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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
  • 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
  • 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 brake, 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 electronic engine 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 vehicle service information
  • Exhibit understanding of appropriate customer interactions
  • Exhibit understanding of automotive, environmental, and hazardous materials
  • Display understanding of safe work environment, shop procedures, and proper handling of customer vehicle


Written Assessment:

Administration Time: 3 hours

Number of Questions: 168


Areas Covered:

Engine Repair: 5%

Automatic Transmission and Transaxle: 5%

Manual Drive Train and Axles: 10%

Suspension and Steering: 14%

Brakes: 13%

Electrical and Electronic Systems: 16%

Heating and Air Conditioning: 7%

Engine Performance: 15%

Customer Relations and Shop Procedures: 15%


Sample Questions:

When replacing the timing belt on a dual overhead cam engine, the technician needs to

  1.  remove the engine
  2.  lock the cams in place
  3.  replace the dual cam
  4.  re-torque the head bolts


To check fluid level on an automatic transmission equipped with a fluid level sensor instead of a dipstick, use a/an

  1.  inspection sight glass
  2.  pressure flow chart
  3.  approved flush machine
  4.  scan tool


Inspection of a hydraulic clutch system for leaks should include the 

  1.  throw-out bearing adjustment
  2.  clutch master cylinder
  3.  clutch pedal free travel 
  4.  automatic adjuster  


A parallelogram steering linkage utilizes the pitman and idler arms to support the 

  1.  strut rods
  2.  steering coupler
  3.  center link
  4.  track bar


For lateral runout, a technician should use a 

  1.  tape measure 
  2.  micrometer
  3.  dial indicator
  4.  linear caliper


A side load condition on a wheel bearing occurs when the vehicle is 

  1.  cornering
  2.  in reverse
  3.  stationary
  4.  Moving


Terminal voltage for a fully charged battery is

  1.  12.0 volts
  2.  12.2 volts
  3.  12.4 volts
  4.  12.6 volts


A gurgling sound from the dash in the area of the heater core should indicate 

  1.  high coolant flow
  2.  high coolant temperature
  3.  low coolant temperature 
  4.  low coolant level  


Low compression in two adjacent cylinders is usually caused by a  

  1.  cracked head
  2.  cracked or broken ring
  3.  damaged head gasket
  4.  burnt valve


Greasy or oily rags should be stored in a/an

  1.  specified area of the shop 
  2.  approved covered metal container
  3.  outside container
  4.  marked storage shelf



Performance Assessment:

Administration Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes

Number of Jobs: 6


Areas Covered:

5% Identification of parts

Participant will identify each part displayed on workbench and write the  name beside the corresponding number.


27% Brakes:  Disc Brake Assembly Service

Participant will measure and record lateral runout and rotor thickness, remove brake pads, set up lathe and cut, replace brake pads, record caliper mounting bolt torque specifications, remount caliper and torque caliper, and return vehicle to pre-job status.


22% Electrical/Electronic Systems:  Test and Diagnose Battery, Starting, and Charging System

Participant will perform an source voltage test, batter load test, ground circuit voltage drop test, alternator output test, and record recommendation.  Steps will require the participant to look up and record specifications throughout the diagnosis. 


11% Engine Performance:  Test Electronic Engine Control Component

Participant will identify trouble codes and give descriptions, use service information to identify and locate components related to trouble codes, inform evaluator of findings, and will leave codes when finished. 


15% 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 while correctly positioning the TPMS sensor. Steps will include inflating the tire to 28 psi maximum inflation, balancing the tire and wheel assembly, and following safety standards.


20% Headlight Amperage Draw Test

Participant will find the fuse that controls low beam, measure and record source voltage, measure and record amperage, calculate and record the resistance, recommend required amperage fuse, notify evaluator, and reset the DVOM and remove the leads.


Sample Job:

Suspension and Steering:  Tire Service and Balance

Maximum Time:   20 minutes

Participant Activity:  The participant will demonstrate the ability to dismount the tire from the wheel while positioning, TPMS sensor, mount a replacement tire on the wheel while correctly positioning the TPMS sensor, inflate to 28 psi, balance tire and wheel assembly, and notify evaluator for inspection.