About a dozen Boy Scouts from Troop 58, many of them soon-to-be drivers, had a chance to complete their automotive maintenance merit badge with the help of a local pro on Saturday.
Peter Nasrallah, owner of SCV Auto Care in Canyon Country, invited the Scouts to come into his shop and learn about the basics of auto maintenance – an opportunity for the Scouts to not just learn these skills from a book, but as a hands-on experience that Scoutmaster William Hamor said was crucial for any young driver.
“As we get into driving and everything, you know, we don’t necessarily have the opportunity to learn all of the different kinds of maintenance tasks associated with a vehicle,” said Hamor. “So as they approach that it’s important for them to be able to learn about how to take care of their cars for safety as they go into driving and also just learning about careers.”
Hamor said Scouts learned about how and when to get a car’s oil changed, tire rotation, replacement, and alignment, pretty much all the standard maintenance hassles of owning a car.
“Just the idea of being able to learn about the career of automotive repair and everything. Just really entice them,” said Hamor. “One of my assistant Scoutmasters, Saul Gonzalez, helped us out. He planned it, arranged the whole thing for us and brought them over to the auto shop.”
“Well, I know [Nasrallah], the shop owner. I’ve known him since his young boy was in the Scouts and I met him when he was like 4 years old,” said Gonzalez. “Now his boy is 10 or 11 years old and I’ve kept in contact with him. I bring my car to his shop and we just developed this friendship over the years and I realized how well he explains things.”
Gonzalez said Nasrallah was a natural teacher and the perfect person to teach the Scouts about his area of expertise. Gonzalez’s son, Andres, said he learned some things he’ll take with him throughout his life.
“I learned how to check the gas, how to check the engine, fuel, tire pressure. Things like the basics that I need [that are] important in life. Like, how to check my car in the future,” said Andres.
Other Scouts also seemed to have taken away some valuable lessons as well.
“I noticed that going through the book we went over some basic stuff, but it also went over some more in-depth things – going over different service codes, different types of fuel how the overall mechanics of the car works, which is something that I personally am very interested in,” said Life Scout Omar Jimenez. “I thought it’d be a very important thing to do to learn how a car works, something very complex, complicated, and it’s something that I will eventually use every single day of my life.”
Life Scout Saul Jimenez, 16, said he just started driving and was happy to learn things that wouldn’t normally be taught at school.
“How the odometer and the readings work on the dashboard and then all the different fluids in the car and especially, like, when to replace them,” said Jimenez. “I like learning about it. Especially since they don’t teach that in school and stuff.”