Automotive Program receives latest and greatest equipment

Matthew Saunders
Staff Writer


An automotive student uses the Solus Edge device to run diagnostics on a car with the help of infrared technology.

Students in the college’s Automotive Technical Services program can now learn from diagnostic equipment, thanks to donations from long-time supporters.

The purchase is “a big boost to our department,” said Assistant Professor Randy Howarth.

The two new pieces of equipment are a Solus Edge scan tool and an infrared imaging camera used in the Senior Automotive Lab.

The Solus Edge is about the size of an iPad and can give a current diagnostic of the car with relative ease. The infrared camera allows students to view internal parts of car engines and gauge their temperatures.

These tools are the same devices being used in car dealerships and garages today, and they allow students to practice on what they will actually use in their career, instead of older, outdated machines.

Randy Howarth, an assistant professor in the Automotive, Manufacturing and Electrical Engineering Technologies department, met with Hudson Valley Foundation member Kimberly Berry and others in February of this year to ask for help in securing the equipment.

The budget of the Automotive program at that time was about $1,000, but the equipment would cost around $5,000. Collaborating with Berry and The Foundation, Howarth was able to acquire enough donations to secure the equipment. The cost amounted to lower than what was estimated, allowing The Foundation have around $340 left over.

The donations, which the Automotive Program received, came from two longtime supporters of Hudson Valley’s Automotive program.

Eastern New York Coalition of Automotive Retailers (ENYCAR) has supported the program for over a decade and helped secure funds and scholarships for students. Howarth received $2,000 from ENYCAR to purchase the equipment. At ENYCAR, president of the corporation Deborah Dorman contacted a fellow organization to help with the funds.

Leader Auto Resources, a Canadian dealership, is the largest purchasing cooperative of new car dealers in North America. Offering a donation of $2,000 to match ENYCAR, the Automotive program had enough funds to purchase the equipment they wanted earlier this semester.

Howarth expressed his gratitude for all the help he received in pursuing donations to make the purchase.

“It’s a great team to work with, and we get great support from our department chair,” Howarth said. “Our main goal is to support our students when they leave here to be in the workforce. It was a collaborative effort between our department and The Foundation to find what would best benefit the students, and the scan tool and imaging camera [are] what we decided on.”

Students in the program are finding the equipment very helpful in diagnosing problems when that notorious check engine light comes on in a vehicle.

The new equipment will also be functional and up-to-date for years to come, and it will undoubtedly help new students forge their path into the automotive workforce.

If not for the collaborative efforts of Howarth, Berry and numerous others, the program would still be using old equipment. Hudson Valley is proud to be home to such dedicated professors and staff members that have the students best interests in mind.

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