LBCC Dyno Days Drives Interest in Auto Tech

Attendees get a closer look at some cars on display and hear more from staff and students during Dyno Days. Photos by Zeva Rosenbaum

By Zeva Rosenbaum

Linn-Benton Community College’s Automotive Technology hosted their annual Dyno Days open house on May 17 and 18.

At Dyno Days, vehicle owners could bring their cars to run on LBCC’s Mustang Dynamometers, which measure the torque and rotational speed of engines, and have their specs posted up on a board for spectators to see.

Attendees test out LBCC’s driving simulator during Dyno Days on May 18.

Attendees toured the available programs, watched student-led demonstrations, and talked to Air Force recruiters, all fueled by food from local food trucks on-site. Kids and adults alike could also test out a stripped-down arcade-style driving simulator.

Jared Garcia, a student finishing up his first year in the Automotive Technology program, said there are multiple certifications throughout the program, such as maintenance and repair in the first year, and engines, transmissions and advanced suspension in the second year.

“I’ve been enjoying every minute of it,” Garcia said. “Learning some really cool stuff.”

Garcia said the first day of the event was a little chaotic as everyone familiarized themselves with the process, and thanks to an influx of cars coming in, but things were smoother and busier on the second day.

“You can come in with no experience (or) a little bit of experience,” Garcia explained. “You’ll end up learning something along the way. I would say it’s focusing less on like, ‘oh, let’s see how much power to make.’ The reality is, we’re doing repairs, we’re making sure your vehicle runs efficiently and reliably. That’s what we’re here to do as repair technicians.”

Ben Roberts said he recently took over the outreach portion of the position and had been talking to prospective students and employees, taking down information for people interested in working as technicians, service advisors or other related roles.

“We’re always looking for new people to hire on,” Roberts said.

A board keeps track of stats such as horsepower, torque, etc., from vehicles running on the dynamometers.

Cars running on the dynamometers were chained down and revved up to test the speed and torque. Vehicles of all shapes, sizes and ages were tested, from classics and commuter cars to luxury SUVs and souped up sports cars.

The auto tech program features a “state-of-the-art” 38,000 square foot facility with 26 bays and high-end diagnostic equipment, and is an authorized National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) training center.

Dyno Days was live-streamed on YouTube on both Friday and Saturday.