Minnesota program that fixes old cars for free announces expansion into the East Metro

A silver car is elevated on a vehicle lift inside an auto repair shop. The shop is equipped with various tools, equipment, and a large mirror mounted on the wall. Several people can be seen in the background working.

Environmental Initiative, a Minnesota nonprofit spearheading collaborative solutions for Minnesota’s environmental challenges, is proud to announce the expansion of Project Clean Air Repair (Project CAR) through its newest partnership with Turbo Tim’s auto repair. The expansion will extend the program’s outreach, benefits, and services into the East Metro.

Launched in 2017, Project CAR works with local car repair shops to cover the cost of fixing emissions control and exhaust systems for qualifying lower-income Minnesotans. Nearly 600 cars have been repaired since the program began, eliminating 32 tons of emissions. Project CAR is focused on fixing the estimated 25% of passenger vehicles that cause 90% of vehicle air pollution in Minnesota.

“Project CAR exemplifies the force of partnership, showcasing how collaborative efforts between business leaders, government agencies, and community nonprofits can proactively tackle air quality issues facing our state,” said Bill Droessler, senior partnership director at Environmental Initiative. “This expansion will play a crucial role in enhancing air quality across Minnesota. Together, we’re driving change for a cleaner, healthier environment.”

Turbo Tim’s will offer emissions repairs eligible under Project CAR at all three of its Twin Cities locations, including Saint Paul Midway, West Saint Paul, and Northeast Minneapolis. This new partnership now makes eight total Project CAR garage locations. Existing partner garages include The Lift Garage, Cars for Neighbors, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Small Vehicle Garage, Nghia’s Auto Service, and Newgate School.

“Joining forces with Project CAR aligns perfectly with our mission to serve the community,” said Tim Suggs, owner of Turbo Tim’s. “By providing emissions repairs at no cost to qualifying Minnesotans, we’re hitting the road running toward cleaner air and a brighter future.”

Cathy Heying, executive director and founder of The Lift Garage, an established partner of Project CAR, praised the program’s expansion, expressing enthusiasm for the collective impact such partnerships can generate. “Customers come in with all sorts of needs, and, often, environmental impact is not their top priority due to cost constraints. So, this program is amazing because customers want to do the right thing for the environment and this program allows them to do that while also improving their car’s functionality,” she said.

Environmental Initiative aims to attract additional repair shops, especially in greater Minnesota, to bolster the project’s capacity. The organization is also actively seeking more funders to fuel the expansion of Project CAR, which aspires to reach more communities across Minnesota.

Project CAR is made possible by support from Flint Hills Resources, Marathon Petroleum, the City of Minneapolis, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

For more information about Project CAR or how to support the effort, contact Eben Kowler.

About Environmental Initiative
Environmental Initiative is a nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis that catalyzes collaboration across perspectives, power, and systems for social equity and environmental health.

About Turbo Tim’s
Turbo Tim’s Anything Automotive is an auto repair shop with locations in Northeast Minneapolis, Saint Paul Midway, and West Saint Paul. They’re dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable auto services while contributing to the community. With a reputation for honesty and integrity, they are well-known in the Twin Cities for their excellent customer service and community engagement.

About The Lift Garage
The Lift Garage is an affordable nonprofit auto repair shop based in Minneapolis. Aimed to move low-income Minnesotans out of poverty and homelessness, The Lift Garage provides low-cost car repair, free pre-purchase inspections, and honest advice that supports our community on the road to more secure lives.