Although a high school diploma is all that is required for some automotive maintenance jobs, post-secondary training is often expected for entry-level positions. Students can earn a certificate in six months to a year or complete an associate's degree through a college program. Voluntary industry certification from organizations such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is also recommended.
Some common concepts covered in automotive maintenance courses include:
- Brake systems
- Engine performance and repair
- Transmission and HVAC systems
- Automotive technology
- Suspension and steering
- Battery/automotive electricity
List of Courses
Automotive Maintenance and Services Course
In an automotive maintenance and services course, students learn how to check fuel and electrical systems, engines, and car parts to prevent deterioration and ensure safety when operating the vehicle. Many classes include hands-on instruction in auto shops where students practice completing basic maintenance tasks such as changing oil and rotating tires. This overview course is typically completed early in a degree program.
Steering, Suspension, and Brakes Course
In automobile maintenance classes covering steering, suspension, and brakes, students test, troubleshoot, and repair problems with these systems. Individuals learn how to analyze sounds, looseness, and unevenness to diagnose, determine the extent of, and propose a solution to a problem. Students also learn maintenance techniques to keep brakes running at their maximum efficiency.
Transmissions for Automatic Automobiles Course
Since many people drive automobiles with automatic transmissions, mechanics are likely to conduct maintenance on this type of transmission system. Students learn to diagnose and repair automatic transmissions by disassembling, repairing, and reassembling. Students familiarize themselves with the valves, gaskets, and seals that are part of transmissions and learn to check each part to determine the problem.
Engine Repair Course
Automobile maintenance classes in engine repair teach students to test engines to ensure they are working properly. Students learn the right tools to use when inspecting, identifying, and testing these parts, as well as how to disassemble engines and put them back together. The course covers both engine performance and repair.
Heating and Air Conditioning for Automobile Maintenance Course
Students learn to read and create diagrams for heating and air conditioning systems in many different automobiles. In addition to troubleshooting and repairing heating and air systems, students learn how the different circuits used in these systems work. Handling and replacing refrigeration parts is also covered.