Automotive technology coursework is designed for those interested in performing routine maintenance and repairing vehicles as an automotive service technician or mechanic.
Students interested in pursuing careers as an automotive technician helper or technician trainee can find training available as part of a certificate or associate’s degree program. There are also some short-term certificate programs available that focus on a specific skill, such as brakes, electrical systems or engine repair.
Both certificate and associate’s degree programs prepare students to maintain, service and repair brakes, electrical and electronic systems, transmissions, engines and suspension systems. Not only do students study these topics through coursework, they also gain hands-on experience through cooperative education. After completing a formal training program, automotive service professionals usually receive on-the-job training as helpers or trainee technicians. On-the-job experience and successful completion of standardized industry certifications are necessary for continued career advancement.
Here is a list of concepts commonly examined in automotive technology courses:
- Hydraulic systems
- MacPherson struts
- Wheel alignment
- Heating and air conditioning
- Cooling systems
- Cylinder heads
- Valve trains
List of Common Courses
Electronics Diagnosis and Repair Course
This course covers the operation and test of automotive electrical circuits, charging systems and battery. Students learn to operate standard test equipment, such as voltmeters, test lamps, ohmmeters and ammeters. Instructors also spent time on the diagnosis and basic troubleshooting of electronic circuits.
Brakes Diagnosis and Repair Course
Students gain a thorough understanding of auto-braking systems, including hydraulic systems, disk and drum brakes. Lessons cover troubleshooting, diagnosis and repair of these systems, including brake adjustment and the replacement of brake pads and lining. Advanced courses may focus on anti-lock braking technology, as well as power-assist configurations.
Transmissions/Transaxles Diagnosis and Repair Course
This course trains students to perform general maintenance and service on transmissions and related systems, including hydraulic pumps, couplings and gear trains. Advanced courses focus on manual transmissions as well as on the tear-down and removal of the transmission for major repair, replacement of various components, major adjustments and replacement of the actual transmission.
Engine Diagnosis and Repair Course
This is a practical course in engine maintenance, diagnostics and repair. Students learn to use computerized test equipment to perform evaluation and repairs on cylinder heads, engine blocks, valve trains, as well as cooling and lubrication components. Advanced courses focus on engine removal and disassembly, major engine repair, engine rebuilds and reassembly.
Suspension Diagnosis and Repair Course
This course focuses on suspension and steering maintenance and troubleshooting, including coverage of 4-wheel alignment and MacPherson struts. Topics generally include typical automotive service work such as alignment, wheel-balancing and steering mechanism repair.
Engine Performance, Service and Repair Course
This course addresses advanced engine concepts such as diagnosing automotive exhaust emission problems, fuel injection trouble-shooting, ignition system issues and working with computerized engine components.