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An Inside Look at UTI’s Automotive Mechanic Classes

From vehicle electronic technology to diagnostics and drivability, the courses offered in UTI’s Automotive Technology program are designed to provide you with the knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed as an automotive technician in today’s world. Each class covers specific aspects of the automotive industry to provide you with a foundation you can build upon as you pursue your career.84,125

Keep reading to find out what you’ll learn in each UTI automotive course:

Automotive Engines Service & Repair

This is one of the first subjects students will learn when starting their automotive technician program. Students discover the fundamentals of a vehicle’s internal engine operation and how to repair it by learning about the various components that make up the internal combustion engine. As a student at UTI in the automotive and/or diesel program, you will have the opportunity to completely disassemble an engine to become familiar with how individual parts work together and contribute to the inner workings of the engine.

You will also review all engine components from valve train components, gasket types and different applications, how the oil system works and how compression ratios relate to speed, horsepower and torque. Then, you will reassemble the engine. Upon completion of the course, students will understand the internal workings of an engine and, if a failure happens, what could cause that failure.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn to use various types of engines
  • Use hand tools for engine assembly and disassembly
  • Learn how to read precision tools and use them for measuring various components
  • Learn to read and understand a repair manual

Professional Automotive Service Writing

In this course, you will learn written and verbal communication standards typical of a professional dealership environment in providing customer service, questioning techniques, efficient understanding of customer concerns, report completion, organization, and co-worker and management interaction skills. You will learn the principles of being a service advisor, including specific questioning techniques necessary to repair the vehicle correctly.

You will also be shown how service writers should ask questions of the customer in order to better understand the concern, how to effectively relay the information from the customer to the technician, and how service managers should never diagnose a problem in the service lane. This course includes various mock scenarios that cover customer write-ups, how the service department runs, and what happens with the paperwork as it moves through the system.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn about different computer software systems used to write and track service work in the shop
  • Learn the proper way to complete a repair order, both as a service writer and a technician
  • Learn correct billing procedures
  • Learn effective communication skills for the professional dealership environment

Automotive Powertrains & Transmissions

In this course, you will learn to assemble and disassemble an electronic automatic transmission. You will diagnose and service electronic automatic transmission with concerns related to electronic control system faults and perform external hydraulic system diagnosis using proper equipment. You will also be taught how fluid flows inside an automatic transmission.

Learning takes place in a hands-on environment, where you will have the opportunity to assemble and disassemble a manual transmission while learning the inner workings of multiple gear and shift patterns. You will also learn to assemble and disassemble rear differentials and drive shafts, replace u-joints, understand drive line angles and more.

Key Takeaways:

  • Use hand tools for transmission assembly and disassembly
  • Learn to use precision tools for measuring various components
  • Use specialty tools and fixtures for automatic transmissions
  • Learn to use a hydraulic press

Vehicle Steering and Suspension Service and Repair

Students in this course learn to identify, diagnose and safely service wheels and tires, steering and suspension systems, and components. You will work with front- and rear-wheel alignments and understand how the suspension parts all need to work together to ensure the car travels straight on the road and the tires wear normally. Struts, ball joints, tie-rod ends, rack and pinion and steering gear boxes are a few of the components that will be covered in your coursework. You will also learn the basics of tire mounting and balancing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn to use hand tools for basic suspension assembly and disassembly
  • Use a variety of specialty tools, such as alignment tools, spring compressors and ball joint presses
  • Learn to use alignment, tire and balancer equipment

Vehicle Brake Systems

In this course, you will learn to diagnose and service wheel bearings, brake power assist systems, brake hydraulic systems, parking brakes, brake electrical systems, anti-lock, traction control and stability control systems. You will learn the different components used in hydraulic brake systems, including the assembly and disassembly of the master cylinder, calipers, drum assembly, and proper bleeding.

Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are on every vehicle built today, and there are multiple ways to make them work. Upon completion of this course, you will have an understanding of the brake systems used in vehicles on the road.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn to diagnose ABS and hydraulic systems
  • Use specialty tools for removing and replacing brake pads and shoes
  • Learn the basics of machine brake rotors and drums
  • Use tools to bend and repair brake lines and fittings
  • Learn to use proper tools for brake bleeding
  • Diagnose ABS wave forums using an oscilloscope
  • Learn how to use a scan tool to diagnose brake faults

Vehicle Electronic Systems and Technology

Students in this course learn the science of electrical principals and electricity and how they are related to automotive technology. The electricity in a vehicle cannot be seen, which is why it’s important to understand how it flows through a circuit and what it does.

You will learn Ohm's law, and with that understanding learn to use a digital multi-meter to read voltage, resistance and amps. Your coursework will also cover how various electrical components operate, how to read wiring diagrams, and how to build and test circuits. You will also troubleshoot on vehicles and perform various electrical tests. The knowledge gained in this course will be built upon throughout the rest of your courses.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn to use various tools including, multimeters and oscilloscopes
  • Use a diagnostic scanner that connects to the vehicle’s network to read and control some components of an electrical system
  • Learn how to understand and diagnose an electrical fault using the correct tools

Automotive Climate Control Systems and Repair

In this course, you will have the opportunity to learn about EPA rules and regulations. You will learn about the different types of refrigerants and oils in the market today and how to handle them properly. Your coursework will also cover the different systems vehicle manufactures use. Some vehicles can be equipped with multiple zone systems, which means the driver and occupants have their own controls.

Additionally, students will learn about the potential dangers of working with refrigerant and high system pressures and how to avoid them. You will understand how refrigerant, when flowing, changes from a gas to a liquid in order to properly diagnose. Upon completion of this course, you will have learned the technology principles of automotive heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) through diagnosis and service of HVAC systems and subsystems, refrigerant systems and electronic climate control systems.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn the HVAC electrical system and how to diagnose it
  • Learn how to remove and reinstall HVAC components and diagnose electrical and HVAC related faults
  • Use basic hand tools, A/C specific tools and scan tools
  • Learn to use a refrigerant machine for evacuating and recharging

Roush Yates Performance Tuning

*These courses are not offered at NASCAR Technical Institute.

Power & Performance I

Students in Power & Performance I gain knowledge in calculating compression ratios, calculating bore/stroke, port matching, camshaft understanding and much more. The lessons learned in this course will be used to disassemble a V-8 engine, inspect and measure every component, reassemble and time the rotating assembly.

Students learn using various tools, including basic hand tools, basic engine assembly and disassembly tools and precision measuring tools. At the end of the course, students will have an assembled V-8, which they will take with them to Power & Performance II.

Power & Performance II

Building upon the material covered in Power & Performance I, students in this course gain knowledge in fuel flow, ignition timing, exhaust flow, engine add-on performance, engine installation and dynamometer operation. Students have the opportunity to install their engine on a rolling chassis and install carburation, ignition and an exhaust system.

Once completed and checked, you will hear your engine run for the first time. You will then strap your chassis to the chassis dyno and do full pulls to see what horsepower and torque your engine produces. You will then remove your engine and return it to the Power & Performance I lab.

You will also install a heavily modified V-8 on your chassis and dyno it. You will compare your engine numbers to the modified one and add nitrous to the modified engine to see what happens to the power and torque. This is a hands-on course where you will have the opportunity to see your hard work come to life!

Emission Legal Performance

In this course, you will learn to use different types of tuning software and tune normally aspirated, supercharged, turbo-charged and nitrous-powered vehicles on a chassis dynamometer. To do this, you will modify vehicles by changing parameters in the engine computer while the car is sitting on a chassis dyno. After the dyno run, you will look at fuel trim and ignition timing to see if the engine is lean or rich. Then you will make adjustments to obtain the maxim power and torque, while still being emissions legal.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn about EPA emissions requirements and aftermarket performance accessories
  • Learn how to calculate the correct turbo/supercharger for a specific engine
  • Utilize tuning software and a five-gas analyzer

NASCAR Technical Institute

*If attending NASCAR Technical Institute, you will take the following courses:

Engines I:

Students learn techniques for assembling and disassembling a competitive NASCAR engine. Topics covered in this course include engine rules, cylinder head preparation, camshaft selection and installation, engine rotating assembly, and working in a zero-defect environment.

Engines II:

Students learn to install ancillary equipment and test a competitive NASCAR engine. Topics covered in this course include race-day longevity; fuel, cooling, lubrication and exhaust systems; restrictor-plate issues; working with dynamometers; and adjustments that can be made at the track.

Advanced Technology/Hybrid & Service Advising

In this course you will learn theory, diagnosis and repair necessary to safely and effectively service hybrid vehicles and alternate fuels systems. You will also learn how the engine, powertrain, HVAC, brakes and electrical system of a hybrid vehicle differ from a conventional vehicle. Using a scanner, you will observe hybrid-specific data to diagnose and repair induced faults.


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