Automotive Technology

Automotive Technology


My name is Rick Marshall, I’m a professor of Automotive Technology
at Solano Community College. We offer everywhere from
automotive fundamentals getting the beginning start of servicing cars and knowing about automobiles.
All the way up to brakes, steering, auto trans, manual trans, differentials.
We teach electrical, advanced electronics we teach driveability, which is an engine performance class,
as well as electric, hybrid, and alternative fuel classes.
My name is Andrew McGee, I’m from Solano Community College automotive technology department.
Here in Solano County we are the only automotive technology training facility.
We’re in a brand new multi-million dollar facility equipped with chassis dynos for 4-wheel drive and 2-wheel drive vehicles
We also have a bunch of vehicles in our fleet, approximately 50,
ranging from diesel, to gasoline, and hybrid and fully-electric vehicles as well.
I started my program at the older facility and just the upgrade and things they were able to do
to this new facility has just blown my mind!
All the tools are top-notch and has literally tripled the space that we used to work in.
When they get into the field and they get that job working as a technician,
they’re familiar with all the latest and greatest tools, all the safety measures, and all the procedures on how to work those items.
Every day I’m learning about how to do things right.
He gives us two hours with book work and two hours are hands-on, and if you got more to do on hands-on. And if you’ve got more to do
we’ll just do an hour of book work or 30 minutes and we’ll be out in the garage and turning wrenches.
We’re doing basic electrical and we have 6 cars we’re set up with real-world
problems from blowers not working to not starting, to taillight shorts, and they’re learning how to
diagnose it on a car in an actual broken car—not just to do it in a book.
Not only are we able to fix cars and diagnose them properly the first time,
but we can also relate to the customer on a one-on-one basis.
They’re training us to be professional. So it’s not just about working on cars
we also do work orders where we have to communicate with customers.
And they’re giving us problems in the real world.
We have interns with all different dealers. We’ve done a lot of job placement. I think about 50 students we placed last year in the industry.
We have internships going with Hyundai, Mazda, Chevrolet, Nissan.
They do a semester usually so it’s usually 16 weeks you do an internship of about 8 to 10 hours a week,
and they work and are trained at the same time as they’re taking classes.
I just actually started working on a lube shop myself and the experiences that my teachers
have shared with me have helped prepare me so much for what I’m actually doing in the field. Our teachers
have a lot of experience and knowledge and then to be able to see that work into our labs is really cool.
[Teacher talking to students] …because the AC isn’t going to cool the car if there’s no fan. So it shuts it off…
The faculty and staff here are world-class.
we’ve had faculty from the automotive industry, from the aviation industry,
with decades of hands-on real-world experience that we bring here to the classroom.
With the instructors, the facility, and the equipment we have, if a person is interested in automobiles or working
with their hands they should definitely give it a try.
The labs are great, the lectures are easy to sit through, and then the amount of
resources that we have at our hands just makes learning so much easier.
I’ve seen so many great mechanics come out of this program that it just shows that it’s able to do what it’s supposed to do.


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