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Lifting the hood on car problems

TIPS: Senior Constable Kerrin Sheedy, Sophie Dowe and mechanic Matt Crook discuss some car maintenance tips.
TIPS: Senior Constable Kerrin Sheedy, Sophie Dowe and mechanic Matt Crook discuss some car maintenance tips. Rob Williams

EVER had nightmares about getting a flat tyre on a country road?

Ever tried to pour engine oil into the windscreen washer?

Women who don't know a dipstick from a distributor are getting a crash course in basic mechanics, thanks to a free workshop co-ordinated by Ipswich police and local car dealerships.

The Under the Bonnet classes are designed to show women that there is nothing to fear under the hood of the family Commodore.

Ipswich crime prevention officer Senior Constable Kerrin Sheedy said the course would also include a discussion on personal safety and basic self-defence strategies.

"Hopefully the women become more aware of their surroundings and assess their environment to recognise potential risk, maybe even subconsciously," Snr Const Sheedy said.

"This should develop into an instinct which will hopefully guide them away from harm in the future."

The personal safety talk leads into a workshop about car maintenance for modern vehicles.

The women will watch demonstrations on how to check the oil levels and water and have a hands-on approach to changing a flat tyre.

Boettcher Mazda mechanic Matt Crook said it was worthwhile for all motorists to familiarise themselves with their vehicle.

"You should be looking under the bonnet at least once a week," he said.

Snr Const Sheedy said some women from the previous presentations didn't even know how to pop the hood at the beginning of the workshop.

"The knowledge will empower the women and give them the confidence to undertake basic car maintenance, which will hopefully reduce the possibility of being stranded on the roadside due to mechanical problems."

One of the two remaining classes will be held at Blue Ribbon Motors tomorrow.

Those who miss out can still attend the class next Tuesday, November 20, at Ian Boettcher Motors, Brisbane Rd, Bundamba, from 6.30pm.

Despite the female focus, the workshops are open to women and men of all ages.

For more information phone Ipswich District Crime Prevention Unit at the Yamanto police complex on 3817 1351.



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