HomeNewsArticle Display

Rules of the road for working on autos at Yokota

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Staff Sgt. Alfred Domingo, 374th Maintenance Operations Squadron system controller, prepares to change out his vehicle's engine March 11 at the auto hobby center. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Devin Doskey)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Staff Sgt. Alfred Domingo, 374th Maintenance Operations Squadron system controller, prepares to change out his vehicle's engine March 11 at the auto hobby center. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Devin Doskey)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Larry Atkinson, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron Hazmat Pharmacy technician, changes a bulb in his car's headlight March 11 at the auto hobby center. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Devin Doskey)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Larry Atkinson, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron Hazmat Pharmacy technician, changes a bulb in his car's headlight March 11 at the auto hobby center. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Devin Doskey)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Many American and Japanese citizens share things in common - to include a love of the automobile.

But for those who take auto repairs seriously and wish to do their own work under the hood, there are restrictions in place on base.

For instance, vehicle maintenance and repairs, to include work done on motorcycles, are prohibited in housing areas, including the tower and dormitory areas, according to a 374th Airlift Wing Family Housing Pamphlet.

Residents are also required to properly dispose of hazardous items such as flammable liquids and automobile or motorcycle batteries.

Batteries must be turned in to the Army and Air Force Exchange Service Base Exchange Garage in Bldg. 1293, according to the housing pamphlet. All automotive oils, diesel, kerosene, antifreeze or oil filters can be turned into the Yokota Auto Hobby Center in Bldg. 4086.

The base auto hobby center is a mecca for those who wish to turn their own wrenches.
"We offer work space to the people who would like to work on their own vehicles here," said Hideto Matsumoto, 374th Force Support Squadron, Auto Hobby Center mechanic. "We also accept regular customers just like a normal automotive garage with mechanics on duty."

For self-help customers the shop provides an oil change station as well as a lift for other repairs. However, there's a nominal charge for the service.

"The inside bay service charge is $3 per 30 minutes, but that includes all tool rental costs as well," said Mr. Matsumoto. "The cost for the outside stalls is $2 per hour and customers must sign in for these areas."

The center's hours are: closed on Mondays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays (appointments only), 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays - Fridays (last customer at 7 p.m.), 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (last customer at 5 p.m.)

Other services include:

Sheds for storage of vehicle-related items only can be rented on a monthly basis for up to a year for $35 per month.

Maintenance areas can be rented for up to six months: $35 per month for uncovered areas and $45 per month for a covered area.

Free estimates of repair costs.

Special order of parts to include: mufflers, light units, suspensions, brake parts and more. Most parts arrive within 24 hours.

For more information, call 225-7623 or stop by Bldg. 4086.