Auto Repair Technician

Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your accredited online learning program includes 11 Instruction Sets designed to take you step by step through the knowledge and skills you’ll employ in your new career in Auto Repair.

Here's how it works: You can start studying your first Instruction Set online as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows®-based computer (or Mac equivalent) and high-speed Internet in order to complete your program with Penn Foster.

Here is an overview of what you’ll learn and the order in which you’ll access your lessons.

Note: A High School Diploma, Secondary School Diploma, or equivalent is required to enroll in this program.

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.

Program Outcomes:
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

Instruction Set 1

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages; access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers; and connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Introduction to Auto Repair
In today's fast moving society, millions of people rely on trained Auto Repair Technicians to keep them on the go.

Instruction Set 2

Automotive Engines: Lower-End Assembly
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.

Automotive Engines: Upper-End Assembly
The components and systems that you’ve already learned about work in conjunction with the ones you'll learn in this lesson.

Automotive Safety, Tools, and Equipment
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.

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

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

Instruction Set 3

Engine Repair
Learn to diagnose problems and repair the most important and most serviced component of any car...the engine.

Texbook: Automotive Technology, 5th Edition

Instruction Set 4

Electrical and Electronic Systems
With the introduction of computer controls and electrically powered convenience items, the electrical system has become a big part of a vehicle and its repair.

Learning Aid: Digital Multimeter

Supplement: Multimeter Operation Manual

Instruction Set 5

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
Today's automobiles and light trucks have sophisticated HVAC systems that need to be serviced regularly.

Instruction Set 6

Engine Performance
Keeping an engine in top running condition requires an understanding of fuel, ignition, and emissions systems.

Instruction Set 7

Hybrid and Fuel Cell Vehicles
Modern technology and ecological awareness has transformed the automotive industry, and created openings for specialized technicians.

Instruction Set 8

No one would want a car with faulty brakes. It's one of the most important systems of an automobile.

Instruction Set 9

Suspension and Steering
The suspension and steering systems keep the car firmly on the road in all kinds of weather.

Instruction Set 10

Manual Drivetrain and Axles
Transmissions use an engine's power to create motion. Control over that power is what manual transmissions are all about.

Instruction Set 11

Automatic Transmissions and Transaxles
Transmissions can automatically control an engine's power in modern complex automobiles.


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

You must have completed the 8th grade to enroll in this program.