(Left to right) TSTC Auto Collision and Management Technology students Emiliano Benitez, Christian Esparza and Dominick Zavala work on a suspension overhaul during a recent lab session.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Some students in the Auto Collision and Management Technology program at Texas State Technical College’s Harlingen location are sharpening their skills by learning how to do a suspension overhaul on a 1993 Chevrolet Silverado.

TSTC instructor Jesus Reyna assigned the hands-on project at the start of the summer semester as part of the Front and Rear Wheel Alignment course for students specializing in auto collision repair.

“The students are doing multiple repairs and the replacement of parts,” Reyna said. “There are three stages: teardown of the vehicle, reassembling of the automobile, and doing a computer alignment. Every part takes a certain amount of time to do. It prepares our students to be skilled technicians.”

Daniel Pacheco, of Harlingen, is studying for an Associate of Applied Science degree in the program.

“I’m learning about a vehicle’s restoration process,” he said. “We have a new computer scanner that reads the bottom of a vehicle. The results tell us which part needs to be fixed or if the steering needs to be realigned.”

Adrian Perez, of Harlingen, is pursuing the same degree.

“This project has been exciting since we started it,” he said. “I’ve learned that if a customer has a factory suspension on their vehicle and wants it changed to a custom suspension, I’ll be able to do that.”

Reyna said the suspension overhaul assignment should be completed later this month.

According to onetonline.org, automotive body and related repairers in Texas earn an average of $48,330 a year. The website projected that there would be a 14% increase in the number of such jobs in the state from 2020 to 2030.

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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