Student Info & Guide

What is automotive technology?

by StudyMalaysia.com on April 1, 2016 | Career Guide

What is automotive technology 01Did you know? The average car has over 30,000 parts; windshield wipers were invented by a woman (Mary Anderson invented windshield wipers in 1903); and Google has been conducting testing for self driving cars since 2009? If you are: crazy about cars, can spend hours looking under the hood of a car, and love fixing things with your hands – why not consider a career in automotive technology?

Many of us rely on a car, motorbike or bus to get us where we want to go. Whether it’s our daily commute to work, running errands or a family road trip, we need to get there in a vehicle. Because we depend on transportation so much, many of us own or will own a vehicle like a car (at some point of our lives). And being a car owner means that it’s important that our car operates properly; and for that we need a reliable, high-quality automotive technician.

Automotive technicians repair and service cars, vans, motorbikes, lorries and buses. They work on all vehicles – electric, gas, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles – and need to be trained in the many aspects of mechanics and electrics of a vehicle; from engines and air conditioning, to GPS and security.

Interested in a career as an automotive technician?

What they do

Automotive technicians inspect, maintain, and repair electric, gas, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles, often by using computerised diagnostic equipment. They also use checklists and technical manuals to conduct tests and make sure that different parts of a vehicle are functioning properly. Routine maintenance work include changing oil, checking fluid levels, and rotating tyres. Automotive technicians also repair or replace worn parts, such as brake pads, wheel bearings, and sensors. Some automotive technicians may specialise in a particular area of repair work such as brakes, transmission, air conditioning, car tuning or integrated electronics systems.

What you will learn

Some of the common subjects you may learn in an automotive technology diploma include: electricity and electronics; brakes, steering and suspensions; engine performance; transmissions; air conditioning; engines; diesels; hybrids; electronic and diagnostic equipment; chassis systems; computer controlled systems; mechanical and workshop practices; vehicle maintenance and servicing; emission systems and turbochargers; and customer service and workshop management.

Where you can work

Automotive technicians work for:

  • Dealerships
  • Retail and wholesale stores selling automotive parts, accessories and supplies
  • Auto repair shops
  • Automotive rental companies
  • Private transportation companies

Other career opportunities include:

  • Automobile technician
  • Workshop supervisor
  • Parts specialist
  • Service advisor
  • Sales advisor
  • Manager of a business, department, or team
  • Automotive engineering
  • Automotive writer (magazine, news, or technical writing)
  • Racing, performance, or customization professional

Is this career for you?

  1. If you love cars and don’t mind getting your hands dirty fixing them, this could be the career for you.
  2. You’ll need to be good at problem-solving and detecting faults. Vehicle technology is always changing – you need to be willing to learn new things and new ways of fixing and maintaining modern vehicles.
  3. Because you need to work in a team and deal with customers, you’ll also need to be good with handling people have great customer service skills.

Courses in automotive technology

JPK Skills Qualification Course

Course Name Offered by
Automotive Executive (JPK/DKM – Level 4) Kolej TAFE Seremban
Automotive Aftersales Service (JPK/SKM Level 2) & City & Guilds Dip.in Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Tan Chong Technical Institute (TCTECH)
Automotive Aftersales Service (JPK/SKM Level 1, 2 & 3) Tan Chong Technical Institute (TCTECH)
Automotive Aftersales Service (JPK/SKM Level 2 & 3) Tan Chong Technical Institute (TCTECH)
Automotive Aftersales Service Manager (JPK/DKM Level 4) Tan Chong Technical Institute (TCTECH)

Certificate and diploma programmes

Course Name Offered by
Certificate in Automotive Technology TOC Automotive College
Diploma in Automotive Engineering Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL)
Diploma in Automotive Engineering Kolej TAFE Seremban
Diploma in Automotive Engineering Nilai University
Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (Automotive) Politeknik Kota Bharu (PKB)
Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (Automotive) Politeknik Kuching, Sarawak (PKS)
Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (Automotive) Politeknik Port Dickson (PPD)
Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (Automotive) Politeknik Sultan Azlan Shah (PSAS)
Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (Automotive) Politeknik Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah (POLISAS)
Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (Automotive) Politeknik Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin (PSMZA)
Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (Automotive) Politeknik Ungku Omar (PUO)
Diploma in Automotive Technology TOC Automotive College

Bachelor degree programmes

Course Name Offered by
Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Automotive Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL)
B.Eng. in Electronic Engineering (Automotive) MAHSA University
B.Eng. (Hons) Automotive Engineering (3+0) SEGi College, Subang Jaya
Bac. of Automotive Engineering (UMP-Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences ,German) Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP)
Bac. of Mechanical Engineering (Automotive) (Hons) Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP)
Bac. of Eng.(Mechanical-Automotive) Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
Bac. of Mechanical Engineering Technology (Hons) (Automotive) Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM)
Bac. of Eng. in Mechanical-Automotive Engineering (Hons) International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
Bac. of Mechanical Engineering (Automotive) Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka

Source: Education Guide Malaysia (14th Edition), published by Challenger Concept

How did cars change over the years? Take a peek at the history of automobiles here and here

What do students learn in an automotive technology course learn? Watch this video to find out. 

What does it take to become an automotive technician? This video will tell you the day-to-day responsibilities of an automotive technician at Toyota.

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