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July Car Blessings

Posted on 08/06/2015

Last month, Wheels 4 Hope placed 8 program cars!  The Autotrends is honored to be a part of such an amazing program.  Take a look at the stories below to see how lives were changed.

Cynthia has been living at the Masonic Home for children since she was young.  She is currently learning life-skills and getting support in the Masonic's Independent Living Program.  She is also going to college at ECU while working part-time.  During the summer she works as a lifeguard.


Felice received her Honda Civic through the Wheels 4 Hope vehicle program.  This is her first car since 2007!  This blessing will allow Felice to pursue additional job opportunities (preferrably working with special needs children) and get to her Life Skills classes.  


Kristie loves her first car-a Honda Accord!  Kristie has led a tough life at a young age when she found herself homeless at 17 after her mother passed away.  Since then she has received help finding an apartment, a job and going back to school.  Kristie is currently working on her degree in Social Work.  


Joy has not had her own vehicle until 1997, but that has changed!  She is a mother of two and is balancing motherhood with going to school and a part-time job.  Now that's a challenge!  Joy is very excited to start driving her PT Cruiser.



Todgra was very excited to receive her minivan, as this vehicle will allow her to pursue a second part-time job and take care of her family.  This mother of four was unable to have her two youngest live with her because of her lack of transportation.  This minivan will not only provide Todgra with more opportunities, but most importantly it will allow her family to be together again!

Nikkima, a mother of four, received the first car she ever owned last month!  Previously, she was paying for rental cars to get to and from work.  Nikkima is a mother of four and moved to North Carolina to escape a domestic violence situation.  She lived in a shelter with her children where she was able to get back on her feet.  Nikkima was moved to tears at her car blessing ceremony.  

Eva is a mother of two, and they were all excited with their car blessing of a Toyota Camry Wagon.  She is working full-time and in the LIfe Skills Program at StepUp Ministry.  Eva was asked what this vehicle means to her and she said "It means this is the beginning of great blessings now and moving forward."


Ahmed moved to the U.S. from Sudan with his wife less than a year ago.  The Refugee Resettlement Program at Lutheran Services Carolines worked with them to find housing, employment, enroll in school and become self-sufficient.  Before receiving the keys to their car, Ahmed spent 4 hours a day on the bus and his wife walked 45 minutes (one-way) to their jobs.  The morning commute is going to be a breeze now!  


A car is a luxury that many people do not have.  The Autotrends is blessed be able to lend a hand to such amazing people gain independence and be a part of their journeys.  We wish all of the program recipients above the best!

Do It Yourself

Posted on 04/16/2013

Maintenance you can do yourself (if you are not comfortable doing these yourself, please call us)

Brake Fluid

Loosen the clip on the master cylinder and remove the lid. If fluid is needed, consult your vehicle owner's manual for the correct type and fill to the recommended level. (If condition recurs, call Autotrends)

Engine Oil

The best time to check the oil level is five minutes after a fully warmed-up engine is turned off. Remove the oil dipstick, wipe it clean and insert fully. Remove the dipstick again to determine the oil level. Add oil only when the level is at or below the ADD Oil mark. (Caution: Do not overfill.)

Automatic Transmission/Transaxle Fluid

Apply the parking brake and put the engine in neutral before checking these fluid levels. The engine should be running and the transmission should be at operating temperature. Remove the dipstick, wipe clean and insert fully. Remove the dipstick again to check fluid levels.(Caution: Do not overfill)

Windshield Washer Solvent

Remove the cap and refill the washer solvent, if necessary. Never use water in the winter.


Be sure the engine has completely cooled before checking the antifreeze level. Remove the radiator cap from the cooled engine and refill with antifreeze, if needed.

Additional Inspections

Wiper Blades

Inspect windshield wiper blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. Blades should be replaced at least once a year, or sooner if smearing begins.

Tire Pressure

Extend the life of your tires by checking air pressure levels each month. Improperly inflated tires can cause premature tire wear, while under-inflated tires waste fuel and may cause unsafe handling when driving. Check your owner's manual for the correct tire inflation pressure.

Engine Belts

Look for cracks or excessive wear on engine belts. Worn belts will affect the engine's performance.


Check battery cables and posts for corrosion. Clean if needed.

Vehicle Lights

Regularly inspect all vehicle lights, including headlights, turn signals, brake lights and hazard lights. Replace burned-out bulbs immediately.

Air Filter

To keep your vehicle operating at peak performance, inspect your air filter every six months (every other oil change)