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Old 10-06-2012, 08:39 AM   #1
freeskierpj
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Question Looking For Recommendations For An Auto School In Or Around Boston

Hey everybody,

So I've always been interested in cars ever since I was a little kid. Partly because of my dad being somewhat of a self taught mechanic and partly just because I found myself fascinated by them but I never had the father son bonding experience over working on a car. Because of this I really don't know much about cars, engines, transmissions and the mechanics behind all of it. I mean I don't even know how to do an oil change (I would be able to if I looked it up and had some instructions but I wouldn't be able to change it without some instructions).

I'm 21 years old and I dropped out of college in 2010 because sitting in class all day learning calculus and American Literature just doesn't catch my attention and I wasn't able to make it work so now I'm looking for a career. I'm looking for something hands on and I came to the conclusion over the past couple weeks, with some convincing that I can do it from my fiance, that I really want to get my schooling learning about cars and how they work and how to work on them, mainly Subarus but I'm interested in other foreign car companies as well. I don't particularly want to be just a general mechanic although I am assuming that I would have to spend time as a mechanic in order to work towards this goal/dream of mine. My goal/dream would be to end up doing something like Bren from Bren Tuning does, whether I end up working for a tuning/aftermarket shop like his or end up having my own shop or working for a shop and then moving on to have my own shop that offers similar services as Bren's does. I want to learn to be able to install aftermarket parts, work on engines, do tuning both on a dyno as well as on the road and things like that.

That being said I was wondering if I could get some suggestions as far as what track I should take in order work towards my goal? I would also like some suggestions as to some specific schools that are really good around the Boston area that would help me make my dream/goal a reality. I live in Lynn so the closer to Lynn the better but I don't mind commuting too much. I just want to know where to start, what steps I will need to take to work towards what I want to do and I would really appreciate some advice from people on the forums.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read and respond to this post,
~freeskierpj~
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:07 AM   #2
Jack
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First off, don't cross post. I deleted your post in General.

Next, you didn't like sitting and learning calculus or literature but a Bachelor's degree isn't meant to teach you only things you want to learn. The whole idea is for you to learn how to learn. Get back in college and do your work. If you don't, plan for a lifetime of $10 per hour jobs and struggling to keep your 20 year old Hyndai running.

So you think you want to work on cars but don't know how because you didn't get along with your dad? BS. My dad knew zip about cars. Nothing, nada. He understood that when he put the key in the ignition and turned it, the car magically could then go. I learned all about cars and engines and mechanics by a driving curiosity. I've since built a Factory Five Cobra by myself, modified a racecar and kept it going for 5 years plus 30 some odd years of keeping daily drivers running. You could certainly go to UTI, but without the actual drive, you're not going to come out with anything but a piece of paper and nobody's going to hire you. I bought a car a few years ago from a guy who graduated from UTI and he couldn't even install a new alternator. I knew that because the alternator was somewhat hanging in the car, not hooked up, not attached even. I asked him about it and he said he couldn't figure it out, so he gave up.

Look at all the other threads about becoming a mechanic. Lots of long time mechanics have gotten into this because they love cars and many (not all) of them say they absolutely hate the job and don't work on their own cars anymore because they hate it so much. I took my own career in a completely different direction (electrical engineer) so when I leave work, I leave that at work and when I get home, I can do car work and not be totally burned out.

c/n: go back to school or be doomed.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:07 PM   #3
Legacymun2k6
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Here come the nasioc nazi police.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
Spc2125
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If you dont know how to tune already.... your not a tuner.

Bren didnt go to college for tuning (went for business administration)... I quote "Its just something I know."

Find something your already good at and take that track or else your in for a long/costly ride.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:36 PM   #5
ToddMcF2002
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I had the mechanics dream but its not my career. Best advice has to be go back to school *but* if you can swing it find something to wrench on that is not your daily driver. Learn by doing. Almost doesn't matter what you pick up. If you like subis find one (without too much rust). Pull the suspension apart down to the knuckles. Replace bushings, ball joints, end links, rebuild calipers... pick up the skills and tools as you go. The most satisfying moment I've had so far is having the leaking steering rack fall on my chest when I was struggling to remove it. What started out as an inner tie rod job turned into a full suspension and steering overhaul. I've learned so much in the process its amazing. Plus... this is the "common" and necessary skill stuff you'll end up doing as a mechanic, replacing consumables on car. Brakes, suspension bits (ball joints / end links) exhaust etc. Its also fertile ground for mod components (bushings, ALK, RCA, struts, lowering springs, tophats, camber plates, full coilovers, lateral links, trailing arms, strut bars, sway bars, end links, up pipes, down pipes, cat backs, turbo backs, turbo upgrades etc. etc. etc).

I'm babbling but.... get the idea? You need to understand the OEM components to understand the upgrades. Then, if you still like it, maybe it is your calling? who knows...

I don't know ***** about tuning though. I'll leave that stuff to the smart dudes with the dynos
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:25 PM   #6
spaceywilly
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What's keeping you from doing an oil change? I think that would be a good place to start. If you aren't willing to do your own oil change on your own car you probably aren't going to be happy doing it 10 hours a day on other people's cars. Same thing goes for tuning, get a tactrix cable and start datalogging and learning what you are looking at. There's plenty of information out there about how to do it, you just have to take the initiative.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:21 AM   #7
Garandman
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I would suggest taking some aptitude tests.

The Army or other recruiters will administer the ASVAB at no charge.....
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:39 AM   #8
Loyale93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legacymun2k6
Here come the nasioc nazi police.
Are you referring to Jack our revered Mod? Bold move, as his only NASIOC comment was not to cross post...

That said, to the OP, definitely go back to school. UTI isn't a bad idea. I have a few mechanic friends some still like it. Others are infuriated by finding out from owners "I have to put oil in my car?? What do you mean you have to take the engine apart??" One of my buddies spent the first year if his career pretty much just doing oil changes and brake jobs. Wasn't thrilled about that. And yes, he stopped doing them on his own car because it just reminded him of "the office".

But not everyone is like that and nobody is saying you will be. Maybe your love of cars will triumph over oil changes.

Best if luck to you. And if you're really interested in Subaru mechanics, maybe go to a dealer and ask where they got their start. Or maybe even if you could shadow a mechanic to learn. You never know. .
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:28 PM   #9
__raj
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Get your college degree....And then off to tech school if you still have stamina. Auto tech great trade however not much to fall back on. Not sure of job satisfaction rate working on other folks cars.

Good luck
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:52 PM   #10
rabbitnutz
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Uti in Norwood. Take a few classes and see if it's for you. If not hey, maybe you'll come out of it learning something.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:03 PM   #11
timeXlost
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I'll elaborate later, but the best advice I can give you is this....




....if you want to be a tech, take uti out of your mind as an option right now. It is the biggest joke in the automotive industry...period.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:38 PM   #12
BlazeRex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timeXlost View Post
I'll elaborate later, but the best advice I can give you is this....




....if you want to be a tech, take uti out of your mind as an option right now. It is the biggest joke in the automotive industry...period.
Yes, absolutely. UTI has a horrible reputation with dealers overall. Not to say its a bad school, but its what you make of it, and from my experience 90% of the people learn little to nothing while going there.

If you're looking for a good automotive school in the Boston area look into one of the MassBay programs. Reasonable in price, plus you get some academics and a pseudo associate's degree.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:58 PM   #13
deadmoon
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How do people feel about students coming out of New England Tech?
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:53 PM   #14
NateLS1
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Experience working on and diagnosing vehicles, from what I've seen, speaks louder than a degree in auto tech.

Get your hands dirty. If you got it, you got it. If not, then you don't. No biggie. It sucks to spend 30k plus on an education if you don't end up liking it. Plus that 30k in tools you'll accumulate over the years.

Read books from the library and book store, much cheaper.
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