Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge
Presentation Guide for Scout Leaders
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    Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge is very new (2009) but fast becoming quite popular as provides scouts a hands on experience with a popular subject. - So make the most of it!

    A core element of this program is a study session to study diagrams on how cars work and then hands on activity experience with maintaining a vehicle.


    A) Program Teaser
    Special audio visual presentation for the start of program or even one week in advance.

    Modern automobiles are important to many aspects of daily life. The Automotive Maintenance merit badge enables scouts to understand why certain periodic maintenance is required to keep their vehicles in tip-top shape.
    Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge
    Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge

    Meet Dr. Drip - Drip's Tips for Preventative Maintenance


    Boy Scouts Automotive Merit Badge B) Prerequisites - Leaders
    Work to be done prior to program start:


    C) Prerequisites - Scouts
    Work to be done prior to program start:


    Automotive MaintenanceMerit Badge D) Study Hall

    The purpose of this section is to facilitate an opportunity for scouts to research and learn about key concepts relevant to this subject. They need to be prepared to explain these to the counselor.

    While some scouts may be adept at self-study, others may do better in a small group setting and taking notes on worksheets. You can facilitate discussion by asking them why each of the principles intruduced here would be relevant.

      Req #1a: Safety First
      Explain to your counselor the hazards you are most likely to encounter during automotive maintenance activities, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, or lessen these hazards.

      Req #2: General Maintenance, Safety and Registration
      a. Review the maintenance chart in the owner's manual. Explain the requirements and time limits.
      g. Explain the purpose, importance, and limitations of safety belts and passive restraints.
      h. Find out the requirements for the state inspection in your state, including how often a vehicle needs to be inspected.
      i. Explain the importance of registering a vehicle and find out the annual registration fee for renewing your family car's registration.

      Automotive MaintenanceMerit Badge Req #5: Combustion Engines
      a. Explain how an internal combustion engine operates. Tell the differences between gasoline and diesel engines. Explain how a gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle is powered.
      b. Explain the purpose of engine oil. Explain the API service code, the SAE number, and the viscosity rating.
      c. Explain where to find the recommended oil type and the amount of oil to be used in the vehicle's engine.
      3D Combustion Engine Animation - Courtesy AutoTechBlog.com
      Hybrid Engine Animation - Courtesy Thomas Schwenke.
      Engine Block Diagram -

      Req #8: Ignition and electrical systems.
      a. Diagram and explain the parts of the electrical system.
      b. Explain the cylinder engine sequence.
      c. Explain the purpose of the spark gap.
      Vehicle Electrical System Animation - Courtesy Technical Training.
      Electrical System diagram -

      Req #9: Drive Train.
      a. Diagram the drive train and explain the different parts.
      b. Explain the difference between automatic and standard transmissions.
      Vehicle Drive Train Animation - Courtesy ACDelco.
      Drive Train diagram -

      Automotive MaintenanceMerit Badge Req #10: Braking Systems.
      a. Explain the brake system (including anti-lock systems) and how it operates.
      b. Explain the differences between disc and drum systems.
      Vehicle Brake System Animation - Courtesy Automotive Basics YouTube Channel

      Req #12: Automotive Industry Careers
      Find out about three career opportunities in the automotive industry. Pick one and find out about the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.
      Top Gear Careers in the Auto Industry - Courtesy NDTV.

    .


    Automotive MaintenanceMerit Badge E) Patrol Activity

    A primary feature of this merit badge is an activity session to allow scouts to get under the hood of a automobile. You will need access to a car or truck and its owner's manual to meet some of the requirements for this merit badge. You may also want to have replacement filter, oil, plugs, etc available too.

      Req #1b: Tool Shop Inspection
      Discuss with your counselor the safety equipment, tools, and clothing used while checking or repairing a motor vehicle. Use this equipment, tools, and/or clothing (when needed or called for) in meeting the requirements for this merit badge.

      Req #2b: General Vehicle Inspection
      Demonstrate how to check the following:

      1. Brake Fluid
      2. Engine Oil
      3. Coolant
      4. Power steering fluid
      5. Windshield washer fluid
      6. Transmission fluid
      7. Battery fluid (if possible) and condition of the battery terminals

      Req #2c: Vehicle Component Tour
      c. Fuses: Locate the fuse boxes; determine the size of fuses. Demonstrate the proper replacement of burned-out fuses.
      d. Belts: Demonstrate how to check the condition and tension of belts and hoses.
      e. Lighting: Check the lighting in the vehicle, including instrument, warning, and exterior bulbs.
      f. Air Filter: Locate and check the air filter.

      Automotive MaintenanceMerit Badge Reg #3: Dashboard Inspection
      a. Gauges: Explain the function of the fuel gauge, speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, and engine temperature gauge. Point out each one on the instrument cluster.
      b. Warning Lights: Explain the symbols that light up on the dashboard and the difference between the yellow and red symbols. Explain each of the indicators on the dashboard, using the owner's manual, if necessary.

      Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge Req #4: Tire Inspection
      a. Explain the difference between tire manufacturer's and vehicle manufacturer's specifications and show where to find them.
      b. Demonstrate how to check pressure and properly inflate a tire. Check the spare tire and make sure it is ready for use.
      c. Explain why wheel alignment is important to the life of a tire. Explain camber, caster, and toe-in adjustments on wheel alignment.
      d. Explain the purpose of the lateral-wear bar indicator.
      e. Explain how to dispose of old tires in accordance with local laws and regulations.

      Vehicle Systems Inspection
      8d. Battery Jump: Demonstrate how to safely connect jumper cables to your car battery.
      10c. Brake Inspection: Demonstrate how to check the condition of a vehicle's brake system. After checking make recommendations for repairs (if necessary).
      11c. Car Jack: Locate the manufacturer's jack Use the jack to demonstrate how to engage the jack correctly on the vehicle, then change a tire correctly.
      11d. Oil Filter: Perform an oil filter and oil change on a vehicle. Explain how to properly dispose of the used oil and filter.


    Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge G) Program Debriefing

    After completion of the above activities you may need a work session to finish completion of the merit badge worksheet to document the results of your visits, activities and the people you interviewed about potential career opportunities in this field.


    H) Extra Credit


    J) Automotive Maintenance Famous Quotes:

      Edward Herrman - Automobiles have always been part of my life, and I'm sure they always will be. What is it about them that moves me? The sound of a great engine, the unity and uniqueness of an automobile's engineering and coachwork, the history of the company and the car, and, of course, the sheer beauty of the thing.
      Anthony Foxx - The whole idea that vehicles in the future will communicate with each other is a really big deal. It's a big deal for safety... and it's an opportunity to engage the automobile in the work of ensuring collision avoidance. Anthony Foxx

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