Project Overview
Student Learning Objectives
Content Material
Links to Course Competencies
Supplementary Resources


Automotive Electrical Diagnosis: Establishing a Process


Time: Approximately 30 minutes


  • Student handouts (2) that are copied from listserv email postings of mechanics with real world automotive electrical problems.  You will review the email postings on a regular basis and copy and save the electrical problems you feel are best suited for your automotive class.
  • Service manuals and/or electrical schematics pertaining to the vehicles in the two email postings you have chosen to be used in your classroom.
  • Student worksheet (1) used as homework asking students to detail the diagnostic steps they would undertake to repair one of the emails depicting a real world automotive electrical problem. 


The instructor must become a member of iATN to receive the email postings.  There is no cost to do this.  You first go to the iATN website. 


                            Next you will scroll down this first page to get to where you can become a member.


The next part requires you read the requirements for membership, and then you can click on continue.


You will then read the member agreement, click on the "agree to abide" box, and then continue again.


The final agree to box is on usage.  When you continue, your registration information will be entered.


Once you are a registered member, you will begin to receive real world technician problems in your email.  They will look very similar to the posting below.



Permission must also be obtained from the iATN network to use the information within your classroom.  The information below details the email contact made to obtain this permission. 

  Hi Michael,
Thank you for contacting iATN regarding our policy.
We allow instructors to use information from iATN as a teaching tool as long as:
1) Personal information about iATN members is not revealed.
2) Information gained from iATN is not used for mass distribution.
3) Information from iATN stays within your classroom.
4) You are a current member of iATN in good standing.
Thank you for your cooperation. We hope this helps.
if you have any further questions please let us know.

Regards,iATN Support

Note: Please include the original message with your reply. Support is handled by multiple people.

>I am an automotive instructor at a community college. I am teaching an
>electrical diagnosis class, and I was interested in reviewing some of
>the email I receive from technicians in my class. I do NOT have my
>students enroll as members in iATN as they do not have atleast four
>years experience, and even if they do have ASE, I know most of them do
>not have any kind of experience to be able to participate responsibly
>to the group.
>I did see your guidelines for privacy, and it states I should contact
>the originator of the message to get permission. I was wondering if
>you have anything you have developed to make it easier for teachers to
>use the emails in their classes. Can I display an email message to the
>class?, or do I need to separate permission from everyone? Do you have
>a blanket permission for educators concerning fair use for classrooms?
>Thanks, Mike.
>Michael Longrich
>Automotive Instructor

Implementation: This RWLO will be used in the classroom to help the students understand how they can begin to develop a process for troubleshooting an automotive electrical problem. 

The instructor will use one of the two emailed automotive electrical problems in the classroom, explaining the steps taken to repair the problem by using an electrical schematic of the system and information from the service manual.  During this time, a homework worksheet is filled out by the instructor to show students how to document and organize a plan for repairing the electrical problem.  After engaging the students in discussion by asking what steps they would take and facilitating their understanding of the electrical system being reviewed, the students receive an email posting to be used as a homework assignment.  The second email posting is reviewed at the next class meeting.


  1. Become a member of iATN.
  2. Obtain permission from iATN to use the email postings in your classroom.
  3. Read through the email postings you will receive.  Select the two real world email postings you want to use in your electrical diagnosis class.
  4. Obtain the electrical schematic for the posting you wish to review with the class.
  5. Demonstrate your diagnosis process to the class using the schematic and posting you selected.
  6. Pass out the second posting and the worksheet to the students for homework.