By Gianna Rose

Students in Basic Automotive Maintenance classes at Laramie High School started a new unit completing oil and tire changes.

Auto teacher Joel Boucher supports students learning to complete these procedures.

“Every student needs to know how to maintain their vehicles, so it’s important that they know where their oil goes, [and] how to change their tires on the side of the road,” Boucher said.

Boucher said that knowing how to perform one’s own oil and tire changes is important for safety reasons, and it can save money.

Boucher also suggests that the most important thing about completing oil and tire changes is double checking and making sure that everything is torqued down properly.

Boucher explained that when lug nuts aren’t torqued down properly and are loose, it is possible to lose tires.

For oil changes, if the drain plugs are not tight, then the automobile could lose oil. It is important to be precise to avoid making mistakes.

Double-checking that all procedures are done correctly is very important in the maintenance process.

“After a student does it [oil change, etc.], I go through and check it or I have another student go through and check it, just so they’re making sure that everything is done right,” Boucher said.

Boucher also noted that students get the opportunity to perform oil changes on their own vehicles. Auto students also occasionally work on the vehicles of LHS staff.

On Thursday Nov. 5, in Boucher’s first hour Basic Auto class, students were performing an oil change on the vehicle of one of Albany County School District’s custodians.

Payment for oil changes and other services provided by students in LHS Auto classes is by optional donation.

“A lot of times, we don’t ask for anything because it’s experience for our kids and the more experience they have, the better. So, it’s not about the money,” Boucher said.

Boucher also said it’s important that students learn the basic anatomy of their vehicles and how to perform basic auto maintenance because it is a valuable skill to have on hand when needed.

“Each kid that’s driving should know about their vehicle,” Boucher said.

Freshman student Devin Evertson noted that in this unit he learned a lot about how to properly balance tires.

Evertson plans on working on his truck and applying the skills he has learned in Basic Automotive Maintenance in the future.

Evertson explained that taking Auto classes is important to him.

“It teaches me good skills I’ll need for the rest of my life.” Evertson said.

Basic Automotive Maintenance is an introductory course on automotive maintenance provided at LHS that aims to educate students on basic automotive care along with understanding the basics of small gas engines.

LHS also provides four Automotive Technology classes including: Auto 1510 Engine System Fundamentals, Auto 1765 Automotive Electrical, Auto 2560 Automotive Ignition Systems, and Auto 1600 Fuel Systems I.