Although the exact classes you will take in automotive school vary by institution, some of the general principles you should cover are the same. Although the curriculum structure may be organized differently than is presented below, many schools teach their students about aspects of automotive work such as electronic systems, brake, steering, suspension, and engine systems. Some many also offer classes in automotive management. You can always go to your future college’s website or call an academic advisor and see if you can get a copy of the exact course descriptions for your school.
Automotive Electrical/Electronic Systems
In this class you will learn about the basic components of electrical systems and the science behind it, such as Ohm’s law, basic electrical circuits, digital meter usage, batteries, and starting and charging system operation. You will also learn how to take on tasks such as diagnosing and repairing wire harness problems. You will learn how to assess automotive electrical schematics both electronically and manually, use manual information during the repair process, understand automotive circuits, and predict electrical circuit values.
Automotive Brake Systems
In this class you will learn the theory and practices behind various braking systems. You will learn how to utilize manufacturers’ processes to diagnose problems in all systems, such as vacuum and hydraulic boost systems. Class time will also be spent locating proper specifications and service information for braking systems, performing disc and drum brake inspections and service procedures, and learning about additional systems, such as anti-lock brakes.
Automotive Steering and Suspension Systems
This class mainly focuses on steering system diagnosis and service. You will learn about both front and rear system components, including wheel and tire and front and rear wheel alignment. You will learn how to perform an accurate four-wheel alignment, identify system components, perform static and dynamic type wheel balancing, and develop experience using a variety of wheels and tires. You may also study how to pressure test and power steering system and how to diagnose different steering problems. You may also get a chance to work with new computerized equipment for wheel alignments.
Automotive Engine Systems
The main components of this class are learning how an engine operates, the names for different components, how to take various measurements, and procedures for servicing and at times overhauling the engine. You will learn about a variety of systems, such as cooling, valve train, and lubrication systems. You will get to practice using manufacturer information to determine engine problems and repair any issues. You will learn the ins and outs of engine systems by disassembling and measuring different components of the engine block.
Although you may spend most of your time in the garage working on cars once you get hired somewhere, it’s always a good idea to have some understanding of how the business you are going to be employed by works. If you take an automotive management class, you will learn about the service department, roles of the service manager and service consultant, and theories behind business ownership. You will also become familiar with local, state, and federal regulations and how they affect the operation of a service department. The focus of this class is generally to develop computer and information literacy, learn about community values, and develop critical thinking skills so that you are prepared to run your own automotive business one day.