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Memorandum

 

To:            Donna Shea, Instructor

From:        Phil Fournier

Date:        10/27/2004

Subject:    WR3 World Wide Web Resources

I conducted research on this project for websites that would be appropriate to a class that I teach in Automotive Engine Performance.  My search engine of choice is www.google.com  but I also used www.yahoo.com and the following search words were used: “Auto technicians”, “flat rate” (jargon used by professional auto technicians), “engine diagnostics”, and “engine performance.”  It is interesting that the words that yielded the most success were “engine performance” which happens to be right out of the title of my course.  I chose the words “flat rate” because they are so well known among technicians who work under the unfortunate compensation system that has plagued auto repair for many years, but it yielded only one useful result.

1.      http://www.needtechs.com/

This website is resource for technicians looking for jobs.  While the students in my class may not be ready for employment yet, nevertheless a look at this website early on in the semester should be a good incentive for the students to stick with the course. 

2.      http://www.iatn.net/

This website is a veritable treasure trove of information.  Most of the information is pretty advanced for beginning students but even so there is so much here that it wouldn’t take much searching around the site to find a great deal of benefit even to the beginning technician.  I would use this site as a source of research assignments for my students.  The website requires technicians to join and requires they have four years of experience, which most students don’t have.  However, I could allow the students to perform searches under my name.

3.      http://www.natef.org/career/auto.cfm

This is a fairly simple website that came up while searching under “auto technician”.  It is more or less a question and answer site for students designed to convince them that being an auto technician is a worthwhile career. 

4.      http://www.bmwe34.net/E34main/Trouble/Engine_diagnose.htm

This website is pretty simple and dedicated to the BMW make, but is has some neat graphics and simple procedures related to engine performance, as well to other parts of the vehicle.  This site would make for a good research assignment early in the class.

5.      http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question172.htm

While this website is mainly connected to high performance and vehicle modification, this is often a good way to ignite the automotive student’s interest.

6.      http://www.carcarecouncil.org/Engine/tune_up.shtml

This site appears to be mainly directed to consumers, but it has some good information for beginning students.

7.      http://www.highperformancepontiac.com/tech/0209hpp_fire/

This site has great information on the combustion process, essential to understanding engine performance.  Like number 5 above, this site focuses on high performance.  Many young people get into automotive because they start off wanting to “hot-rod” their own vehicle. 

8.      http://www.flatrater.com/

This site is a subscription site, but is has some good teasers that address some excellent critical thinking skills, the kind I strive to teach in my classes.  The subscription price is very reasonable and may be within the reach of most of the students.   Manufacturers write their troubleshooting charts with the assumption that the technicians reading it either cannot or will not think and therefore must be led step by step down a “trouble tree”.  But the result is that they charts very often fail to lead to a successful repair.  This site suggests troubleshooting strategies that rely on understanding the system and using critical thinking skills to arrive at a determination of what is at fault.