Does the engine of an automobile intimidate you?

Do you know the difference between transmission fluid and brake fluid?

Are you able to tell if your tires are underinflated?

If you can't answer some or all of the above questions, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. may be able to do something for you.

Beginning tonight, and for several Thursdays to come, Goodyear representatives will be running free carcare clinics for anyone interested at several local Goodyear service stores.

Washington is only the latest of several cities where Goodyear has run its clinic. Although the clinics are primarily directed toward women, company officials say they are open to both sexes, and have been attended by both.

At one recent session, a 72-year-old woman said she didn't mind changing her own tires, but wanted a tip on how to pry the nuts or bolts off the wheels. She said they were always on too tightly. Sure enough, the instructor showed her how to use her body weight to start loosening them.

But the subject matter of the clinics ranges from explaining the meaning of and need for dashboard instruments, to how to check the engine's master cylinder semi-annually.

There are also pointers on how to take care of a car battery, where to look for various parts that were supposedly replaced by a repair shop, how to tell if a tire needs replacement, and how to winterize a car, among others.

The sessions are run by local Goodyear service managers who have been trained by experts from corporate headquarters.

Goodyear public relations official Linda Finch said the clinics have drawn hundreds of people, and that the company is planning to expand them to at least 10 major markets.

"The response has been overwhelming," she said in an interview. She added that the clinics have been "good business" for Goodyear, because they build a trust in customers who then come to Goodyear for servicing.

For information about the clinics, call local Goodyear Stores.