I worked in the service dept for a ford dealership. I worked primarily on thier diesel trucks which is always garunteed work. The college program i attended did summer co-ops where the student is responsible for finding a dealership or independant repair shop/service center to take them on during the summer. Ive done head gaskets on 6.0s, 6.4 short blocks, egr coolers, turbo cleaning, turbo replacement, warranty fuel tanks from delamination, entire fuel system overhauls, rebuilt 2 ZF6 6 speed transmissions 2 torque shifts, bout a dozen 5.4 head gaskets 3 valves leak oil on passengers bank, installed 2 lift kits and aligned the trucks afterwards, rebuilt one rear end, did alot of ball joints in the straight axle F250-550s, installed 4 snow plows, and the general BS oil changes tires and maintenance work.
My program specialized in toyota and ford, but both gave you BS certifications. I had prior expirience with small block chevys, ive been building them since i was 14 under supervision of course when i was that young, and the dealership was impressed and gave me those big jobs. I beat warranty flat rate book time after 2 head gasket jobs and matched book time on a 6.4 short block only once, defeated book time for A/C compressor evaporator and orafice tube replacement, and did so many FICM reprogrammings and PCM updates it wasnt even funny. Had 2 high pressure oil pumps in 6.0s, 6 or 7 high pressure fuel pump failure repairs, a ton of 7.3 oil pan/rear mains, and the list can go on. The best route to go which i should have done when i was in highschool is to take a vocational program like auto repair, I attended a community college and graduated with an associates degree in auto repair. UTI/WYOTECH all those big name big dollar schools give you a certificate. which doesnt mean jack squat in the real world. I worked with 2 guys that graduated from UTI program and 1 couldnt tell the truck had a vacuum leak based on short/long term fuel trim when it was maxxed out with the only code being for bank 1 and 2 rich and catalyst efficientcy. The other, could find a short or any electrical issue in a heart beat. Give the guy real work, he was lost.
Best thing to do is find a program where you come out with some sort of certification from a manufacturer to get your foot in the door like Ford MLR, Ford ASSET, GM ASEP, Chrysler CAP College Automotive Program, Toyota T10, VW/Audi VATRP.
At least in the trucks theres enough engine bay to use a top side creeper or do what i did and just lay on the engine while pulling the turbo or doing an egr cooler, cabs up for head gaskets and just about any work on a 6.4. Two things to remember especially if your new 1. Make sure you get all the tools youll need, you can only borrow someone elses tools so many times before they either charge you or refuse to, 2. even if your paid hourly, try to match or beat the clock it will make quite an impression on your service manager but dont be like 2 other guys that made it to that dealership and talk a big game of all the things you can do and when it comes time to doing it not know what to do. I dont know how many times ive heard bs stories where someone rebuilt an entire engine, yet couldnt do a simple 5.4 head gasket, or didnt remove pushrods out of the heads when taking a 6.0 cyl head off and bending 8 pushrods. ASEs will help. Flat rate, the more you do a certain task the faster youll get at it. one last thing. AIR TOOLS. get them. 3/8ths impact, air ratchet, 1/2 impact, air ratchet, cut off wheels, die grinders, and when it comes to tool boxes, all your buying is a name. I started out with a 300 dollar top and bottom 26 inch steel glide stainless steel box, it was overflowing with tools i bought a nice box at harbor freight powder coated made by US General paid top and bottom like 900 after shipping. Every drawer is full but has just enough room. Ive got just about every tool you can think of. Matco and Snap On and for air tools, Ingersol rand. Take advantage of student tool discounts, and harbor freight is your best friend for some things.
Currently i am working part time in an independant shop, and part time for a used car dealership. All my cheap tools are at the used lot in my 26 inch box, all my good tools are in my big box at the independant shop. Im paid flat rate in both places and make between 50 and 60 hours alone at the independant shop and working from 8 am to 5 pm Mon-fri saturday til 12 then i go race my stock car sat night. 530-11 mon-fri nights at the used dealership bring between 40 and 50 hours. They have p*e ons to handle the BS work and to detail/wash. Usually i get cars fresh from the auction needing anything.
Answered By: Billy S - 6/11/2010