About 50 area motorists got a crash course in vehicle maintenance and repair recently from cable television personality and Bridgestone/Firestone spokeswoman Trisha Hessinger.
The event, held at a Firestone Tire & Service Center July 6 in Akron, is part of BFS' 2004 Car Care Academy campaign, which kicked off in late March. The program continues through October in select cities. Some of the events are held at Tires Plus outlets.
The academy focuses on the basics of car care: checking tires, fluids, belts and alignment. BFS this year doubled the number of workshops from 2003, offering a total of 28 academies in 16 states.
The goal of the academy, Ms. Hessinger said, is to educate all consumers, not necessarily to attract specific consumers such as women. She said motorists often are intimidated by their cars and avoid learning about maintenance.
``Really, there is nothing to be intimidated about,'' she told Tire Business. ``A car is no different than any other appliance, whether it's your lawnmower or your Cuisinart.''
Frank and Dorothy Doman of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, said they're good about bringing their car in for regular oil changes, but they wanted to know if there were other items they should know about.
They said they are loyal Firestone customers and get all their work done at the Akron outlet. ``I've been with Firestone all the time,'' said Mr. Doman, 81.
Steve Chandler, manager of the Firestone store, said he promoted the event to loyal customers like the Domans and also had a radio remote with the local country station. The shop also participates in a child identification program with the station that was tied in with the academy.
Ms. Hessinger began racing in 1983 and hosted her first show, ``Ready for the Road,'' in 1996.
Her latest show, ``Car Care and Repair,'' is shown on the HGTV and DIY networks. She also drives a pace car for the ChampCar Series, sponsored by Bridgestone/Firestone.