Students can receive training to become professional mechanics through automotive technology programs that prepare them for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. Programs are available at the certificate and associate's degree level, and certifications are available in a wide variety of specialties, including car, truck and bus maintenance, alternative fuels and collision repair. Students who pass multiple tests can earn an ASE Master designation. Many programs also offer internships or on-the-job training.
Here are some common concepts taught in mechanic classes:
- Engine types
- Computer operations in automobiles
- Internal processes
List of Courses
Through textbooks and labs, students practice disassembling and reassembling diesel and gasoline engines. Students learn the purpose for each engine component and explore methods for identifying problems. The repair of timing belts, head gaskets and lubrication systems is explored. Students may look at the state regulations for emissions.
The focus of this course is on the terminology, diagnostics and repair of electrical systems in automobiles. Students learn how to use electronic scan tools and newer computer diagnostic programs that locate problem areas with cars' onboard computers, instrument panels and more. Students learn the wiring of automotive electronics and the charging, starting and voltage of batteries.
Students look at the laws and regulations their states hold concerning smog. Students can become emissions specialists by focusing on the many courses offered for automotive emissions. Students learn how to run diagnostics on NOx emissions and OBD-2-compliant tools for testing emissions. Special topics may include state licensure, air-to-fuel calculation and sensors.
A fundamental course on brake systems can typically be taken anytime during the course of a training program. Through classes and labs, students practice repair of antilock, disk and drum brakes. Hydraulic systems are also examined.
Suspension and Steering
Wheel repair, steering systems and wheel balancing are the focus of this course. Students learn how to handle 2- and 4-wheel suspension systems. Through reading materials and hands-on lab work, students practice the removal and replacement of steering system components.
Heating and Cooling
The focus of this course is to learn how to diagnose and repair automotive heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) ventilating systems. Students study how to handle dangerous Freon refrigerant from air conditioners and heating system parts. Through the use of internships or lab work, students familiarize themselves with HVAC components by assembling and disassembling systems.
For this course, students learn about vibration analysis, water leaks, inflatable restraint systems and brakes. This course teaches the basics of chassis and how they affect suspension and braking systems. Students may look at the repair of traction systems and wheel alignment. This introductory course can be taken anytime during a training program.