Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

Career and Technical Education (CTE) | High School | Automotive

4 Best Automotive Technology Books for High School

February 14th, 2023 | 9 min. read

Mike Cescon

Mike Cescon

With past experience in teaching, a couple of degrees in writing, and an upbringing immersed in medical jargon, Mike is positioned well to hear out the most common questions teachers ask about the iCEV curriculum. His goal is to write content that quickly and effectively answers these questions so you can back to what matters - teaching your students.

Print/Save as PDF

If you teach an automotive technology CTE program, you probably know how hard it is to find the perfect textbook for your class. With the right book, your students will learn everything they need to succeed as automotive technicians. With the wrong one, they may find holes in their knowledge that are difficult to patch. 

So what are the best automotive technology books out there? How much do they cost, and what topics do they handle? 

In this article, you’ll discover the four best automotive technology books on the market today: 

  • Auto Fundamentals, 12th Edition
  • Automotive Technology: Principles, Diagnosis, and Service, 6th Edition
  • Fundamentals of Automotive Technology: Principles and Practice, 3rd Edition
  • Auto Body Repair Technology, 7th Edition

By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of each of these textbooks so that you can choose the right one for your class. 

1. Auto Fundamentals, 12th Edition

Authors: Martin W. Stockel, Martin T. Stockel, and Chris Johanson

Copyright: Goodheart-Willcox, 2020

Auto Fundamentals, 12th Edition is a foundational automotive textbook written to introduce students to the basics of the profession. In this book, students will learn the parts of an automobile, their designs, and how they fit together to make the vehicle operate. 

This textbook is divided into 29 chapters, some of which include: 

  • Career OpportunitiesAuto Fundamentals Automotive Technology Books
  • Safety
  • Automotive Tools and Test Equipment
  • Building an Engine
  • Engine Classification, Parts Identification
  • Engine Size and Performance Measurements
  • Design, Construction, and Application of Engine Components
  • Electrical System Fundamentals
  • Computer Systems
  • Ignition Systems
  • Fuel Injection Systems
  • Fuel and Air Supply Systems
  • Cooling Systems
  • Lubrication Systems
  • Exhaust Systems

These chapters include resources like review and critical thinking questions, learning objectives, and diagrams showcasing the internal workings of vehicle components. This book also offers students insight into the automotive job market and resources for acquiring a career in the field. 

In addition, if you want to view the book before buying, the publisher offers several sample chapters available for free on their website.

Who Is This Textbook Intended For, and How Much Does It Cost?

Auto Fundamentals is a strong choice for teachers looking to give their students an all-encompassing introduction to automotive operations. With a specific focus on each vehicle system, students will walk away knowing how each part and piece fit to make the vehicle work. 

You can purchase a physical edition of Auto Fundamentals for $133 on Goodheart-Willcox’s website. Additionally, there are eBook versions available to rent for $66 per copy.

2. Automotive Technology: Principles, Diagnosis, and Service, 6th Edition

Author: James D. Halderman

Copyright: Pearson, 2020

Automotive Technology: Principles, Diagnosis, and Service, 6th Edition is a comprehensive textbook written to teach students the essentials of automotive service. Like other options in this article, this textbook focuses on aligning with standards set by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

This automotive book is divided into 136 chapters, including: 

  • Automotive Background and Overview
  • Careers in the Automotive Service Industry
  • Starting a Career in the Automotive IndustryAutomotive Technology : Principles, Diagnosis, and Service (Edition 6)
  • Working as a Professional Service Technician
  • Technician Certification
  • Shop Safety
  • Environmental and Hazardous Materials
  • Fasteners and Thread Repair
  • Hand Tools
  • Power Tools and Shop Equipment
  • Vehicle Lifting and Hoisting
  • Measuring Systems and Tools
  • Scientific Principles and Materials
  • Math, Charts, and Calculations
  • Service Information
  • Vehicle Identification and Emission Ratings
  • Preventative Maintenance and Service Procedures
  • Gasoline Engine Operation, Parts, and Specifications
  • Diesel Engine Operation and Diagnosis

These chapters have been condensed from previous editions to shorten the book and provide easier readability. Each chapter features resources like learning outcomes, case studies, review questions, quizzes, and photo sequences of automotive procedures. 

In addition, there are digital materials provided with this textbook to grant more variety to your course. Some of these materials include animations, instructional videos, and study tools. 

Who Is This Textbook Intended For, and How Much Does It Cost? 

Automotive Technology would be a good fit for teachers looking to help students learn the critical skills to earn ASE certifications. With how closely this book aligns with ASE requirements, your students will practice the skills necessary to become certified and gain careers in the automotive field. 

Automotive Technology costs $165 for a print edition on Pearson’s website. Alternatively, you can rent an eBook version for $9.99 per month. 

3. Fundamentals of Automotive Technology: Principles and Practice, 3rd Edition

Author: Kirk T. VanGelder

Copyright: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2023

Fundamentals of Automotive Technology: Principles and Practice, 3rd Edition is a well-rounded textbook designed to teach students the foundational knowledge needed to become automotive technicians. Similar to other options in this article, this book is aligned to the latest ASE standards to help students earn industry certifications. 

This automotive book is split into 75 chapters across nine large sections. These sections are:

  • Safety and Foundation
  • Engine Repair
  • Automatic Transmission and TransaxleCDX Fundamentals of Automotive Technology
  • Manual Drivetrain and Axles
  • Steering and Suspension
  • Brakes
  • Electrical
  • Heating and Air-Conditioning
  • Engine Performance

The chapters within these sections include resources like photos, illustrations, and learning objectives. However, if you purchase the online course version of the material, you’ll also gain access to digital resources like instructional videos, animations, quizzes, tests, grading tools, and more.

Who Is This Textbook Intended For, and How Much Does It Cost?

Fundamentals of Automotive Technology would be a good choice for high school automotive instructors looking to use an all-in-one textbook to teach students both foundational and advanced material. This textbook is written at the 8th and 9th-grade reading levels, making it well-suited to a high school class. 

However, one point to keep in mind is that CDX’s website lists this textbook as having 1900 pages. For some teachers, that might be an overwhelming amount of content to navigate to take what you need.

You can purchase a physical copy of Fundamentals of Automotive Technology for $176 on CDX Learning’s website. Alternatively, you can rent online access to the book for $189 for one year or $298 for two years

4. Auto Body Repair Technology, 7th Edition

Authors: James E. Duffy and Johnathan Beaty

Copyright: Cengage, 2021

Auto Body Repair Technology, 7th Edition is a specialized textbook written to teach students industry best practices in repairing and refinishing automobiles. In those two subject areas, this book aligns with ASE standards, and can quickly impart the knowledge students need to become automotive technicians. 

This automotive book is composed of 30 chapters divided across six sections. These sections are: 

  • Non-Structural Analysis and Damage Repair
  • WeldingAuto Body Repair Technology Textbook
  • Structural Analysis and Damage Repair
  • Mechanical and Electrical
  • Damage Analysis and Estimating
  • Painting and Refinishing

The chapters within these sections contain features like learning objectives, photos, role descriptions, key terms, and review questions to improve student comprehension. In addition, there are digital resources available for this textbook, including lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, assessments, and an instructor’s manual. 

If you want to view a textbook sample before purchasing, Cengage also offers a free preview of the first chapter to give buyers an idea of the content.

Who Is This Textbook Intended For, and How Much Does It Cost?

Auto Body Repair Technology is the right choice for teachers who want to train students to specifically handle automobile collision repair and refinishing. If you’re looking to teach your students these specialized techniques and practices, this automotive book may be the best choice for you. 

However, if you want a more comprehensive textbook to teach your students a wider range of automotive topics, Auto Body Repair Technology might not be a good fit. This textbook focuses mainly on collision repair, and if you’re teaching a more well-rounded course, then one of the other books on this list would suit you better. 

You can buy a physical copy of Auto Body Repair Technology for $220 on Cengage’s website. Alternatively, an eBook edition costs $43 for rental.

Need Something More Than an Automotive Technology Book?

In this article, you’ve learned about some of the best automotive technology books available to teach your high school class. If you want well-rounded textbooks designed to train your students in all they need to know, then one of these options will surely do the trick. 

However, while textbooks have solid, reliable information, they can often fall short when engaging students or giving them a more hands-on experience. If you want a more engaging curriculum for your automotive course, then check out iCEV’s Automotive curriculum!

iCEV’s curriculum consists of dozens of valuable automotive courses aligned to ASE standards. These digital lessons include instructional videos, interactive coursework, experiments, and task sheets, each designed to give your students firsthand automotive experience:

Discover the ASE Accredited Automotive Curriculum