, 5315 122nd St. E.
Don Landis Shell, 2518 N Stevens St.
Federal Way Automotive & Radiator, 8116 Pacific Highway E.
Kimball’s Alignment & Brake, 10105 Pacific Ave.
Meineke Car Care, 3024 6th Ave.
Meineke Car Care, 13101 Pacific Ave. S.
Midland Automotive Inc., 1624 90th St. E.
Stroh’s Automotive Services, 4905 128th St. E.
South End Auto Care, 8318 Pacific Hwy. E.

For more information about the campaign, as well as locations and dates on workshops, visit fixcarleaks.org.

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