Oil change now at LRMC Auto Skills

Thomas Warner
LRMC Public Affairs

The high level of service provided by the Auto Skills Center at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center has increased again with the implementation of a Speedy Lube oil change service option.

The skills center decided to add the oil change option as a means of “testing the water” to see if people would actually use such a service. It came into being around the first week of this new year and reaction has been positive among ID cardholders in the KMC.

“Lots of people come here and change their own oil,” said Joey Salazar, an employee at the center. “Probably 80 percent of the people who come here want to change their oil or change their brakes. Still, you have a lot of people who don’t want to do the oil themselves. They have money budgeted to ask someone else to do it. Those people can now come here and we will change it for them.”

Appointments must be set in advance by calling 486-7335 or in person at the shop, located down the hill from the library and Child Development Center on LRMC.

“With that service or with tire rotation, I will typically look at other areas of the car to determine whether there are problems the driver should know about,” Mr. Salazar said. “Our number one priority here is safety. Mike Cutlip, our manager, makes it his duty to see that everyone practices safety when they are doing car work and he also won’t let them leave before determining if the vehicle is in safe, operable condition.”

***image1***Mr. Cutlip is a master mechanic who has more than 20 years of work experience with automobile repair and service. He has driven cars competitively and has done a variety of automobile-related work, including serving in the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program for several years.
“The Auto Skills Center is not a place where people are going to be made fun of because they don’t know the answer to a certain problem,” Mr. Cutlip said. “People can come here, ask questions, do work themselves, and leave with the assurance that repairs or maintenance have been done correctly. We will be there, alongside them, to help with any procedures.”

With regard to the new oil service, the Landstuhl staff will do all the work. Oil filters are changed and the vehicle’s reservoir is re-filled to its proper specifications. For the hands-on patrons, there are eight work bays available for use and a wide assortment of tools for use.

Fees are charged to use automatic lifts, but they are miniscule compared to rates asked for by licensed off-base mechanics. The Landstuhl Auto Skills staff also operates the automated car wash on Landstuhl adjacent to the gas station.

“You can save a lot of money by working on your own vehicle, and much of what can be done is not as hard as people think,” Mr. Cutlip said.

With the recent closure of an Auto Skills Center at Miesau post, Landstuhl ASC expects to inherit more traffic in its shop.

“Anyone who wants to work on their vehicle is welcome here, and we’ve had days when all the bays have been full,” Mr. Cutlip said. “It can be redeeming to do it yourself. If you want us to change your oil or check something else on the vehicle, that’s no problem. We are here to serve the military community.”