Automotive Technology

http://www.miracosta.edu/AUTO

The Automotive Technology program prepares students for entry-level automotive mechanic positions and provides training for persons already employed in the industry. Courses also prepare students for various state licenses and national certifications, including tests administered by Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Career options include auto mechanic/repair technician, service manager, and parts specialist. Potential employers include automotive dealerships and independent repair facilities.

Contact Information

Chair: Steve Vail

Dean: Al Taccone

www.miracosta.edu/AUTO

Department: Automotive Technology

Office: Building OC4800, 760.795.6811

Full-Time Faculty

Paul Katson
Steve Vail
Arnoldo Williams

Program Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs)

The degree program includes the completion of a general education (GE) pattern of courses. The knowledge, skills, and abilities gained as a result of completing general education, referred to as GE outcomes, can be viewed here.

Automotive Technology Associate in Arts Degree and Certificate of Achievement

PSLO: Upon completion of this program, students will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to perform brake, suspension, engine, and electrical repair, service, and diagnostic procedures as an entry-level automotive technician.

Automotive Electronics, Computers, and Emissions and/or HVAC Certificate of Achievement

PSLO: Upon completion of this program, students will be able to synthesize knowledge of electrical systems and computer technology to diagnose, service, and repair electrical and computer communication circuits as they relate to automotive drive-train and accessory systems, with an emphasis in emissions and/or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

California Smog Check Technician Certificate of Achievement

PSLO: Upon completion of this program, students will possess the knowledge necessary to sit for the State of California Smog Technicians Examination and the skills necessary for entry-level employment as a smog technician in a state- approved smog test only or smog test and repair facility.

Associate Degree

Associate in Arts Degree

Automotive Technology

Students may earn the above-named associate degree by completing a certificate of achievement and the general education courses required for MiraCosta College's Associate in Arts degree (see Associate Degrees). Students should meet with a MiraCosta counselor to identify required courses and to develop a written educational plan for the specific degree or certificate they wish to earn.

Certificates

Certificate of Achievement

Automotive Electronics, Computers, and Emissions and/or HVAC

The Automotive Electronics, Computers, Emissions/HVAC Program includes course work in the theory and function of automotive electronics and computer systems. It emphasizes basic automotive electronics, diagnostics, drivability, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and/or emission controls, including smog-check procedures.

Required courses: 
AUTO 130Basic Automotive Tune-Up2
AUTO 135Auto Electronic Fundamentals4
AUTO 235Advanced Electronics and Electronic Engine Control Systems4
Select one of the following:3-6
CA Smog Technician Engine and Emission Control - Level 1
   and Smog Check Training Inspection Procedures - Level 2
HVAC Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
Total Units13-16

Certificate of Achievement

Automotive Technology

This certificate is designed to prepare students for entry-level auto mechanic positions at local dealerships and independent repair facilities. Courses are designed to prepare students for various state licenses and national certification. After completion of these courses, students are qualified to take the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) tests in engine performance, engine repair, brakes, and steering and suspension, and they will possess entry-level service and repair skills on hybrid and alternative-fuel powered vehicles. Students interested in the ASE Certificate as a Master Automobile Technician need to complete other specific courses listed in the catalog to prepare for the additional test areas. Students may earn the Automotive Technology Certificate by completing the following courses.
 

Required courses: 
AUTO 135Auto Electronic Fundamentals4
AUTO 140 Automotive Engine Technology4
AUTO 141Automotive Engine Performance and Drivability4
AUTO 160Automotive Suspension, Steering, and Alignment4
AUTO 161Automotive Brake Service and Repair4
AUTO 200Automotive Hybrid and Alternative Fuel Vehicles4
Total Units24

Certificate of Achievement

California Smog Check Technician

The California Smog Check Technician certificate prepares students for the California Smog Technician Licensing Examination and entry-level positions as smog check technicians.

Required courses: 
AUTO 102Preventive Maintenance and Engine Performance4
AUTO 125CA Smog Technician Engine and Emission Control - Level 14
AUTO 225Smog Check Training Inspection Procedures - Level 22
Select 3 units from the following:3
Automotive Reconditioning and Detailing
ASE A6 Alternative Course Electrical and Electronic Systems
   and ASE A8 Alternative Course Engine Performance
   and ASE L1 Alternative Course Advanced Engine Performance
Personal Selling
Customer Service
Total Units13

Certificate of Proficiency

Automotive Electronics

This certificate prepares students for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Electrical/Electronic Systems (A6) examination as well as for entry-level employment in electrical and electronic areas of the automotive service industry.

Required courses: 
AUTO 135Auto Electronic Fundamentals4
AUTO 235Advanced Electronics and Electronic Engine Control Systems4
Total Units8

Certificate of Proficiency

Automotive Quick Service Assistant

This certificate offers training in basic automotive service and maintenance along with the sales training needed for employment as a quick service technician.

Required courses: 
AUTO 102Preventive Maintenance and Engine Performance4
BUS 135Personal Selling3
or BUS 137 Customer Service
Total Units7

Certificate of Proficiency

Automotive Repair: Drive-Train Specialist

This certificate prepares students for entry-level auto mechanic positions at local dealerships and independent repair facilities. The program focuses on diagnosis and repair of internal engine components for domestic and import vehicles. Students take apart engines and transmissions and put them back together from the ground up. This certificate prepares students for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) examinations for engine repair and automatic and manual transmissions.

Required courses: 
AUTO 140 Automotive Engine Technology4
AUTO 141Automotive Engine Performance and Drivability4
AUTO 155Manual Transmissions and Transaxles4
AUTO 156Automatic Transmissions and Transaxles4
Total Units16

Certificate of Proficiency

Automotive Alignment, Brakes, and Suspension

This certificate prepares students for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Suspension and Steering (A4) and Brakes (A5) examinations and for entry-level employment in the suspension and brake areas of the automotive service industry.

Required courses: 
AUTO 160Automotive Suspension, Steering, and Alignment4
AUTO 161Automotive Brake Service and Repair4
Total Units8

Certificate of Proficiency

Basic Engine Performance

This certificate prepares students for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Engine Performance (A8) examination and for entry-level employment in the engine performance area of the automotive service industry.

Required courses: 
AUTO 140 Automotive Engine Technology4
AUTO 141Automotive Engine Performance and Drivability4
Total Units8

Courses

AUTO 100: Small Engine Repair

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 2 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0948.30)

This introductory course combines theory with practical experience to provide students with the necessary skills to perform maintenance, tune-up, and repair of two- and four-cycle engines. Topics include the safety, care, and use of specialized tools; fuel and ignition system fundamentals and service; and small engine inspection, disassembly, and reconditioning. The course is designed for students without small engine experience.

AUTO 102: Preventive Maintenance and Engine Performance

Units: 4
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0948.00)

Designed to develop an understanding of the operation, care, and preventive maintenance of the automobile, this course covers the overall theory of the automobile, including maintenance of tires, wheels, brakes, suspensions; characteristics of fuels, oil and lubricants; maintenance of smog devices; basic engine performance and automotive electronics procedures; and safety factors.

AUTO 105: Automotive Reconditioning and Detailing

Units: 4
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0948.00)

This course covers bumper-to-bumper vehicle inspections for mechanical and cosmetic condition, roadworthiness, emission controls, and safety. It includes specific mechanical vehicle systems and condition assessment, including an overview of the retail certification processes for used vehicles prior to sale. Topics include interior and exterior cosmetic reconditioning processes, including identification of paint condition and types, use of car-care chemicals, maintenance of the paint surface, and customer communication. Students are required to attend a local Concours-quality auto show.

AUTO 125: CA Smog Technician Engine and Emission Control - Level 1

Units: 4
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in AUTO 150.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0948.00)

This course (plus other requirements and course work) prepares students to qualify for the California Smog Check Technician Examination using Nissan and other Asian manufacturer-specific and standard Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) materials. The course covers the following BAR-certified course: Engine and Emission Control Training Level 1 (formerly known as the Clean Air Car course).

AUTO 130: Basic Automotive Tune-Up

Units: 2
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 1.50 hours, laboratory 1.50 hours. (0948.00)

This course introduces students to the theory and operation of the internal combustion engine. Topics include cooling, lubrication, ignition, carburetion, fuel injection, and emission control systems as well as maintenance and servicing procedures. It also introduces students to hybrid technology and computerized systems, and it prepares them for the study of automotive tune-up and diagnosis.

AUTO 135: Auto Electronic Fundamentals

Units: 4
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0948.00)

This course prepares students for the study of automotive electrical and electronic computer control systems, covering the fundamentals of electricity, electromagnetism, electromagnetic induction, electronics, and D/C and A/C current theory. It provides in-depth coverage of voltage, amperage, resistance, and Ohm's Law, and it emphasizes electronic principles and proper use of a Digital Volt Ohm Meter (DVOM). Topics include the overall theory, service, and testing of the battery, charging system, starter, and ignition. This class prepares students for the ASE A6 Exam and California State Headlight Adjusters license.

AUTO 140: Automotive Engine Technology

Units: 4
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in AUTO 151.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0948.00)

This course introduces students to automotive engine mechanical theory and repair. Topics include four-cycle engine theory and operation, lubrication and cooling system service and repair, and engine removal and installation. Students disassemble, inspect, and assemble engine blocks and cylinder heads to factory specifications. This course prepares students for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) A1 Engine Repair examination.

AUTO 141: Automotive Engine Performance and Drivability

Units: 4
Prerequisites: None
Advisory: AUTO 130 or equivalent.
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in AUTO 151 or AUTO 230.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0948.00)

This engine performance course covers diagnostics, service, and repair of fuel, ignition, starting, charging, emission, and computer systems. Students use state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and repair problems using proper repair techniques, automotive safety, and service protocol. This course helps prepare students for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) A8 Engine Performance examination and entry-level employment as engine performance technicians.

AUTO 155: Manual Transmissions and Transaxles

Units: 4
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0948.00)

This course introduces the theory, service, and repair of manual transmissions (RWD) and manual transaxles (FWD). Students learn to identify, evaluate, service, remove, and replace transmissions and transaxles. Topics include theory, service, and repair of manual and hydraulic clutch systems and driveline components. The course helps students prepare for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) A3 Manual Transmission examination.

AUTO 156: Automatic Transmissions and Transaxles

Units: 4
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0948.00)

This course introduces the theory, service, and repair of automatic transmissions (RWD) and automatic transaxles (FWD). Students learn to identify, evaluate, service, remove, and replace transmissions and transaxles. Topics include theory, service, and repair of electronic assist automatic transmission components and related driveline components. The course helps prepare students for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) A2 Automatic Transmission examination.

AUTO 160: Automotive Suspension, Steering, and Alignment

Units: 4
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in AUTO 122 or AUTO 152.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0948.00)

This course covers automotive passenger car and light truck alignment, steering, and suspension systems. It emphasizes the theory and function of modern front- and rear-wheel drive suspension systems and equipment, safety procedures, proper service techniques, component failure analysis, and repair. Students practice alignment procedures on state-of-the-art alignment equipment. This course prepares students for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) A4 Suspension and Steering examination.

AUTO 161: Automotive Brake Service and Repair

Units: 4
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Limitation: Not open to students with credit in AUTO 120 or AUTO 152.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0948.00)

This course covers the theory, service, and repair of hydraulic brake, antilock brake, and traction control systems. It emphasizes machining brake rotors and drums to factory specifications using safety protocols, diagnostics, and repair strategies. Students practice disc rotor and drum brake machining techniques on state-of-the-art stationary and on-the-car brake lathe equipment. This course prepares students for the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) A5 Brakes examination.

AUTO 200: Automotive Hybrid and Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Units: 4
Prerequisites: AUTO 135.
Advisory: AUTO 102 or AUTO 130.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3.50 hours, laboratory 1.50 hours. (0948.00)

This course covers the theory, service, safety procedures, and repair of automotive hybrid and alternative-fuel powered vehicles. It emphasizes specialized tools, equipment, and component failure analysis. Students learn the complex theories of high voltage DC electrical systems, regenerative braking, biodiesel, natural gas, propane, alcohol, hydrogen, and algea-based alternative fuel systems, coupled with manufacturer-specific service and repair protocol. This course prepares students for entry-level employment as hybrid vehicle technicians and introduces them to existing and future alternative fuel technologies. (Formerly AUTO 296-1.)

AUTO 220: HVAC Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning

Units: 3
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 1.50 hours, laboratory 4.50 hours. (0948.00)

This course covers the fundamental theories, diagnosis, service, and repair practices of automotive air conditioning and heating systems. Topics include the procedures of recovering the refrigerant, replacing parts, evacuating, charging the air conditioning units, retrofitting, and computer-controlled climate control systems. This course helps prepare students to pass the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) heating, ventilation, and air conditioning test.

AUTO 225: Smog Check Training Inspection Procedures - Level 2

Units: 2
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 1.50 hours, laboratory 1.50 hours. (0948.00)

This course (plus other requirements and course work) prepares students to qualify for the California Smog Check Technician Examination using Nissan and other Asian manufacturer-specific and standard Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) materials. The course covers the Smog Check Training Inspection Procedures Level 2 BAR-certified course.

AUTO 235: Advanced Electronics and Electronic Engine Control Systems

Units: 4
Prerequisites: AUTO 135.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 3 hours. (0948.00)

This course covers advanced automotive electrical systems and computerized engine control systems as they relate to fuel/air management, ignition, emission controls, and accessory electronics. The course provides in-depth coverage of engine management sensors, actuators, idle speed, and transaxle electronic controls, and it emphasizes OBD II systems and computerized CAN BUS communications. This course prepares students for the ASE A6 certification exam in automotive electrical and electronic systems.

AUTO 251: ASE A6 Alternative Course Electrical and Electronic Systems

Units: 1
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 0.50 hour, laboratory 1.50 hours. (0948.00)

This course supplants the ASE A6 examination required to sit for the California Smog Check Technician examination. It offers theory and hands on training with automotive electrical and electronic systems. Students must pass the course with a grade of 70% or higher. This course meets or exceeds 20 hours of classroom instruction mandated by the State of California.

AUTO 252: ASE A8 Alternative Course Engine Performance

Units: 1
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 0.50 hour, laboratory 1.50 hours. (0948.00)

This course supplants the ASE A8 examination required to sit for the California Smog Check Technician examination. It offers theory and hands-on training in automotive engine performance. Students must pass the course with a grade of 70% or higher. This course meets or exceeds 24 hours of classroom instruction mandated by the State of California.

AUTO 253: ASE L1 Alternative Course Advanced Engine Performance

Units: 1
Prerequisites: None
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 0.50 hour, laboratory 1.50 hours. (0948.00)

This course supplants the ASE L1 examination required to sit for the California Smog Check Technician examination. It offers theory and hands-on training in advanced engine performance. Students must pass the course with a grade of 70% or higher. This course meets or exceeds 28 hours of classroom instruction mandated by the State of California.

AUTO 292: Internship Studies

Units: 0.5-3
Prerequisites: None
Corequisite: Complete 75 hrs paid or 60 hrs non-paid work per unit.
Enrollment Limitation: Instructor, dept chair, and Career Center approval. May not enroll in any combination of cooperative work experience and/or internship studies concurrently.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU

This course provides students the opportunity to apply the theories and techniques of their discipline in an internship position in a professional setting under the instruction of a faculty-mentor and site supervisor. It introduces students to aspects of the roles and responsibilities of professionals employed in the field of study. Topics include goal-setting, employability skills development, and examination of the world of work as it relates to the student's career plans. Students must develop new learning objectives and/or intern at a new site upon each repetition. Students may not earn more than 16 units in any combination of cooperative work experience (general or occupational) and/or internship studies during community college attendance.

AUTO 296: Topics in Automotive Technology

Units: 1-3
Prerequisites: None
Advisory: Each Topics course will be announced and described with its own title and 296 number designation in the class schedule.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU
Lecture 1 hour or Laboratory 3 hours.
Lecture 2 hours or Lecture 1 hours, Laboratory 3 hours.
Lecture 3 hours or Lecture 2 hours, Laboratory 3 hours. (0948.00)

This course gives students an opportunity to study topics in Art that are not included in regular course offerings. Each Topics course is announced, described, and given its own title and 296 number designation in the class schedule.

AUTO 299: Occupational Cooperative Work Experience

Units: 1-4
Prerequisites: None
Corequisite: Complete 75 hrs paid or 60 hrs non-paid work per unit.
Enrollment Limitation: Career Center approval. May not enroll in any combination of cooperative work experience and/or internship studies concurrently.
Acceptable for Credit: CSU

Cooperative Work Experience is intended for students who are employed in a job directly related to their major. It allows such students the opportunity to apply the theories and skills of their discipline to their position and to undertake new responsibilities and learn new skills at work. Topics include goal-setting, employability skills development, and examination of the world of work as it relates to the student's career plans. Students may not earn more than 16 units in any combination of cooperative work experience (general or occupational) and/or internship studies during community college attendance.