GOLETA, Calif. - The days of raising the hood on a car and doing basic maintenance are not over, especially with the help of a group coming together in Goleta.
The Community Hot Rod Project is revved up to not only do some standard services on vehicles, but to show owners how to do-it-themselves.
At a recent outreach event, cars were lined up for oil changes, diagnostics, washing and detailing.
It was held at the South Coast Church parking lot on Cathedral Oaks Rd.
The all ages program has many levels including restoration and fabrication.
Part of the program including supplies paid for through fundraising.
Community Hot Rod Project Coordinator, Kevin Haeberle said, "we just want to make sure that cars that in our community are safe on the road."
He also hopes to reach out to young people who are looking for hands-on skills that could launch a career with math, science or engineering.
"With a lack of vocational programs here in town and in our community in general, we wanted to pay it forward and teach the next generation," said Haeberle.
Under the hood during an oil change, it didn't take long to get the job done at a substantial discount from taking it in to a professional repair shop.
"Less than a half hour and you will probably save $40 bucks," said Haeberle. "It's preventative maintenance. You don't want to all of a sudden to be out on a road trip and you are stranded in the middle of nowhere and have a 25-cent gasket (go out) that you could have changed months ago that would have saved you hundreds of dollars."
He said it is knowing your car, "and being attentive."
One of the group's outreach efforts is to find those who are living below the poverty line or living out of their vehicle to make sure that if they have a vehicle that it is in good operating condition.
"We're all family in this together and we treat everybody the same way," said Haeberle about his desire to help those who are financially struggling.
A recent gathering was a pay-it-forward effort for basic maintenance projects, demos, a car wash and a meet and greet format.
The work in this program is not just on the engine parts. It's also to beautify your vehicle on the outside. "Detailing, ceramic coating and how to do the restoration of an already decent paint job and make it better than what is on the factory showroom floor," said Haeberle.
The group is planning an April car show, and holding other outreach events to help area residents on different levels, whether it's a car project for their everyday set of wheels, or something special sitting in their garage. "And also getting into more of the fun stuff," said Haeberle.
With a solid base of supporters now and more joining, "they care and they love our vision for what we see going on with this program and there is a need for it."
A meeting for those interested and to plan the April fundraiser will be held Tuesday March 16 at the South Coast Church 5814 Cathedral Oaks Rd, Goleta.
For more information go to : Community Hot Rod Project