LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — People worried about how they are going to make ends meet with car problems have some help. Lafayette non-profit Car Works is ready to help fix cars for people who have fallen on hard times.
"We assist those with qualified financial needs to get services that they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford,” said volunteer Noah Hadley. “Our primary goal is to ensure that everybody whose vehicle is serviced here has a safe and reliable car."
Car Works opened last year as part of the Faith Ministries church. The non-profit served 156 individuals in 2019. It is located behind the Northend Community Center on Elmwood Avenue.
"To be able to come out here and do this and serve people and love on people this way, it gives you a good feeling," said Hadley.
There is a process you have to go through to get approved for Car Works services.
"They come through the Care Team first,” said Linda Whitehead, a Care Team member. “So we sit down with them and talk about their car and then we help them complete an application."
"I've seen moms with young kids, I've seen people more or less living out of their car,” said Hadley. “You've got them to where they can go to work, they can take their kids to school."
Typical work Car Works does includes repairing brakes, exhaust systems replacing broken engine parts and performing tune-ups. They can catch issues before they become problems in the middle of winter, starting with your tires.
Hadley said there's an easy way to check the tread on your tires. If you take a penny and stick in between one of the treads and can see Abe Lincoln’s head, then you may need to think about replacing your tires.
"You want to make sure that your wind shield wipers are in good condition, that you have a good exhaust system that doesn't leak,” he said. “Your suspension is in good shape; all your fluids are topped off. You don’t want to put water in your coolant tank because it could freeze and bust, causing major problems."
They have a tool at Car Works that tests how much antifreeze is in your coolant, to make sure it can withstand the freezing Indiana temperatures during winter. He also suggests keeping blankets, road flares and a cell phone charger in your car at all times as a safety kit, in case you should get slide on ice into a ditch.
“Always make sure you hazard lights are in working order so that you’re visible if you get stuck on the side of the road,” he said.
And having peace of mind while driving has a big impact on those Car Works serves.
"Occasionally you get people almost to the point of tears saying that you don't understand how much this means that you were able to help us out," he said.
Car Works runs entirely on donations and community support. Find out how you can help support Car Works at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can schedule an appointment through that email. Car Works also takes car donations, which they fix up and sell. Everything about Car Works can be found here.