Author & Automotive Expert James D. Halderman



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Halderman newsletterOctober 2012

Welcome to the October edition of the Halderman newsletter.


I am very heavy hearted after hearing of the passing of my friend and co-authoer Darrell Deeter. He was a good man, and a giant in the industry. He will be greatly missed.

Now for some good news, the information you can obtain on my website now meets NATEF standard 11. I was very pleased to have learned this and hope you visit my website to obtain helpful resources for yourself and your students.


I've enjoyed connecting with you many of you on social media and look forward to future correspondence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.




New to my webiste
Passing of a legend
ASE Sample Question
Straight Talk
Helpful hint
What's New with Pearson Automotive Textbooks?

Myautomotivelab (MAL), the Pearson Education online training program, now meets NATEF standard 11.

This is big news in that this program meets NATEF standard 11 which allows up to 25% of the contact hours for a certified automotive program to be met using the online portion. The cost is about $10 as an add-on to the price of my textbooks. Purchasing the book through Pearson provides the student with a unique code that is not otherwise available through other resellers.

A link to MAL can be found on my website.


NATEF Standard 11 and how MAL meets the criteria includes:

Standard 11.1 - Access

Students must have access to the appropriate technology needed to access e-learning materials. Most programs have access to computer labs.

Standard 11.2 - Curriculum and Student Progress

All content/tasks taught by e-learning must be identified and a record of each student's progress must be maintained through the use of a Learning Management System (LMS).  All activities in MAL are assignable and assessable. They flow to instructor's grade book. Pearson provides LMS for schools without one, or Pearson can customize to fit needs to school. This provides the necessary student progress tracking required for Standard 11.

Standard 11.3 - Advisory Committee Input

E-learning, for the purpose of meeting NATEF hour requirements, must be discussed and approved by the Advisory Committee. Schools should get approval from their advisory committee so that the time spent with electronic learning can meet NATEF requirements and up to 25% of the time can be achieved using MAL.


Also, specifically dealing with Curriculum and Student Progress:


A. Highlight e-learning activities in the course of study materials: MAL achieves this by providingsite maps which lists every single asset, tagged to book, chapter, learning objective (LO), and page number.


B. Cross-reference e-learning activities to content/tasks in the program plan: Because the activities are specifically tied to a text (book, chapter, LO, page number), this is easily done.


C. Correlate instructional hours to be credited toward meeting up to 25 percent of the program specialty hour requirements with the vendor's average completion time for each instructional module. Pearson provides student time on task for each activity, so schools can easily determine how much of their course can be moved online.

Darrell Deeter (1954-2012)

Darrell Deeter died Friday September 7, 2012 as a result of an accident in his garage. DarrellDeeter


He was 58 years old. I first met Darrell at a NACAT conference about 15 years ago. Since then we exchanged thoughts and ideas about teaching and learning. I really got to know Darrell when he hosted NACAT in Seward, Alaska which was a highlight event for many who attended. After he moved from  Alaska to southern California, he hosted CAT a few times and he was always helpful in letting me know the best places to stay and eat when I traveled to California.

 I still remember Darrell running around the Queen Mary making sure that I had the extension cords I needed to setup my computer and projector at NACAT in 2007.

After NACAT in 2007, we discussed many topics and ended up giving a presentation on engine oil together at several CAT conferences and at NACAT. After that Darrell and I had almost constant contact and he helped me with ideas and suggestions for my engine book revision. When it came to naming someone to help put together a book on Introduction to Automotive Service, the first person I thought about was Darrell. I had visited his classes and saw the enthusiasm he had for teaching and I wanted to tap into that enthusiasm and his teaching ideas.

It took us almost two years but as Darrell later said:
"We created something together that was far better than either of us could have created by ourselves."

Darrell Deeter I will miss you terribly and so will the world of automotive education.

ASE Sample Question



Two technicians are discussing master cylinders. Technician A says that it is normal to see fluid movement in the reservoir when the brake pedal is depressed. Technician B says a defective master cylinder can cause the brake pedal to slowly sink to the floor when depressed. Which technician is correct?


a.         Technician A only

b.         Technician B only

c.         Both Technicians A and B

d.         Neither Technician A nor B



The correct answer is c. Both technicians are correct. Technician A is correct because fluid movement in the reservoir occurs when the primary seals on the master cylinder pistons move forward past the vent (compensating) ports. Technician B is correct because if the primary seals are leaking, the brake pedal will slowly sink toward the floor under steady brake pedal force. Answers a, b, and d are not correct because both technicians are correct.

Straight Talk

From the September 22, Wheels section in the Dayton Daily News:



Reader asks about vehicle storage



Wheels: J.T. from Springboro asks:

"I have a vehicle that I store every winter and while I normally add a gasoline stabilizer to the gas, are there other things that I should be doing?"



You are correct that adding a gasoline stabilizer is a wise move so keep doing that. Be sure that the fuel tank is filled with fresh gas and use fresh gasoline stabilizer. If it is a "fun" car that may not be used daily, consider using gas stabilizer each time the tank is filled so that it will always be in the system. Other items that should be considered include:




Placing the tires of the vehicle onto special curved ramps , called flatstoppers, can help prevent tires from being flat spotted while being stored

  1. Change the engine oil before it is stored.
  2. Wherever it is stored be sure that dog or other pet food is not in in the same area. If food is available, the stored vehicle becomes a welcome condo to mice and other animals that may take up living in or around the vehicle. Some experts recommend placing moth balls around the vehicle and a clothes dryer sheet inside to help keep animals away.
  3. Connect a "float-type" battery charger to the battery which keeps it about 80% charged and not overcharged.
  4. Clean the vehicle to help prevent dirt from attracting moisture while in storage. A car cover is also a wise investment if exposed to sunlight or is outside and not in a sealed garage or storage area.
  5. To help prevent the tires from being flat-spotted, consider over-inflating the tire about five to ten pounds per square inch (PSI) of tire pressure. For example, if the normal tire pressure is 32 PSI, inflate the tires to 40 PSI.

The above steps should be fine for a vehicle being stored over the winter. If a vehicle is going to be stored for longer periods, additional items should be done. These would include jacking the vehicle off the ground and supported by safety stand placed under the suspension as well as applying flogging oil to the inside of the engine.



Find more Straight Talk columns here 


Helpful hint

The Brake Pedal Depressor Trick

The master cylinder can be used to block the flow of brake fluid. Whenever any hydraulic brake component is removed, brake fluid tends to leak out because the master cylinder is usually higher than most other hydraulic components such as wheel cylinders and calipers. To prevent brake fluid loss that can easily empty the master cylinder reservoir, simply depress the brake pedal slightly or prop a stick or other pedal depressor to keep the brake pedal down. When the brake pedal is depressed, the piston sealing cups move forward, blocking off the reservoir from the rest of the braking system. The master cylinder stays full and the brake fluid stops dripping out of brake lines that have been disconnected.

NOTE: Try this-put a straw into a glass of water. Use a finger to seal the top of the straw

and then remove the straw from the glass of water. The water remains in the straw because

air cannot get into the top of the straw. This is why the brake pedal depressor trick works to

prevent the loss of brake fluid from the system even if the brake line is totally disconnected.


Do you have a helpful hint? I'm always looking for miscellaneous information and helpful hints to include in my books, presentations and the newsletter. Feel free to email me with your hints, and maybe I'll include it an upcoming newsletter.

Please let me know what you think of the newsletter. I would love to include any of your automotive news or any tech tips you might have. Send me your suggestions! 
You can email me here or visit my website. You can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn too (links above). And I encourage you to visit this website for great car reviews and more of my Straight Talk columns.
Jim Halderman
James D. Halderman writes automotive technology textbooks for Pearson Education. He is an ASE-certified Master Technician with more than 20 years instructional experience.