Interested in the automotive service industry? Want to learn more about how cars work, take the steps necessary to receive your Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification, and have a ready reference to return to again and again throughout your career? Look no further than Automotive Technology: Principles, Diagnosis and Service by James D. Halderman and Chase D. Mitchell, Jr.
Though several editions are available, if you can land your hands on the glossy paperback edition complete with full-color photos and diagrams, that’s your best bet. It’s probably also the newest and cheapest version of the series. It’s based around the eight major testing areas that you’ll need to achieve your ASE certification as mandated by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
Each chapter is chock full of everything you need to learn and more. Each chapter is designed to help you succeed. The objectives are laid out easily on the first page of every chapter, followed by plenty of definitions, figures, diagrams, photos, charts and more. Photos are crystal clear and diagrams are easy to follow. The text often takes up less than half of the material, making it a breeze to read and digest.
There are also several helpful boxes in each chapter used to highlight specific important information. For example, the blue Frequently Asked Questions boxes do just that—answer lots of answers that prospective technicians may have. Some of these may include how to earn more money, what is the Julian Date, how does the pressure cap make the water pump more efficient.
Another box is the orange Tech Tip box, which emphasizes special tricks of the trade that every technician should be sure to follow. These can include tips n checking the radiator (rather than the overflow container), diagnosing cooling system problems, and caution regarding water use. Red Safety Tip boxes provide important information to keep mechanics safe, while yellow Caution boxes point out things that mechanics should always be wary of during operations.
There are also green Note boxes, which explain further details on previously mentioned topics, such as proper temperatures to maintain. Blue Hint boxes also give great tips on practical components, such as burping the system and diagnosing various problems in the engine.
Each chapter ends with an important summary and potential test questions to review. It really is a fantastic book that wraps up nearly everything you need to know in one place.