Excitement is revving up over new equipment at North Platte Community College.
Automotive Technology students have been training on a Mustang dynamometer – an experience that has made learning both fun and retainable.
“It’s exciting for the students because they can see what kind of power they produce in engine rebuild class,” said Bryan Herrick, automotive instructor at NPCC. “They can each put their cars up there and do an engine pull or quarter-mile drag race. It encourages camaraderie as well as competitiveness.”
All fun aside, the dyno plays a serious role in the education of NPCC students. In addition to testing engine rebuilds, they can assess drivability, the smoothness and steadiness of acceleration, in a safe and controlled environment.
Vehicles are driven onto an access platform in a shop where they are tied down and connected to a computer. They can then be revved to maximum speeds so students can measure peak power and monitor performance gains or losses resulting from any changes to the vehicle.
“The dyno is capable of doing so many things, from checking for misfires to diagnosing problems at certain speeds,” Herrick said. “We can simulate issues in a group environment without ever going down the highway. Always before, we had to take each student for a test drive and hope the vehicle performed the same way all 10 times. Now, everyone sees the same thing at the same time.”
Not only is the dyno a safer and less time-consuming method of studying drivability, but it also makes NPCC’s Automotive Technology students more employable because it gives them a better understanding of drivability-related problems.
More information about the Automotive Technology program at North Platte Community College can be found online at mpcc.edu.