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Learning about automotive technology for high school junior

My son 17 likes to tinker and is interested in cars. We live in Newton, Ma. Is there anything he can do this summer to learn about cars and satisfy his passion? He need not be paid, though we wouldn’t turn that down.

Thank you.


Tom and Ray (Click and Clack) take in interns. I think they did a photo essay on one of their interns once. Go to and send Tom and Ray an e-mail. If Newton is too far from Boston, they might be able to recommend a shop.

In lieu of the suggestion above, I suggest you ask your favorite mechanic in person if he or she could use an intern this summer.

See if a community college nearby has an auto repair class.

My mechanic said he couldn’t but have written to lick and Clack per your suggestion.
Thank you.

The best thing that could happen is a summer job in a garage,that should be the goal, probably something less will be the actual result. Maybe you get lucky and the job is not a garage but a place that does maintiance on its own vehicles (perhaps a nursery).

You could put the practical off for a while and hit the books really hard. Maybe he starts by answering some posts here.

Get a one car AllData subscription and let him practice navigating the site. Are you allowed to work at home? perhaps a engine room would work out. Let him work over a Domestic 6 banger or a VW. I would of loved it as a child.


If he’s a reader you could stop by the bookstore and have them order one or two of these:

Auto Fundamentals
By Stockel, Stockel and Johanson
Published by Goodheart - Wilcox
ISBN 1-56637-138-4

Automotive Engines
By Crouse and Anglin
Published by MacMillan/McGraw Hill, (800) 338-3987
ISBN 0-02-801099-X

Complete Engine Performance and Diagnostics
By Robert Scharff & Editors of Motor Service
Published by Delmar Publishing / Thompson learning, (800) 477-3682
ISBN 0-8273-3579-2

Automotive Chassis Systems
By Thomas W. Birch
Published by Delmar Publishing / Thompson Learning, (800) 477-3682
ISBN 0-7668-0001-6

These look great.
Thank you.

I agree that helping out at a garage would be nice, but make sure it’s with someone who understands that learning is the primary goal and not some quick lube place or chain garage that’s just going to make him change oil all day.