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Home > Programs and Degrees > Automotive and Engine Repair > Auto Repair Technician Career Diploma > Auto Repair Technician Program Details

Automotive Repair Course Curriculum

Penn Foster's auto mechanic school helps you prepare for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification Tests!

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To prepare students to enter the automotive repair field by studying the major automotive systems and the procedures for troubleshooting and repairing those systems.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Identify automotive systems and engine components, and describe how the systems and parts work together to make a vehicle run
  • Describe the process of removing an engine from a vehicle and performing an engine rebuild
  • Recognize safety procedures that should be followed in an automotive repair shop, and list the various hand tools and specialized tools used when working with automotive systems
  • Recognize the steps necessary to attain certification in the automotive repair field
  • Identify different types of engines and the factors that affect engine performance
  • Describe how to perform routine maintenance procedures, including oil changes and tune-ups
  • Identify the theory and operation of automotive systems, including the cooling, lubrication, ignition, fuel, and electrical systems
  • Recognize how to troubleshoot problems on automotive systems, including lubrication, fuel, cooling, ignition, and electrical systems
  • Explain how to inspect and work on a vehicle's brake system
  • Identify vehicle computer systems, including how they allow technicians to diagnose and repair system malfunctions
  • Describe the steering and suspension systems, including the alignment process, and identify how worn parts affect a vehicle

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.

Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
In today's fast moving society, millions of people rely on trained Auto Repair Technicians to keep them on the go.

Objectives:

  • Discuss the employment possibilities available in the auto repair field.
  • List and describe the steps needed to attain National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification in the auto servicing field.
  • Name and describe the eight repair areas and operating systems in a vehicle.
  • Define the bore and stroke of an internal combustion engine.
  • Describe the basic operation of a four-stroke cycle internal combustion engine.
  • Define the terms for how engines are rated: torque, horsepower, displacement, and compression ratio.

The most important component in any car is the engine. It’s also the most serviced component. A complete understanding of engine components and operation is the first step toward engine repair.

Objectives:

  • Name and identify the components of the lower-end assembly of an internal combustion engine.
  • Explain the functions of the components of an internal combustion engine and how they work together to create power for a vehicle.
  • Discuss the impact that lower-end assembly component composition and design has on engine performance and cost.

The components and systems that you’ve already learned about work in conjunction with the ones you'll learn in this lesson.

Objectives:

  • Name and identify the components of the upper-end assembly of an internal combustion engine.
  • Explain the functions of the components of an internal combustion engine and how they work together to create power for a vehicle.
  • Discuss the impact that upper-end assembly component composition and design has on engine performance and cost.

Remaining safe from personal injury, not damaging the vehicles you service or the environment around you, and using tools and equipment properly are critical elements of a career in Automotive Repair.

Objectives:

  • Identify and describe the safety practices and procedures used in an automotive shop.
  • Describe the tools used in an automotive shop and explain how they’re used, including online service information.

New technicians usually begin their careers with oil changes and basic systems maintenance, including cooling systems, fluids checks, filter replacements, and tire services.

Objectives:

  • Describe how to complete a repair order.
  • Demonstrate use of the three Cs (concern, cause, and correction).
  • Explain why it’s important to review the vehicle’s service history.
  • Explain the routing of a repair order in a typical new car/truck dealership.
  • Explain how to perform automotive engine oil and filter changes.
  • Perform routine vehicle fluid and maintenance checks.
  • Explain how to replace windshield wiper blades.
  • Describe how to rotate tires.
  • Describe how to install wheels and tighten lug nuts using a torque wrench in the proper sequence.

Cars and light trucks have many major interactive systems, which are based on the applications of certain scientific and mathematical concepts.

Objectives:

  • Add and subtract decimal numbers and demonstrate how to multiply and divide.
  • Convert metric units of measurement by moving the decimal point.
  • Demonstrate the basic features of a calculator to add metric units and calculate percentages.
  • Explain ratios and relate this mathematical concept to automotive technology.
  • Estimate the compression ratio of an engine from measurements, compare the estimate with the engine specifications, determine how the ratio would change if the cylinder head were milled, and consider the effect on other engine parameters.
  • Use formulas to calculate torque, horsepower, and engine displacement for an internal combustion engine.
  • Read charts and graphs.
  • Explain energy, heat, temperature, thermodynamics, and pressure/vacuum and how they relate to gasoline-fueled automotive engines.
  • Define Newton’s three laws of motion.
  • Describe the applications of hydraulics in automotive technology.

In this course, you’ll study gasoline and engine operation. You’ll also review engine issues as well as how to remove, disassemble, measure, repair, assemble, and install an internal combustion gasoline-fueled engine.

Objectives:

  • Explain gasoline and diesel engine operation, including cooling and lubrication systems, and intake and exhaust systems
  • Define typical engine-related complaints and engine smoke diagnosis
  • Identify the detailed process of removing, disassembling, measuring, repairing, assembling, and installing an internal combustion gasoline-fueled engine

Textbook: Automotive Technology, 6th Edition

In this course, you’ll explore electricity, as well as capacitance, electromagnetism, and electronics. You’ll then identify batteries. Finally, you’ll review interior and exterior safety and entertainment systems.

Objectives:

  • Describe the basics of electricity, including circuits, Ohm’s and Kirchhoff’s laws, the testing equipment used for diagnosis, service wiring repair, schematics, and testing
  • Analyze the fundamentals of capacitance, electromagnetism, and electronics, including solid state devices and the study of controller area networks
  • Explain how batteries work and how to service and operate the engine cranking and electrical charging systems
  • Describe the service and operation of interior and exterior safety and entertainment systems

In this course, you’ll cover the fundamentals of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), including heating and automatic air-conditioning systems operation. Then, you’ll review the industry procedures used to diagnose and repair HVAC customer concerns. Finally, you’ll discuss the various service procedures used for HVAC systems.

Objectives:

  • Describe the fundamentals of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), including heating and automatic air-conditioning systems operation
  • Explain the industry procedures used to diagnose, service, and repair HVAC customer concerns

In this course, you’ll cover details about gasoline, alternative fuels, and diesel fuels along with the fundamentals, diagnosis, and service of ignition systems.

Objectives:

  • Describe gasoline, alternative fuels, and diesel fuels along with the fundamentals, diagnosis, and service of engine ignition systems
  • Define fuel systems operation, including computer operation fundamentals, input sensors, fuel supply systems, fuel delivery systems, and fuel system diagnosis
  • Identify the many different systems used for engine emission control
  • Explain onboard diagnostic generation II (OBD-II) and strategy-based diagnosis

In this course, you’ll study how to identify the components and systems of a hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicle and explain its operation.

Objective:

  • Identify the very specific service procedures needed to maintain a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV)

In this course, you’ll review how to identify and interpret the operation of hydraulic brake systems and describe how to diagnose and repair malfunctions in all automotive brake systems.

Objectives:

  • Describe the components and function of hydraulic brakes and how to service them
  • Explain drum and disc brakes, how they work, and how to service them
  • Define anti-lock braking systems and electronic stability control and how they work

In this course, you’ll study how to identify and interpret the operation of suspension and steering systems. You’ll also go over how to diagnose and repair malfunctions in steering and suspension systems.

Objectives:

  • Discuss the operation of wheels and tires and describe their diagnosis and repair
  • Describe the operation, diagnosis, and repair of suspension systems
  • Identify steering systems and how to perform an alignment

In this course, you’ll explore how to identify and interpret the construction and operation of manual transmission/transaxles, rear axles, drive axles, and four-wheeled drive units. You’ll also study how to rebuild transmissions, transaxles, differentials, and transfer causes as well as perform in-vehicle routine maintenance, inspections, repairs, and external adjustments.

Objectives:

  • Discuss the operation, diagnosis, and repair of clutch and manual transmissions and transaxles
  • Describe the axles, differential, four-wheeled drive, and all-wheel drive

In this course, you’ll practice how to identify and interpret the construction and operation of automatic transmissions and transaxles. You’ll also study how to rebuild transmissions/transaxles and perform in-vehicle maintenance, inspections, repairs, and external adjustments.

Objectives:

  • Define how automatic transmissions and transaxles operate
  • Explain how to diagnose, service, and repair automatic transmissions and transaxles

Additional Details

  • Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Penn Foster College Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster College has been nationally accredited for over 40 years, and has met the high standards of integrity and performance set by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in Washington, D.C. Penn Foster College has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations and licensing. We also participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

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sample lesson.

Sample Auto Repair Technician Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what an auto repair technician course would look like.

Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson or take an exam? Not a problem — you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.

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Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers — as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff — to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.

Surround Sound Support

Whether you prefer chat, text, email, or phone, our faculty is here to help you achieve your goals. Penn Foster students also have access to our expert team of Success Coaches to help with budgeting for your education, career guidance, or simply some extra motivation.

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Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.