The Many Forms Of Automotive Training

With the ever-increasing complexity of vehicles today, there are a variety of kinds of automotive training offered in order to repair cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

High Schools

Some high schools offer a robust variety of courses that encompass a range of knowledge relating to auto repair. For example, a high school might offer classes in brakes, electrical electronic systems, engine performance, and suspension and steering. A high school can receive program certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). This indicates that the curriculum meets the national standards set forth by these nonprofit organizations.

Career, Technical, and Vocational Centers

Many career, technical, and vocational centers are secondary schools offering automotive training programs that are certified by ASE or NATEF. They may include brakes, electrical electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair, heating and air conditioning, and suspension and steering.

Community Colleges

Community colleges offer a broader range of certified programs, and often partner with vehicle manufacturers and local dealerships to include both classroom and on-the-job training. Their areas of certification may include those offered at secondary schools, plus such areas as automatic transmission and transaxle, manual drive trains and axles. Some post-secondary schools also offer certified courses in alternative fuels, such as CNG conversation and installation, CNG diagnosis and repair, CNG maintenance, LPG conversion and installation, LPG diagnosis and repair, and LPG maintenance, suspension and steering.

Specialty Schools

There are a number of specialty post-secondary schools around the country that provide intensive automotive training and that produce graduates who are fully educated and ready to enter the world of auto repair.

On the Job Training

Although auto repair today requires a tremendous amount of specialized knowledge, there are still scattered opportunities to receive on the job training. This is particularly true for those who decide to specialize and who do not need comprehensive automotive training. For example, someone who specializes in brake repair does not need to know how to rebuild an engine.

Continuing Education

Just as in many fields, the range of knowledge required to keep pace with the changes in automotive technology means that it’s important for automotive service technicians to continue their education over time. There are a few ways to keep up with automotive training, some formal and others informal.

Among the formal continuing education choices is the Continuing Automotive Service Education, or CASE, which is sponsored by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE. Many technical schools and other training facilities offer a CASE program, which is auto training specifically designed for those who work in the field.

But keeping abreast of the developments in auto repair doesn’t always mean going to class. There are a number of online communities made up of service technicians and those in automotive management jobs. These communities can provide everything from articles and downloads from professionals working in the automotive repair industry, to forums for assistance from other technicians, to classified ads for used engines and used automotive equipment, to job listings and the ability to post resumes.

Save Money On Automotive Maintenance

So lets start out with the owner’s manual and automotive maintenance. My owner’s manual threatens to void my warranty if I do not perform the recommended service on time.

Well let’s look at what is recommend automotive maintenance. In my manual (yours may be different) it states that for normal driving an oil change is due every 3,000 miles or 3 months.

Then you keep reading and it says for fleet vehicles oil changes are needed every 4,500 miles or 6 months. What are they talking about with fleet vehicles?

I called the 800 number and asked for the official explanation, which is high mileage use or long trips equaling more than 9,000 miles a year would be considered fleet type use.

Well to me this is what normal driving is.

So according to the manufacturer my automotive maintenance should be done under the fleet automotive maintenance schedule.

Everybody I know puts more then 9,000 miles a year on his or her vehicle.

The national average for miles put on a single vehicle has risen from 10,000 miles in the 80’s to 15,000 miles a year in the 90’s to present day.

So most of the nation should be on the fleet automotive maintenance schedule along with me.

I added up the price difference between the 2 schedules in my own personal service manual.

Over a 75,000-mile 5-year period the price difference or savings by going with the fleet schedule was around $500.00 dollars by increasing the automotive maintenance service intervals.

But even more important then the money savings, is that this means less visits for auto service.

As we have learned every time you avoid auto service appointment your avoiding scams and rip-offs overcharges and poorly done work.

These items together are priceless over a five-year period.

What did the manufacture mean about voiding my warranty. Well I have seen this first hand.

The manufacturer will not honor the warranty if the vehicle was abused. Using the fleet schedule is not abuse it’s what is recommended on my vehicle.

The dealer and manufacturer will have the burden of proof to claim neglect.

This is very difficult and usually only happens under extreme neglect, like when the engine oil looks like tar from lack of oil changes.

Now this is important I am not saying to not service your vehicle regularly.

I am saying do services only when it is needed. Automotive maintenance Owner’s manuals are different for every vehicle.

Study your manual and how it relates to your driving conditions and stick to what is really recommended.

I was changing my own personal oil way too much.

The point was driven home at my newest job. The government fleet I work for has 1,800 pieces of equipment.

The cars and light trucks get their oil changed every 6 months or 4,500 miles.
Automotive maintenance services are almost never late due to a high tech notification system.

When the vehicle is due, it comes in for auto service!

After a 5 year 100,000 mile study there were no engine failures in the entire fleet. To me this means 4,500 miles or 6 months is good for me also.

Now on your vehicle I stress to study the owners manual and see what is best for you and your vehicle.

Vehicle owner’s manuals are not usually user friendly. The manufacturer probably does this on purpose.

A confused owner will most likely put their trust in the dealer to guide them in needed automotive maintenance and repairs.

This is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

The dealer will put you on the schedule with the most frequent service intervals and push you towards over servicing your vehicle.

The automotive maintenance section is usually toward the back of the manual.

I recommend reading this section four to five times or until it is completely understood.

Do not be afraid to call the customer assistance line and ask questions.

The price for this little used information service was added to the price of the vehicle that you purchased.

The customer assistance hot line is important to the manufacturer. Do to the fact they are trying to build brand loyalty and future sales by providing courteous friendly customer service

Become an authority or expert on the required automotive maintenance of your specific vehicle and know what is needed before you go in for service.

When the service advisor starts throwing up-sell auto service at you and you shut him down with facts and knowledge you will change the shops attitude about selling you auto service you don’t need.

Choosing A Good Automotive School Is Crucial To Your Career

Automotive school is a necessity for anyone who wants to pursue a career as an auto mechanic. However, the school you go to can affect the path your career takes after graduation. Factors such as quality equipment, knowledgeable instructors, strong degree and ASE certification programs, the school’s qualifications and reputation, and student services all lend themselves to the overall quality of your education. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly research the automotive schools you are considering before making a final decision.

Your goal in attending automotive school is to learn as much as possible about auto mechanics; therefore, it is important to ensure that the school will provide the training you need. Part of this training is plenty of hands on experience. A good automotive program should include not only classroom lectures about automotive principles and mechanical theories, but also ample opportunity to work on cars and practice your skills. Be sure to ask how the school gets an ample supply of cars for students to train on; some schools may rely on donations, while others may attract paying customers in the community with discounted rates.

The school you attend should also have an ample supply of up to date equipment. A school with a shortage of the proper tools will make it difficult for you to get sufficient practice, and old or damaged equipment can be a safety hazard. Since your education depends a great deal on the amount of hands on experience you get, the automotive school you attend should be fully equipped to meet the students’ needs.

Naturally, the curriculum is a major factor in the quality of your education. The school you attend should have several different degree programs to choose from, allowing students flexibility in choosing their career paths. A good automotive school also offers an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification program, where students can become certified in different areas of expertise, adding to their qualifications and increasing their potential salaries. ASE certification requires passing at least one of more than forty available tests, as well as proof of at least two years of relevant work experience; the school you attend should fully support students in acquiring these certifications.

Accreditation is also an important indicator of the quality of education a school can provide. Accreditation verifies that a school meets a predetermined set of standards; however, there are many different accreditation agencies, so it is important to research not only a school’s accreditation, but also the accrediting agency’s reputation and standards. If being able to transfer courses you have taken is important to you, be sure to find out how many other schools are accredited by the agency, and whether the credits you earn at the school can be transferred.

Additionally, you should consider the school’s reputation: an education from a school with a good reputation can make you stand out from the other applicants and help you get a job, but an education from a school with a bad reputation can also hurt your chances of getting a good job. By searching the Internet and talking to other mechanics, you can find out whether a school is known for providing quality education. You may also want to contact several dealerships and garages and ask whether they would hire a graduate of one of your top choices. After all, your education must do two things: not only provide you with quality training, but also indicate to potential employers that you have received quality training.

Similarly, student services are an important part of a good automotive school. Examples of student services are financial aid and loan offices, student housing or assistance in finding housing, and the availability of internships. Job placement services are particularly important; most good schools will offer some type of job placement assistance to students and graduates. A school that guarantees job placement after graduation may indicate a high success rate among its students. Also, many schools have relationships with local dealerships and garages, which is a considerable benefit to students and alumni of the school.

Naturally, there are other, more personal deciding factors when choosing an automotive school, such as the cost of tuition and the school’s location. Ultimately, your decision will depend on which features are most important to you. Whether you make your decision based solely on the quality of education the school offers, or on a more tangible benefit such as affordability or location, be certain that you choose a school that will help you achieve the career you seek.

Automotive Training For Career Advancement

What is the main reason one takes automotive training courses? The answer is to get a better start on his or her career, and become a professional in whatever area that works best for them. This means that through training one can get advanced knowledge of any specialty that one pleases. Maybe you are interested in transmissions. Or possibly you are one that loves to work with tires. Whatever the segment, automotive training can help you get there, and with a few classes you can become a master of the automotive field of your choice.

Most automotive training takes place at local shops and schools. Some students start automotive training during high school, while others take college level courses a few years later. While some training programs offer certifications, others offer simply a general skill set to abide by for the students. Once this skill set is learned, a student can get a job at a shop, and do most of the routine repair work that is presented to them on a daily basis.

There are many things you will have to do while in automotive training, and some of those things require your full concentration and time. Therefore it is important to look at the best way to prepare. Consider how you will get ready for the task of enduring this educational program. Many people tend to jump into programs without the proper preparation, and end up dropping out before the program is complete. This is why it is important to prepare for your automotive career training, in order to avoid a fail out situation.

Do not quit your job when entering an automotive training program, simply cut back on the hours. For most students, the current job they hold is not what they want to do for a career. That does not mean it makes sense to quit it right away. One must wait until they have completed their education and found a new job, before quitting their old one if they in fact have financial obligations. If other family members are able to work, and are willing to help with finances, then it is presumably all right to quit your job and do automotive training full time.

Concentrate on creating a workable schedule for your time during training, and communicate with your instructors about whatever issue you might have with the automotive training program in which you are enrolled. Most programs will have methods for allowing one to work, and simply ask for the student to let them know in advance when their job might conflict with the current automotive training schedule. After informing the school of whatever hours you cannot be involved, it is time to communicate with the teachers. This means talking to the instructors about whatever schedule you have, and how you plan to make up missing assignments during training sessions that you are unable to attend.

By keeping a clear line of communication you will ensure success. Having success in automotive training is as simple as preparing for the task, and taking it serious enough to plan for in advance. Do this, and you should be well on your way in obtaining the career of a lifetime.