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ticulate in the exhaust stream. Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is re-quired in vehicles equipped with a selective catalyst reduction system. Not all diesel vehicles are equipped with this system. The catalyst, in conjunction with the DEF, reduces the level of NOx in the exhaust stream. It is important to monitor the level of the diesel exhaust fluid and refill the reservoir when it gets low. Most vehicles are designed to hold enough DEF that it can be refilled at the time of a normal oil service without risk of running out. The vehicles are designed with a series of warning lights to alert the driver when the system gets low. If the system is allowed to run empty or a fluid other than DEF is used to refill the reservoir, the vehicle may default to a depowered mode of operation. When refilling the DEF system, make sure to use quality fluid that has been stored properly. Regular diesel engine mainte-nance is critical to the operation of the exhaust aftertreatment sys-tem. This would include replacing the diesel fuel filters, air filter, and servicing the cooling system with quality replacement parts as re-quired by the manufacturer. Failure to follow these recommendations may result in premature wear in the engine or the high pressure fuel system. Unwanted oil, coolant, or diesel fuel in the aftertreatment sys-tem are leading causes of exhaust system component failures. Customer driving habits will have a significant effect on the die-sel exhaust aftertreatment system performance. The modern diesel engine is designed to driven under a load. Short trip driving, or long stretches of idle time, will diminish the effectiveness of the exhaust aftertreatment system. These maintenance items are not difficult to perform, however, they may differ from a similar vehicle equipped with a gasoline engine. By following the manufacturers’ ser-vice recommendations, the exhaust aftertreatment system will operate as designed and will provide miles of trouble-free service. Re-energize your teaching by attending conferences By Dale Vandeberg B EFORE I started teaching some 6 years ago, I felt very confident about my ability to diagnose some very diffi-cult-to-find issues in the engine con-trol system. As an instructor, one of my main concerns was how to keep that edge and stay relevant in the au-tomotive industry. I figured that I had five years before I really struggled. As an instructor in a NATEF*-certified AYES* high school program, I had many options for training from vari-ous manufacturers and vendors, but none was as exciting and in-depth as what I had received as a technician from the manufacturers. As an instructor, I had attended many seminars and classes, and had heard about the NACAT* confer-ences, but because of scheduling conflicts, had not been able to attend them. I discovered that AYES and NACAT were planning to collaborate, and this was a chance to see what NACAT had to offer. I was looking for-ward to some new energy, and focus, to help me with a new class I would be teaching for advanced students. I was not to be disappointed. When I arrived, I felt immediately welcome. I met new friends and saw some old ones. When I started attending the train-ing, I was instantly impressed with the presenters. The quality of in-struction at each of the seminars was better than I had received for quite some time. I felt that each of the in-structors was obviously knowledge-*NATEF—National Automotive Technicians Foundation AYES—Automotive Youth Educa-tional Systems NACAT—North American Council of Automotive Teachers able, and the energy they brought was contagious. I grew more and more excited as each class happened. I found that I was eager to start planning the next year of classes. I had some new re-sources to help me with my content, and I had also made contact with some new people who I felt were some of the best in the industry. I was excited to be back in the class-room with a new class ready to start with some new ideas and direction. The trade show was a great ad-dition to the seminars. Many of the booths were extensions of the semi-nars, with books and training aides that were well thought out and useful for students. This gave me an oppor-tunity to get to know the presenters even better and get my hands on some of the resources that were available. I enjoyed seeing what others had come up with to successfully teach some of the technology of today’s vehicles. I left the trade show with an armful of resources to help keep me excited about new student opportunities. The conference was exciting in a way that I hadn’t experienced in quite some time. I felt re-energized and ready to go back to work. I felt very good about still being on the cutting edge of technology and teaching it. I felt this was one of the best in-vestments I had made in time and money in regards to training and get-ting the excitement back about teach-ing. I definitely will do this again next year. I would highly recommend the NACAT conference to every automo-tive instructor for the seminars, rela-tionship, resources, not to mention the fun, friends, and family. Reprinted from nacat.org. www.techdirections.com automotive technology 27
Re-energize Your Teaching By Attending Conferences
BEFORE I started teaching some 6 years ago, I felt very confident about my ability to diagnose some very difficult- to-find issues in the engine control system. As an instructor, one of my main concerns was how to keep that edge and stay relevant in the automotive industry. I figured that I had five years before I really struggled. As an instructor in a NATEF-certified AYES high school program, I had many options for training from various manufacturers and vendors, but none was as exciting and in-depth as what I had received as a technician from the manufacturers.