September 5, 2001

Audi Technician Training
Article and Photos by Steve Sherwood & Christopher Lloyd

Just how do Audi technicians get trained anyway? Good question, right? Perhaps we might guess that they learn by Cliff Notes, but in the end we know that's not true. This article will explore a few of the details associated with training the individuals that work on various Audi models while at the dealership for maintenance or repair issues. The calibre of the Tech Training staff is a pleasant surprise indeed.

Background

On December 30, 2000, thirty members of the NorCal Audi Club got the opportunity to visit the Northern California Audi Tech Training Center in Livermore CA. Although over 75 people had expressed interest in going, the group was limited to only 30 lucky attendees.

How many training centers are there in the US?

This center is one of eight facilities in the US that train technicians on the intricacies of both new and old Audis in the United States. The centers are located in: San Francisco (Livermore), Los Angeles (Carson) soon moving to Ontario, New Jersey (Cranbury), Boston (Woburn), Atlanta (College Park), Seattle (Tukwila), Denver, Dallas, Chicago (Buffalo Grove), Ontario Canada (Ajax) and Quebec Canada (Montreal).

Technicians in other locales typically schedule training sessions and travel to one of these locations to attend the classes.

Who runs these training centers?

There is usually one technical trainer who runs each facility. The facility we visited actually houses both the Audi training and also the Volkswagen training. In the case of this particular training center, Steve Shupe runs the Audi side of things. In addition to working on Audis for many years, Steve has also worked as an Audi dealership service manager and a master mechanic and shop foreman. Coincidentally, Steve serviced several of the Audi A4's belonging to members of the NorCal Audi Club when he was at a local NorCal dealership.

How many vehicles do they have to train with?

Usually the Tech Training facilities have about five current cars on which to perform work. During our visit they had an Audi A8L, Audi A4 2.8 quattro, Audi A6 4.2, Audi TT Roadster and an allroad quattro. Steve pointed out that he did not currently have an A4 1.8T car or engine to work with, although this is subject to change.

When new cars are about to be released to the public these facilities will receive a pre-launch version of the cars about 30-45 days prior to release. The tech trainers will then work with the local technicians to get them up to speed with the new cars.

What training equipment/tools are available?

The walls of the facility are filled with the various general and specialty tools needed to service Audi automobiles. Some of these tools make the repair possible, and others just make it easier. In addition to the tools on display there are numerous boxes that contain VAG tools that help out with certain procedures -- such as testing a wiring harness -- or aligning a transmission component.

The shop also included many engines mounted on supports so that the technicians could work on them. On hand were two V8 engines (from the Audi V8, not the new 4.2 engines), two A3 1.8T engines, one A4/A6 2.8 30V engine and an older Audi 90/A4 2.8 12V engine. One of the engines was mounted on an apparatus that allowed it to be turned on and run.

What is the duration of the courses? Most Audi technicians attend 1-4 day sessions on various topics.

What classes are offered?

The following is a fairly comprehensive listing of the courses available to Audi Technicians, as well as a brief description of the course.

# AT7011 Repair Logic 2 Days - Teaches logical diagnostic process to solving technical problems.

# 911700 Audi Technical Introduction 3 Days - Establishes a foundation in Audi's culture, process and diagnostic procedures.

# 911102 Audi 5051 Diagnostics 2 Days - A hands on learning of the factory diagnostic tool. It includes scan tool function, scope and test instrument functions and guided fault finding.

# 921700 Audi Engine Repair 3 Days - Includes engine disassembly and repair.

# 941002 Audi Engine Mgmt Systems- Level 1 4 Days - Teaches theory, knowledge and skills needed to test, diagnose and repair Engine Management Systems.

# 942002 Audi Engine Mgmt Systems- Level 2 4 Days - Includes advanced diagnostic skills used on current engine management systems.

# 951700 Manual Transmission Diagnosis & Repair 3 Days - Teaches complete diagnosis and repair of the 01E, 012, 02J and 02M transmissions and differentials.

# 951902 AG5 Auto trans Operation & Diagnosis 2 Days - Teaches knowledge and skills to correctly diagnose and repair the AG5 automatic transmissions.

# 961700 Audi Brake Sys Ops & Diagnosis 2 Days - Covers proper service procedures and repair on Audi mechanical and hydraulic braking systems.

# 971600 Audi Electrical Systems 3 Days - Teaches electrical theory, Ohms Law, Audi Current Flow Diagrams and basic electrical diagnostic procedures.

# 971802 Power Accessories 1 2 Days # 972802 Power Accessories 2 2 Days & # 973802 Power Accessories 3 2 Days - Covers operation, troubleshooting and repair of power windows, power mirrors, sunroof, cruise control, navigation, central locking systems, radio, parking aid, Homelink, etc.

# 981700 Audi Heating, A/C & Climate Control Sys 3 Days - Teaches theory and skill to diagnose and repair Audi climate control systems.

# 991600 Audi A8 Product Overview 4 Days - Focuses on the features of the Audi flagship, how they operate, as well as troubleshooting these systems.

# 992902 Audi 2.7 Biturbo Product Overview 2 Days - Includes preparation, diagnosis and repair of performance vehicles equipped with the 2.-liter Biturbo engine.

# 991902 TT Introduction for Technicians 3 Days - Teaches technicians the proper disassembly and repair of the TT.

# 961102 Audi Handling Systems 2 Days - Teaches knowledge and skills needed to test, diagnose and repair ABS, EBD, EDL, ASR, ESP and the allroad 4 level suspension.

# 972002 Airbag and Safety Systems 2 Days - Teaches proper handling and repair of Audi Safety systems including passive and active systems.

# 991102 Audi New A4 Introduction 4 Days - Diagnosis and Repair of the New (B6) A4.

Fast Track - A six-week course intended to educate the new dealership technician about Audi's and proper service procedures. This can be one week a month for 6 months and is built from courses above.

Turbotrack - This is a course to teach an experienced technician the "Audi way".

Audi of America also has eight-week classes that allow the technician to come to class one week a month for eight weeks.

What are the levels of technicians?

Most Audi technicians that attend the course have been working on Audi products for some time and are now expanding their knowledge base or finding out about a newly released car or system.

Can anyone visit these tech-training centers?

Due to the popularity of the Audi nameplate these days, the training centers are extremely busy training new technicians. For this reason, visits to the centers are quite rare. The Northern California center was made available exclusively for the NorCal Audi Club's use that weekend for the purpose of a tour. The Southern California chapter of the Quattro Club also makes periodic visits to the SoCal Tech Training Center in Placentia CA, so the availability of facility tours seems to be controlled locally. The NorCal Audi Club is beginning to arrange a second trip to the Livermore facility in the coming months, so future visits may be possible.

Thanks to Audi of America

The NorCal Audi Club wanted to personally thank Audi of America for their hospitality and for allowing them the privilege of letting a core group of club members to tour the facility. A special thanks goes out to Steve Shupe, the technical trainer at the facility, for once again going the extra mile for his clients.

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