Vocational schools, community colleges and adult training institutions provide small engine repair classes. Aspiring mechanics who want to learn the basics of repairing these small engines may enroll in a class, a certificate program or a 2-year degree program. Some programs may focus on a specific type of engine, like lawn maintenance equipment.
Many of these programs are designed to prepare students for the Equipment and Engine Training Council's professional certification, for which students must be well-versed not only in engine repair, but in working with tools safely and handling hazardous materials. You can expect to study the following concepts:
- Essential maintenance tools
- Engine components
- Repair safety
- Engine troubleshooting
- Cleaning techniques
List of Classes
Small Engine Operations Course
This required course is taken near the beginning of a small engine repair certificate or degree program. During the course students become familiar with the components and operating principles of the small engine. Topics covered include the similarities and differences in 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines. Engine part identification and definitions of terms, such as torque and horsepower, are emphasized.
Introduction to Automotive Shop Course
For safety reasons, an introduction to proper use of tools and equipment in an automotive repair shop is an essential first course in a small engine repair certificate program. Students learn terminology, fire safety and hazardous waste management, including disposal methods for chemical cleaning solutions and oil. Additionally, this course may include a section on small engine repair careers.
Repairing 2-Stroke Engines Course
Two-stroke engines are powerful but lightweight and frequently require replacement parts. Students in this course learn to diagnose engine problems, replace small parts and repair non-replaceable engine components. This course is taken after an introductory small engine operations course.
Repairing 4-Stroke Engines Course
The 4-stroke engine is larger, heavier and more complex than the 2-stroke engine. This hands-on course introduces 4-stroke engine components and systems. Students take the engine apart to learn how each piece fits and works together to power recreational and commercial equipment. In some programs, this course may be combined with the 2-stroke engine course.
Servicing the Small Engine Course
Regular maintenance and service is part of keeping a small engine in running condition. This course provides tune up procedures and schedules for small 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines. This course may be taken at any time during a small engine repair education program. Students learn to change spark plugs, filters and oil as well as to troubleshoot, maintain and repair fuel and ignition systems.
Electrical Systems in Small Engines Course
Electrical faults in small engines can cause malfunctions. In this course, student mechanics learn to test small engine electrical systems to locate the source and diagnose the cause of electrical faults. Repairing circuits in the small engine is done in a laboratory setting.