New Engines Spark Auto Services Program
Automotive Service 1 students hover around new Ford Zetec 2.0-litre engines mounted on specially designed portable engine stands. They know that they’re being trained on the latest equipment, but they might not know exactly how lucky they are.
“Before we had these new engines, our Auto 1 students were learning on older twin-cylinder engines,” said Kevin Walker, automotive services instructor. “The equipment definitely needed to be updated.”
The 24 new engines were purchased at a specially discounted rate through Varsity Ford, which has been a big supporter of WCC’s automotive program for several years. Ross Gordon, auto services curriculum specialist, worked with the instructors to develop a step-by-step manual for the class.
“Talk about a leap forward!” said Gordon. “Not only are the students learning on brand new engines, but when they reassemble the engines they get a chance to actually start them, which is unique to this program.”
Along with the new engines, the students also have new accompanying toolboxes stocked specifically for their labs. One of the biggest benefits to the students, according to Gordon, is that not only is their experience standardized because they’re all learning on the same engines, but by the time they get to the advanced auto classes they’re already a step ahead.
The activity in the classroom is high as the students take the engines apart, learn how to use diagnostic gauges, and smooth out parts. “These engines are industry standard,” said Michael Aldridge, an automotive services student. “These are the kinds of engines I anticipated when I enrolled in the program.”
“The students are ecstatic about the new engines,” said Walker. “The class is much easier to teach because the students are excited about it. The new engines keep their attention. It takes the whole auto services program to a new level.”