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I’m In Love With My Car

What’s going on in NOVA Auto? Glad you asked! Lots! With five day classes running, NOVA’s Auto shop is almost always busy. At any given time you may find students perfecting their skills with basic hand tools, such as hand files, drills, taps, and dies for Module 5 “Shop Work”.  Or they may be learning the basics of car care: oil/fluid selection and changes; tire changes and balancing; exhaust system work; drive belt inspection and replacement; as well as general vehicle inspections for the “Routine Maintenance” module.

Some students in our more senior classes are learning about ABS and vehicle security systems. I know I shouldn’t say this, but personally this is where I find things start to get really interesting.  Working to solve complex problems ties together many of the previously acquired competencies, for example: finding technical information; reading wiring diagrams; and using diagnostic equipment such as oscilloscopes and scan tools. Once done, then the work can actually start. Pulling all that information together to arrive at a correct diagnosis, and then performing the repair is what it’s all about.

From that point on, things really start to roll; “Ignition System Inspection and Repair”, and then on to Module 25 “Inspecting Electronic Injection and Anti-pollution Systems”.  In other words, engine management or fuel injection. My class is currently in this module, in the pictures there is a group of students around a vehicle with their thumbs and hands up in celebration. The reason for that is they just diagnosed and repaired a challenging no start condition. Cool stuff!

Speaking of cool stuff, NOVA Auto was fortunate enough to procure a new engine test bench from Consulab that simulates a 2013 Buick Allure with a 3.6l engine. The reason for our excitement is that this particular powertrain has all the latest technology to keep ours students on the leading edge of industry standards. High pressure direct injection, variable valve timing on all four cams, push button start, new cylinder head technology that eliminates the need for exhaust manifolds, AWD…I guess I should stop. It’s simply amazing. Friday after school, a few students and teachers stayed back to “experiment” with this new piece of equipment. Just looking at the SIDI fuel injector voltage wave form and current traces were real eye openers. They behave nothing like traditional injectors, fortunately near the end of November we will be hosting a training seminar dealing with among other things, just this.

Before anyone gets the notion that school is all work and no play, we had some strange characters wondering around our shops on the 31st of October, I think Captain Morgan…er, Captain Dave may have been the strangest… We also had students participating in a basketball tournament through the newly formed NOVA Athletics project. Help us wish them luck! I had the opportunity to watch a couple of practices, they’re awesome! GO NOVA!

Derek Stacey (Automobile Mechanics program)