Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge


Automotive Maintenance




You will need access to a car or truck and its owners manual to meet some requirements for this merit badge.

  1. 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.
  2. General Maintenance, Safety, and Registration
    Do the following:
        A. Review the maintenance chart in the owner's manual. Explain the requirements and time limits.
        B. 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
        C. Locate the fuse boxes; determine the size of fuses. Demonstrate the proper replacement of
            burned-out fuses.
        D. Demonstrate how to check the condition and tension of belts and hoses.
        E. Check the lighting in the vehicle, including instrument, warning, and exterior bulbs.
        F. Locate and check the air filter.
        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.
  3. Dashboard Do the following:
        A. Explain the function of the fuel gauge, speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, and engine
            temperature gauge. Point out each one on the instrument cluster.
        B. 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.
  4. Tires Do the following:
        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.
  5. Engine Do the following:
        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
        C. Explain where to find the recommended oil type and the amount of oil to be used in the vehicle's
  6. Cooling system Do the following:
        A. Explain the need for coolant in the cooling system.
        B. Explain how to flush and change the engine coolant in the vehicle , and how to properly dispose of
            the used coolant.
  7. Fuel system Do the following:
        A. Explain how the air and fuel systems work together and why it is necessary to have an air filter and
            fuel filter.
        B. Explain how a how a fuel injection system works and how an on-board computer works with the fuel
            injection system.
  8. Ignition and electrical systems Do the following:
        A. Diagram and explain the parts of the electrical system.
        B. Explain the cylinder engine sequence.
        C. Explain the purpose of the spark gap.
        D. Demonstrate how to change the spark plugs in any internal combustion engine (lawn mower, dirt
            bike, motorcycle).
        E. Demonstrate how to safely connect jumper cables to your car battery.
  9. Drive Train Do the following:
        A. Diagram the drive train and explain the different parts.
        B. Explain the difference between automatic and standard transmissions.
        C. Explain the types of automatic transmission fluid.
        D. Explain the types of lubricants used in a standard transmission and in the differential.
        E. Explain the difference between front-wheel, rear- wheel, and four-wheel drive.
  10. Brake System Do the following:
        A. Explain the brake system (including anti-lock systems) and how it operates.
        B. Explain the differences between disc and drum systems.
        C. Demonstrate how to check the condition of a vehicle's brake system. After checking make
            recommendations for repairs (if necessary).
  11. Do two of the following:
        A. Determine the value of three different vehicles you are interested in purchasing. One must be new
            and one must be used; the third vehicle can be new or used. For each vehicle, find out the
            requirements and cost of automobile insurance to include basic liability and options for collision,
            comprehensive, towing, and rental car. Using the three vehicles you chose and with your merit badge
            counselor's assistance, complete the operation/maintenance chart provided in the merit badge
            pamphlet. Use this information to determine the operating cost per mile for each vehicle, and discuss
            what you learn with your counselor.
        B. Choose a car cleaner and wax product for a vehicle you want to clean. Explain clear-coat paint and
            the precautions necessary for care. Clean the vehicle, both inside and out, and wax the exterior. Use
            a vinyl and rubber protectant (on vinyl tops, rubber door seals, sidewalls, etc.) and explain the
            importance of the protectant.
        C. Locate the manufacturer's jack Use the jack to demonstrate how to engage the jack correctly on the
            vehicle, then change a tire correctly.
        D. Perform an oil filter and oil change on a vehicle. Explain how to properly dispose of the used oil and
  12. 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.

Automotive Maintenance Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.