With the need to practice social distancing and self-quarantines, nearly everyone has some extra time on their hands these days. Now, to most people, the shelter-in-place orders may seem like a burden—but the mandatory downtime can provide hidden opportunities to those willing to keep an open mind.
For instance, you can use the spare time to improve your automotive repair knowledge. One of the best things about the auto industry is that it’s continuously changing. There’s always something new to learn, which is why, even though I’m an ASE certified master technician, I’m continuously seeking new ways to boost my knowledge.
There are many excellent educational resources available online—you just need to know where to look. To help out, I’ve put together a list of my go-to websites, digital magazines, and YouTube channels that can help you learn more about automotive repair.
Regardless of whether you’re a newbie or an industry veteran, you’ll find these materials useful.
Recommended Educational Content to Upgrade Your Repair Skills
Even though the coronavirus pandemic has you cooped up, there’s no need to stop being productive. Turn off Netflix, put down the remote, and check out these online resources to enhance your automotive repair knowledge.
Websites and Digital Magazines
A quick Google search reveals countless websites claiming to be authorities on automotive repair. The problem is, even some of the most popular sites can sometimes contain inaccurate information.
That’s why I’ve put together a list of websites and digital magazines that offer material that’s both correct and useful.
The proprietor of AA1Car, Larry Carley, is a wealth of automotive knowledge. With so many websites out there peddling false information, AA1Car is a breath of fresh air. Larry’s website offers a library of accurate information that’s easy to digest.
You’ll find useful information under the “Tech Stuff” portion of the Auto Service Professional website. There’s also a magazine (both print and digital) that automotive professionals can subscribe to, free of charge.
If you want to upgrade your knowledge of engines, check out Engine Professional magazine. The publication covers all aspects of engine diagnosis, failure analysis and repair, making it an invaluable tool.
I find it helpful to take an occasional break from the glow of a computer monitor, so I subscribe to the print edition of Motor Magazine. You can also view the publication for free online. It’s one of the best automotive service magazines available—I read it every month.
Underhood Service is similar to Motor Magazine. The publication provides information and advice geared toward automotive professionals. Digital issues are available for free online. Check it out; it’s definitely worth reading.
On its website, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) covers cutting-edge technology. It’s a great resource if you want to stay on top of the latest industry trends. The only downside is that, for some people, the articles may be a bit overly technical and difficult to follow.
Still, both the website and magazine offer excellent information that’s worth wrapping your head around.
Many people are intimidated by the complexity of transmissions, especially automatics. Transmission Digest magazine helps demystify these sophisticated assemblies, while also providing tips on diagnosis and repair.
Online Training Materials
In addition to perusing the websites above, you may want to consider investing in some online training. Although most of the resources mentioned below cost money to access, they’re well worth the investment.
ACDC offers on-demand hybrid training courses, as well as books and other resources. I personally took a few of the online classes and ordered a couple of books before taking (and passing) the ASE L3 Light Duty Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Specialist certification test.
TST offers exceptional online courses covering a large variety of topics. Many training videos are available on-demand, once you become a member.
There are even some presentations that are available free of charge.
When I first got into the auto industry, I bought the entire collection of ASE A-Series study guides. And I read each book from cover to cover multiple times.
Now, the study guides are available online in digital format. If you’re serious about becoming a professional technician—or you’re a dedicated DIYer—these books are a must-have.
Written by James Haldeman, this textbook is basically the bible of automotive technology. You can purchase it in digital format from several online sources.
There are countless automotive repair videos on YouTube. But the problem is, many of them offer inaccurate or incomplete information. If you’re looking for high-quality videos offering trustworthy content, stop searching and check out the channels below.
When I want to know how an unfamiliar technology works, this is one of the first channels I visit. The training videos are top-notch, despite the fact that most are narrated by a rather peculiar, robotic voice.
Eric might have a relaxed, conversational tone, but don’t let that fool you. He knows his stuff and he makes it easy for viewers to understand.
If you want to improve your diagnostic skills, check out ScannerDanner. His channel, which focuses mostly on advance troubleshooting strategies, makes difficult concepts easy to understand.
Okay—maybe I’m a bit biased since I graduated from Weber State University. But I honestly think the Weber Auto channel offers some of the best videos on YouTube.
Professor John Kelly is one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry—and he’s extremely passionate about teaching the next generation of automotive professionals.