NOTE: You will need access to a car or truck and its owner's manual to meet some requirements for this merit badge. If you do not have your own vehicle, you should work with your merit badge counselor or other trusted adult to obtain access to a vehicle and the owner's manual for that vehicle.
THOSE ATTENDING A SCOUTMASTER BUCKY CLASS WILL HAVE ACCESS TO A VEHICLE UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE MERIT BADGE COUNSELOR(S).
1. Do the following:
a. Explain to your counselor the hazards you are most likely to encounter during automotive maintenance activities, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, or lessen these hazards.
b. 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.
Scouts will engage in discussion on their findings during the class. Scouts should review the merit badge pamphlet book to have a better understanding of what each of the components of this requirement is looking for them to understand. The counselor will facilitate discussion on this requirement during the class. It should be noted that only Scouts that actively, positively, and successfully participate in the discussion will be signed off on this requirement. Preparation is a must.
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
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 type and 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 vehicle for proper operation of its lights, including the interior overhead lights, instrument lights, warning lights, and exterior bulbs.
f. Locate and check the air filter(s).
Requirements 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, and 2f will be covered in the class. Scouts are still expected to have reviewed the sections in merit badge pamphlet that cover these areas and have an understanding of what to expect at the class from their reading.
g. Explain the purpose, importance, and limitations of safety belts and passive restraints.
For Requirement 2g, Scouts should utilize the Merit Badge Pamphlet along with any vehicle User Manuals or other resources they may find readily available to review and formulate an explanation. Scouts will discuss this part of Requirement 2 in class. Scouts must show that they prepared for this requirement as those who attend the class not having reviewed the Merit Badge Pamphlet ahead of time will find it difficult to complete many of these types of requirements.
h. Find out the requirements for your state's emissions and safety inspections (as applicable), 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.
While these two parts of Requirement 2 will be discussed in class, those Scouts desiring to be considered for sign off will need to come to the class having done some homework. Scouts should look into discovering the state requirements for vehicle inspections and the methods used as well as the requirements for registering a vehicle and the fees and renewal process for their State. Only Scouts that have done this prework AND actively participate in the class discussion, will be able to be considered for sign off on these two parts of Requirement 2.
3. Dashboard. Do the following:
a. Explain the function of the fuel gauge, speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, and engine temperature gauge. Point each one out 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.
While every vehicle is different, preparation for this requirement is still very easy. Scouts will need to come to the class having done some review of both their Merit Badge Pamphlet and likely the family vehicle's owner's manual. Scouts will have an opportunity in the class to complete the active part of this requirement, they will need to be familiar with the expectations and knowledge required to complete this requirement prior to the class.
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 tire 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 caster, camber, 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.
Most of the components of Requirement 4 will be covered in the class, however Scouts are still expected to come to the class having reviewed the Merit Badge Pamphlet and any other resources with an understanding and readiness to participat4e as needed for completion of these components. Prepare accordingly.
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. Discuss the purpose of engine oil. Explain the API service code, the SAE number, and the viscosity rating.
c. Explain where to find the recommended oil type and the amount of oil to be used in the vehicle engine.
Time will be allotted during the class to cover these components of Requirement 5, they simply will be a review of what the Counselor expects the Scout to already know coming into the class. In order for Scouts to complete this requirement they must come to class with notes and/or a clear understanding of the answers to these requirement components. The Counselor will facilitate discussion to provide Scouts an opportunity to complete this requirement, however Scouts attending without having done any preparation will likely not complete all components of this requirement during the class.
6. Cooling system. Do the following:
a. Explain the need for coolant in the cooling system, and the importance of selecting the correct coolant type for a given vehicle.
Scouts will need to review the Merit Badge Pamphlet and formulate an answer prior to the class. Scouts will share their explanation during the class when covering this requirement. Only Scouts that come to the class prepared with their explanation will have the opportunity to be considered for completion of this part of Requirement 6. While the Counselor will review this requirement in the class, it is NOT acceptable for a Scout to attend unprepared and still expect to be able to complete this requirement.
b. Explain how to flush and change the engine coolant in the vehicle , and how to properly dispose of the used coolant.
This requirement will be covered during the class by the Counselor, however Scouts should review the Merit Badge Pamphlet and their family's vehicle's owner's manual prior to the class so as to have an understanding of the process and importance of this component of the requirement.
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 fuel injection system works and how an on-board computer works with the fuel injection system.
While the Counselor will cover how a fuel injection system works as a part of the class, Scouts are still expected to have prepared by reviewing the Merit Badge Pamphlet and any other available resources to be able to offer active participation in the explanation / discussion surrounding this requirement. Scouts not having prepared will NOT complete this requirement in the class.
8. Ignition and electrical systems. Do the following:
a. Diagram and explain the parts of the electrical system.
For consideration of completion for Requirement 8a, Scouts will need to complete the electrical system diagram ahead of time prior to the class. Scouts will need to bring their diagram to class for review by the Counselor and Scouts should be prepared to explain the parts of the electrical system along with their diagram. Only Scouts arriving at class with their diagram completed will have the opportunity to be considered for sign off on this part of Requirement 8. There will not be time allotted in the class for Scouts to complete this part of Requirement 8 if they arrive without the diagram.
b. Explain the engine's firing order.
c. Explain the purpose of the spark gap.
Components 8b and 8C will be covered by the Counselor during the class, however Scouts are still expected to have reviewed the Merit Badge Pamphlet for an understanding of these items and to actively participate in the class discussion covering these two components.
d. Demonstrate how to safely connect jumper cables to your car battery.
The Counselor will help facilitate the opportunity for Scouts to demonstrate their knowledge and ability to perform this requirement during the class. Scouts should review the Merit Badge Pamphlet and any other resources to be prepared for their demonstration opportunity. The Merit Badge Counselor will do a review as a part of the class on this requirement to ensure safe and accurate completion.
9. Drive Train. Do the following:
a. Diagram the drive train and explain the different parts.
Like in Requirement 8a, for consideration of completion for Requirement 9a, Scouts will need to complete the drive train diagram ahead of time prior to the class. Scouts will need to bring their diagram to class for review by the Counselor and Scouts should be prepared to explain the parts of the drive train along with their diagram. Only Scouts arriving at class with their diagram completed will have the opportunity to be considered for sign off on this part of Requirement 9. There will not be time allotted in the class for Scouts to complete this part of Requirement 9 if they arrive without the diagram.
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 and transfer case.
e. Explain the difference between front-wheel, rear- wheel, and four-wheel drive.
Scouts will find reviewing the Merit Badge Pamphlet very helpful and resourceful in preparing for the class for Requirements 9b thru 9e. All the information necessary to be prepared for the class discussion and sharing of their explanation can be found in the Merit Badge Pamphlet. It is strongly recommended Scouts utilize a notebook or a Merit Badge Workbook to record their findings for easy reference when discussing / explaining these components of requirement 9 during the class.
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.
Scouts should review the Merit Badge Pamphlet and prepare notes for use during the class when asked to share their explanation for these two components of Requirement 10. Be Prepared.
c. Demonstrate how to check the condition of a vehicle's brake system. After checking, make recommendations for repairs (if necessary).
The Counselor will facilitate a demonstration opportunity for all Scouts during the class for this part of Requirement 10, however, Scout are still expected to have read the Merit Badge Pamphlet ahead of time as a preparation step for completion of this part of the requirement. Only Scouts that actively partake in the recommendations part of this requirement will be considered for sign off.
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 this 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 filter.
Scouts will complete requirements 11c and 11d as a part of the class with the guidance of the Merit Badge Counselor. Scouts should come prepared with an understanding of these two options for Requirement 11. Scouts having completed or choosing to work on 11a or 11b ahead of time are encouraged to do so and bring their completed work for review by the Counselor at the end of the class. Choosing to do Requirement option (s) 11a and / or 11b does NOT afford the Scout to not afford the Scout the choice of opting out of the class portion when working on Requirements 11c and 11d. All Scouts will partake in the demonstration and instruction as a part of the class.
12. Find out about three career opportunities in the automotive industry. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.
Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to discuss. It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for completion of this requirement.