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Automotive Technician-Core

Entry Level Assessment Blueprint

Specific Competencies and Skills Tested in this Assessment:

Engine Repair

  • Inspect and service general engine issues, including adjusting valve trains
  • Inspect, test, and service lubrication and cooling systems


Automatic Transmission and Transaxle

  • Check fluids on transmission/transaxle
  • Perform in-vehicle transmission/transaxle inspections and service
  • Describe and identify operational characteristics of transmission/transaxle for CVT and hybrids


Manual Drive Train and Axles

  • Check fluid condition and service transmissions and transaxles
  • Perform clutch master cylinder inspections and service
  • Identify, describe, inspect, and service manual transmission and transaxle issues
  • Inspect and service drive shaft, half shafts, universal, and constant-velocity (CV) joints
  • Inspect and service differential case assembly
  • Inspect and service four wheel drive and all wheel drive systems


Suspension and Steering 

  • Perform related suspension and steering systems inspection and service
  • Perform vehicle pre-alignment inspection and ride-height
  • Inspect and service wheels and tires



  • Inspect and service hydraulic system
  • Inspect and service drum brakes
  • Inspect and service disc brakes
  • Inspect and service power-assist units
  • Inspect and service miscellaneous systems (e.g., wheel bearings, parking brakes, electrical)
  • Identify and describe electronic brakes, traction, and stability control systems 


Electrical and Electronic Systems

  • Inspect and service general electrical/electronic systems
  • Inspect and service batteries
  • Inspect and service starting systems
  • Inspect and service charging systems
  • Inspect and service lighting systems
  • Inspect and service accessories


Heating and Air Conditioning

  • Inspect and service refrigeration system components
  • Inspect and service heating, ventilation, and engine cooling systems
  • Inspect and service operating systems and related controls


Engine Performance

  • Inspect and service general engine performance
  • Identify and describe computerized controls
  • Inspect and service fuel, air induction, and exhaust systems
  • Inspect and service emissions control systems

Customer Relations and Shop Procedures

  • Interpret and estimate repair and work orders
  • Utilize computerized and written vehicle service information
  • Exhibit understanding of appropriate customer interactions
  • Exhibit understanding of automotive, environmental, and hazardous materials
  • Display understanding of safe work environment and shop procedures
  • Identify proper tool handling and maintenance procedures

Written Assessment: 

Administration Time: 3 hours   

Number of Questions: 172

Areas Covered:

Engine Repair: 5%

Automatic Transmission and Transaxle: 5%

Manual Drive Train and Axles: 14%

Suspension and Steering: 8%

Brakes: 13%

Electrical and Electronic Systems: 15%

Heating and Air Conditioning: 9%

Engine Performance: 20%

Customer Relations and Shop Procedures: 11%


Sample Questions:

Coolant in the engine oil would most likely indicate a

  1.  Leaking water pump
  2.  Cracked engine block
  3.  Leaking head gasket
  4.  Leaking oil cooler


When installing a new transmission rear seal,

  1.  The inner and outer lips should be installed dry
  2.  The inner lip should be lubed with the fluid it is sealing
  3.  The inner lip should be coated with RTV
  4.  Lapping compound should be used for a quicker seal


A typical rear axle lube would be

  1.  10W-30
  2.  Dexron III®
  3.  GL5 85W-90 
  4.  Mercon®  


Servicing the fluid on a rear differential without a drain plug may require

  1.  Axle shaft removal
  2.  Driveshaft removal
  3.  A suction gun
  4.  A grease gun


The technician bleeds the power steering system by

  1.  Opening a bleeder valve 
  2.  Removing the pressure line
  3.  Removing the return line
  4.  Turning the steering wheel


Proper dynamic tire balancing can help to alleviate

  1.  Torque steer reaction
  2.  High speed steering wheel shimmy
  3.  Front end pull
  4.  Low speed steering wheel shimmy


Performance Assessment:

Administration Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes

Number of Jobs: 4

Areas Covered:

35% Brakes:  Disc Brake Assembly Service 

Participant will follow procedures to remove caliper mounting bolts and replace brake pads. Steps will require the participants to remount and torque caliper, measure and record required specifications and adhere strictly to all safety procedures.


32% Electrical/Electronic Systems:  Test and Diagnose Battery, Starting, and Charging System 

Participant will perform an open circuit voltage test, battery capacity test, starter draw test, ground circuit voltage drop test, and alternator output test. Steps will require the participant to look up and record specifications throughout the diagnosis.


15% Engine Performance:  Test Electronic Engine Control Component

Participant will retrieve and document numerical trouble codes using service information to identify the trouble code(s) set. Participant will locate components on a vehicle that relate to the trouble codes identified.


18% Suspension and Steering:  Tire Service and Balance 

Participant will demonstrate the ability to dismount a tire from a wheel and mount a replacement tire on the wheel. Steps will include inflating the tire to 90% maximum inflation, balancing the tire and wheel assembly, and following safety standards.


Sample Job:

Suspension and Steering:  Tire Service and


Maximum Time:   15 minutes

Participant Activity:  The participant will dismount the tire from the wheel, mount replacement tire on wheel, inflate to 28 psi, balance tire and wheel assembly, and notify evaluator for inspection.