Automotive Technology

Effective April 30, 2021: MWCC’S Automotive Technology Program became accredited by the Automotive Service Excellence Foundation as a Master Technician Training Program.

We’ve moved! Our Automotive Technology Center has moved to Gardner! The new space, located at 42 Linus Allain Avenue (near Maki’s) is an 11,000 square-foot newly remodeled space featuring:

  • A student lounge with garage observation.
  • Eight service bays.
  • An engine and transmission laboratory.
  • State-of-the-art automotive electrical trainers.
  • Men’s and women’s locker rooms.
  • A large conference and classroom.
  • HyFlex Course instruction allowing students to attend in person, remotely in real-time, or view class recordings on their own time.

The Automotive Technology Program at Mount Wachusett Community College provides students with the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Automotive Technology or Associate Degree in Automotive Technology. Upon completion of either program, students are prepared for positions in automotive and other related fields. During the course of study, students will develop skills and competencies in diagnostics and repair. Students will gain knowledge to prepare for individual ASE Certification.

In addition to the standard Automotive Technology Curriculum, Mount Wachusett Community College offers individualized, self-paced manufacturer-specific training for Mercedes Benz, Ford and Subaru.  Students who are interested in the manufacturer-specific training must meet certain criteria including but not limited to: 

  • Current MWCC Automotive Student in good academic and conduct standing
  • Endorsement of MWCC Automotive Faculty and Department Chair

Please note that the manufacturer-specific training is in addition to the standard automotive curriculum, is non-credit course work and provides the opportunity for certification and placement for each manufacturer.

Automotive Technology Degree (ATD)

The Automotive Technology Degree prepares you for a variety of technical and managerial positions in transportation-related industries. MWCC’s comprehensive program in computerized automotive service technology is not manufacturer specific. The combination of specialized and general training gives students maximum employment flexibility. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities are expected to be very good for those who complete formal automotive training. The Automotive Technology program has National Certification at the MAST (master-level of automotive service training) in the areas of brakes, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair, automatic transmissions and transaxles, manual drive train and axles, heating and air conditioning and suspension and steering, in accordance with standards developed and recognized by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Year 1
FallCredits
AUT 120Performance And Diagnosis I 5.5
AUT 122Brakes 5
AUT 123Electrical Systems I 4.5
AUT 110Introduction to Automotive Technology 3
Spring
AUT 121Performance And Diagnosis II 5
AUT 127Suspension And Steering 5
ENG 101College Writing I 3
Summer
AUT 205Automotive Cooperative 3
ENG 102College Writing II 3
MAT 126Topics In Mathematics 3
Year 2
Fall
AUT 124Electrical Systems II 4.5
AUT 125Engine Repair 6
AUT 130Manual Transmissions 4
PHY 101Introduction To Physical Science 4
Spring
AUT 204Heating And Air Conditioning 3
AUT 131Automatic Transmissions 4
Social Science Elective 1 3
Humanities Elective 2 3
Liberal Arts and Science Elective 3 3
 Total Credits: 74.5
1

Social Science Electives: See Elective Courses by Abbreviation.

2

Humanities Electives: See Elective Courses by Abbreviation.

3

Liberal Arts and Science Electives (includes the Humanities, Sciences, Mathematics and Social Sciences or a Business, Management or Marketing course): See Elective Courses by Abbreviation. MGT 110 STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

4

AUT courses greater than five years in age will not be applicable to the program of study.

Campus

Beginning Fall Semester 2020, this program will be offered at an offsite location approximately one mile from the Gardner Campus.  For more details please contact Admissions at 978-630-9110 or admissions@mwcc.mass.edu

Student Success Tips

Students enrolled in the Automotive Technology Degree curriculum may gain work experience through cooperative education.

Transfer Options

For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.

Special Requirements

Students are required to purchase safety glasses, safety shoes, and a basic tool set.  Please see Required Automotive Tools. Also, students will be required to enroll in late afternoon classes. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Career Options/Earning Potential

For career options, please click here.

Automotive Technology Certificate (ATC)

This program will prepare you for a variety of positions in transportation-related industries. MWCC’s comprehensive program in computerized automotive service technology is not manufacturer specific; the combination of specialized and general training gives students maximum employment flexibility. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities are expected to be very good for those who complete formal automotive training. The Automotive Technology program has National Certification at the MAST (master-level automotive technician) in the areas of brakes, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair, automatic transmissions and transaxles, manual drive train and axles, heating and air conditioning and suspension and steering, in accordance with standards developed and recognized by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Year 1
FallCredits
AUT 120Performance And Diagnosis I 5.5
AUT 122Brakes 5
AUT 123Electrical Systems I 4.5
AUT 110Introduction to Automotive Technology 3
Spring
AUT 121Performance And Diagnosis II 5
AUT 127Suspension And Steering 5
AUT 124Electrical Systems II 4.5
AUT 125Engine Repair 6
Summer
AUT 205Automotive Cooperative 3
Year 2
Fall
AUT 130Manual Transmissions 4
AUT 131Automatic Transmissions 4
AUT 204Heating And Air Conditioning 3
 Total Credits: 52.5
1

Courses greater than five years in age will not be applicable to the program of study.

Campus

Beginning Fall Semester 2020, this program will be offered at an offsite location approximately one mile from the Gardner Campus.  For more details please contact Admissions at 978-630-9110 or admissions@mwcc.mass.edu.
 

Special Requirements

Students are required to purchase safety glasses, safety shoes, and a basic tool set. Please see Required Automotive Tools. Also, students will be required to enroll in late afternoon classes. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Transfer Options

This program is intended for immediate career entry. Courses completed as part of this certificate program can be applied to the Automotive Technology Degree.

Career Options/Earning Potential

For career options, please click here.

 

Program Student Learning Outcomes for ATD and ATC

Upon graduation from this program, students shall have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Diagnose and repair steering and suspension systems.
  • Diagnose and repair wheel alignment, wheel, and tire.
  • Diagnose and repair hydraulic system.
  • Diagnose and repair brake drum and disc.
  • Diagnose and repair power assist units.
  • Diagnose and repair wheel bearings, parking brakes, and electrical.
  • Diagnose general electrical system.
  • Diagnose and service battery.
  • Diagnose and repair gauges, warning devices, and driver information systems.
  • Diagnose and repair horn, wiper washer, and accessories.
  • Perform general engine diagnosis and related service.
  • Diagnose and repair ignition and fuel/exhaust systems.
  • Diagnose and repair emission control systems.
  • Remove and reinstall engine.
  • Diagnose and repair cylinder head, valve train, engine block, lubrication, and cooling systems.
  • Diagnose and repair clutch, transmission, trans axle, drive shaft, universal joint, rear axle, and 4-wheel drive component.

Technical Standards1 for ATC and ATD

1

For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see Technical Standards.

Students entering these programs must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level;
  • Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format;
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data;
  • Utilize laptop and desktop computers for diagnostic and instructional purposes;
  • Stand, stoop, and walk for a minimum of three hours;
  • Lift 40 pounds to waist high, shoulder high, and above the head;
  • Manipulate small objects without dropping or damaging them;
  • Determine by touch and / or sight: hotness/coldness, wetness/dryness, or motion/non-motion;
  • Work indoors in the presence of loud, repetitious noise levels (not to exceed regulatory standards) as well as hear and respond to workplace noise;
  • Independently differentiate color-coded components and color-coded diagrams;
  • Function in a standard workplace environment that contains monitored hydrocarbons and vehicle emission vapors.

Required Automotive Tools

The Automotive Program at MWCC is among many designed for immediate career entry.  Industry practice requires automotive technicians to enter the workplace equipped with their own set of automotive tools.  For this reason, MWCC has included the cost of the required automotive tool kit in the fees for the Automotive Program. This new policy is effective for all incoming students Fall 2016 and thereafter. It is extremely important that students understand their financial obligation in regards to ownership of the automotive tool kit. Students who withdraw from the automotive program may not return the tool kit to the college and will not be refunded the cost of the automotive tools.  Students may only remove the automotive tool kits from MWCC property once their student account is paid in full.  Before receiving the automotive tool kit, students must make payment arrangements and will be required to sign a Statement of Understanding confirming their financial responsibility and ownership of the automotive tools.

A community college education is the most affordable option in higher education today.  Many community college students are eligible for financial aid, and in some cases, a combination of grant and loan funding may be utilized to cover part or all of the cost of mandatory tools.  For exact pricing please visit the Cost of Attendance section of the catalog.

AUT 110. Introduction to Automotive Technology. 3 Credits.

Introduction to Automotive Technology examines the role and opportunities of the automotive service professional in today’s automotive industry. Shop environment, tools/equipment, and personal safety are emphasized. Students will experience typical job-entry service skills and vehicle maintenance inspections. The necessary resources providing service information are examined. An introduction of vehicle operation and support systems will be presented. This course provides the background information required to continue in the automotive technology program.

AUT 120. Performance And Diagnosis I. 5.5 Credits.

Students will learn to use diagnostic test equipment for quick and efficient problem solving. Engine vacuum testing, compression testing, cylinder leak-down testing, and cylinder power balance testing will be required. Students will learn to use an infrared analyzer to understand the effects on pollution that an improperly running engine creates. Principles of doing a tune-up will be explored. Ignition systems including point type, electronic, and distributorless systems will be covered. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092 (or corequisite), RDG 098, or placement; AUT 110 (or corequisite). Fall.

AUT 121. Performance And Diagnosis II. 5 Credits.

This course is a continuation of AUT 120 Performance and Diagnosis I. Students will learn about the various fuels used today and the problems associated with them. Fuel delivery systems starting with the carburetor through todays fuel injection systems will be studied. Emission control systems such as PCV, EGR, EFE, AIR, and the catalytic converter will be examined along with the pollutants they reduce. Computerized engine controls along with their sensors will be tested and examined for proper performance. On Board Diagnostics II will be discussed and explored. Students will complete sample questions in preparation for the ASE Certification exams. Prerequisite: AUT 120 or permission of division dean. Spring.

AUT 122. Brakes. 5 Credits.

This course is designed to teach students various brake systems and repair. Students will study master cylinders, proportioning valves, metering, and disc brake repair and diagnosis. Students will learn about power assist units and wheel bearing diagnosis and repair. Anti-lock brake systems will be studied and tested as well as brake fluids and brake bleeding. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092 (or corequisite), RDG 098, or placement; AUT 110 (or corequisite). Fall.

AUT 123. Electrical Systems I. 4.5 Credits.

This course covers the fundamentals of electricity and magnetism, along with exploring the relationship of volts, ohms, and amps. The course will apply these two series, parallel, and series-parallel circuits. Semiconductor components such as diodes and transistors will be explored. Students will learn to use digital volt-ohm meters and oscilloscopes. Battery design and testing will be explored along with starting and charging systems. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092 (or corequisite), RDG 098, or placement; AUT 110 (or corequisite). Fall.

AUT 124. Electrical Systems II. 4.5 Credits.

This course is a continuation of AUT 123 Electrical Systems I. Using wiring diagrams, students will examine headlights, taillights, and parking lights for proper operation. Stoplights, turn signals, hazard lights, and back-up light circuits will be examined and repaired. The operation of the power door locks and power windows will be examined. Electrical circuits associated with dashboards, gauges, printed circuits, and digital instrument clusters will be studied along with various other electrical circuits. Prerequisite: AUT 123 or permission of division dean. Spring.

AUT 125. Engine Repair. 6 Credits.

The lecture and lab periods for this course cover designs, nomenclature, and theory of operation of internal combustion engines, including valves and operating mechanism, piston and connecting rod assembly, crankshaft and bearing, lubrication system, cooling system, crankcase ventilation, engines, fuels, and lubricants. This course also includes an introduction to the study of the Wankel, diesel, and other propulsion systems. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092 (or corequisite), RDG 098, or placement; AUT 110 (or corequisite).

AUT 127. Suspension And Steering. 5 Credits.

This course is designed to teach students the various suspension components and systems. Students will learn how to inspect and replace steering components. Rack and pinion steering gears, vehicle riding height, body sway, front and rear end alignment, and tire problems will be studied. Prerequisites: AUT 110; ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092 (or corequisite), RDG 098, or placement. Spring.

AUT 130. Manual Transmissions. 4 Credits.

This course covers the components and operation of manual transmissions, transaxles, clutches, differentials, drive shafts, transfer cases and all-wheel / four-wheel drive systems. Operating system principles pertaining to hydrodynamics, fluid couplings, clutch assemblies, and shift controls will be discussed. Diagnostic techniques, component, and system testing as well as maintenance procedures are accomplished in the lab sessions. Ancillary drive train components such as drive shafts, CV joints, differentials, and transfer cases are explored. Prerequisites: AUT 125. Spring.

AUT 131. Automatic Transmissions. 4 Credits.

This course is the study of the construction and operation of automatic transmissions and transaxles. Emphasis will be on the diagnostic techniques of electrical, hydraulic and mechanical systems. The disassembly and reassembly of selected transmissions will strengthen student understanding. Students will inspect, measure and test the transmission as required for successful performance. Prerequisite: AUT 125.

AUT 204. Heating And Air Conditioning. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to teach students about the theory and operation of heating and air conditioning systems. Students will learn about heat transfer, temperature pressure relationships, and control systems. The course will cover the theory and operation of air conditioning systems, air management delivery systems, and electronic climate control systems. The course will prepare students to take the ASE test A-7 Heating and Air Conditioning Systems. Prerequisites: FYE 101, MAT 092 (or corequisite), RDG 098 or placement.

AUT 205. Automotive Cooperative. 3 Credits.

This is the Automotive Degree Program’s required internship, offered during the summer semester only. This internship is designed to help you relate your college courses to your career goals. This provides students with hands-on entry-level experience at a new car dealership or an independent repair facility or repair shop. Students are required to work at a facility approved by the Automotive Program Department Chair. Periodic supervisor evaluations based on performance and other criteria related to successful employment will be completed and reviewed by the co-op coordinator and site supervisor and will be the basis for the final grade. Tools identified on the student tool list are required at the co-op site. A minimum grade of C is required to continue toward degree completion. This three-credit cooperative course requires a minimum of 120 hours automotive work at an approved facility. Prerequisite: Successful completion of 25 AUT credits. Summer.