Auto Upkeep Academy



Auto Upkeep is an introductory automotive program that focuses on what all car owners should know and be able to do. This program focuses on the fundamental knowledge and experience in owning and maintaining an automobile. Discover how to choose a quality repair facility, buy a car, choose an insurance policy, handle roadside emergencies, diagnose common problems, and communicate effectively with technicians. You will learn about safety, tools, automotive systems, and how to complete basic maintenance and repairs. For individuals that want to pursue Automotive Technology as a career, Auto Upkeep provides a solid foundation critical to maintenance, light repair, auto ownership, and how cars work.

The Auto Upkeep Academy includes 21 courses. Think of these courses as chapters within a textbook, but interactive. Each course takes approximate 5 to 8 hours depending on the number of hands-on and Internet-based activities completed.

Foundational Courses

  • How Cars Work
  • Safety Around the Automobile
  • Tools and Equipment

Consumer Education Courses

  • Buying an Automobile
  • Automotive Expenses
  • Repair Facilities
  • Auto Care and Cleaning
  • Fluid Level Check
  • Automotive Accessories
  • Common Problems and Roadside Emergencies
  • Alternative Fuels and Designs
  • Electric Vehicles

Automotive Systems Courses

  • Electrical System
  • Lubrication System
  • Fuel System
  • Cooling System and Climate Control
  • Ignition System
  • Suspension, Steering, and Tires
  • Braking System
  • Drivetrain
  • Exhaust and Emission System


Hands-On and Internet-Based Activities:

The activities extend the learning in each course. If you are taking Auto Upkeep independently, these are optional. If you have an instructor assigned to you through a high school, college, or homeschool co-op, your instructor will identify which activities are required.

  • Car Identification Activity – Identify an automobile by make, model, year, and type.
  • Owners Manual Activity – Locate and use an online owner’s manual.
  • Buying a New Automobile Activity – Differentiate between MSRP, dealer invoice, and dealer cost.
  • Buying a Used Automobile Activity – Research prices, reliability ratings, recalls, technical service bulletins, and safety ratings.
  • Automotive Expenses Activity – Calculate automotive expenses.
  • Repair Facilities Activity – Choose a quality repair facility. Interpret a repair invoice.
  • Automotive Safety Activity – Identify the location of emergency and safety equipment.
  • Safety Data Sheets – Locate and interpret a safety data sheet.
  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and Fire Safety Activity – Identify the importance of using personal protection equipment and research fire safety.
  • Tools and Equipment Activity – Identify basic tools and equipment that are used in automotive shops.
  • Service Manual Activity – Navigate an online service manual.
  • Interior Cleaning Activity – Clean the inside of a vehicle.
  • Exterior Cleaning Activity – Clean the outside of a vehicle.
  • Waxing Activity – Wax the finish on a vehicle.
  • Fluid Level Check Activity – Safely check the fluid level in various vehicle components.
  • Ohms Law Activity – Use Ohms Law to calculate volts, amps, or ohms.
  • Wiring Diagram Activity – Locate and interpret a wiring diagram.
  • Battery Activity – Safely clean and test the battery.
  • Charging Activity – Safely test the alternator.
  • Starting Activity – Safely test the starter.
  • Oil and Filter Change Activity – Safely change the oil and filter on a vehicle.
  • Fuel System Part Identification Activity – Use an online auto parts catalog to identify fuel system parts.
  • Fuel System Maintenance Activity – Change the air filter, PCV valve, and fuel filter.
  • Air Conditioning Activity – Inspect and identify the components within the air conditioning system.
  • Cabin Air Filter Activity – Replace the cabin air filter on a vehicle.
  • Cooling System Activity – Safely test, inspect, and service the cooling system. Observe thermostat operation.
  • Ignition System Activity – Install spark plugs. Inspect, test, and install spark plug wires. Inspect and install distributor cap and rotor on distributor systems.
  • Suspension and Steering Activity – Safely inspect and perform basic service procedures on suspension and steering components.
  • Tire Inspection and Rotation Activity – Safely inspect tires for wear and rotate tires.
  • Brake Inspection Activity – Safely inspect disc brakes.
  • Drivetrain Activity – Safely inspect drivetrain components.
  • Exhaust and Emissions Activity – Safely inspect exhaust and emission components.
  • Payback Period Activity – Calculate payback period.
  • Future Vehicle Activity – Predict the role of automobiles in 2050.
  • Automotive Accessories Activity – Estimate the cost of accessories for a vehicle.
  • Changing a Flat Tire Activity – Safely change a spare tire.
  • Jump-Starting Activity – Safely jump-start a vehicle.
  • Lighting Activity – Replace various lights on a vehicle.
  • Replacing Wipers Activity – Replace wipers on a vehicle.
  • On-Board Diagnostics Activity – Retrieve diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) from an OBD II system.
  • Electric Vehicles Activity – Identify and compare current electric vehicles for sale.


Recommended Ages:

9th Grade and Up



Auto Upkeep can be either a 1/2 credit or 1 credit course elective in a high school. At the college level, Auto Upkeep is generally the first course in an automotive technician program. Auto Upkeep covers 135 hours of instruction. If you would like to run this as a 1/2 credit course, shorten the number of hours by reducing or eliminating the number of activities completed. Activities are both hands-on and Internet-based. Most hands-on activities can be completed with a limited number of tools. Some activities can also be completed more than once to extend hours of instruction, enhancing the student’s skill set. For example, one of the more important topics, “Fluid Level Check Activity” could be performed on multiple types of vehicles. The curriculum is flexible for you to adjust it to fit your needs. Auto Upkeep is also a great supplement to driver’s education curriculum.


Standards Correlations:

ASE Education Foundation

The Auto Upkeep curriculum has been correlated to the ASE Education Foundation Maintenance and Light Repair (MLR) Task List. “The ASE Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that evaluates and accredits entry-level automotive technology education programs against standards developed by the automotive service industry. It also develops career-readiness education for students which fuse local partnerships, rigorous standard-based education, workplace experience, and mentorship together.” Accredited programs train students to become ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Certified. Auto Upkeep correlates to beginning MLR standards (over 60%), making it an ideal first course in becoming an Automotive Technician. For a program to be MLR certified, ASE requires 540 hours of instruction. Auto Upkeep provides the first 135 hours.

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) are the state standards for what students should know and be able to do. Each Texas course has a list of TEKS. Auto Upkeep correlates to 100% of TEKS for the Texas course titled Automotive Basics. “Automotive Basics includes knowledge of the basic automotive systems and the theory and principles of the components that make up each system and how to service these systems. Automotive Basics includes applicable safety and environmental rules and regulations. In Automotive Basics, students will gain knowledge and skills in the repair, maintenance, and servicing of vehicle systems. This study allows students to reinforce, apply, and transfer academic knowledge and skills to a variety of interesting and relevant activities, problems, and settings. The focus of this course is to teach safety, tool identification, proper tool use, and employability.”


Career and Technical Education (CTE) Career Cluster:

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics


Course Names Commonly Used in Schools:

  • Auto Upkeep
  • Automotive Basics
  • Maintenance and Light Repair (MLR)
  • Consumer Auto
  • Automotive Systems
  • Automotive Technology 1
  • Auto 1
  • Automotive Fundamentals
  • Auto Service
  • Basic Car Care
  • Adult Ed Auto
  • Transportation Technology
  • Automotive Service Technology
  • Basic Mechanics
  • Car Care
  • Basic Mechanics
  • Mechanical Tech 1
  • Intro to Mechanics
  • Car Upkeep
  • Principles of Transportation
  • Auto Basics
  • Principles of Automotive
  • Introduction to Automotive Systems
  • Beginning Automotive and Maintenance
  • Beginning Auto, Introduction to Auto Repair
  • Auto Survival, Power Mechanics
  • Vehicle Service and Repair
  • Auto 101
  • Car Wise
  • General Service Technician
  • Auto Shop 1
  • Automotive Studies
  • General Automotive Maintenance
  • Automotive Preventative Maintenance