Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Merit Badge of the Week: Automotive Maintenance

There are a couple of fairly common references to Scouts and automobiles.
  1. It is one of the "fumes"--perfumes and car fumes.
  2. Eagle Scouts may have a driver's license in my house. Get busy.

The American love of the automobile is legendary. Monster trucks, radio controlled cars, the '57 Chevy, and even the pinewood derby feed our imagination for things that go fast!

The Merit Badge History page at shows this attraction to Boy Scouts goes back to 1911 with the Automobiling merit badge.

Automotive Maintenance (the name just changed from Auto Mechanics) was awarded 7480 times in 2007, the most recent year for the data. (BSA Fact Sheet)

As cars and trucks become more computerized, there are evolving changes to what can be maintained now. Even changing a headlight can require time and special tools. Maintaining your own vehicle can save you time and money, too.

The BSA website has the requirements posted for Automotive Maintenance.

Resource List
  1. Always start with Introduction to Merit Badges for the steps to a successful merit badge.
  2. Worksheet on Automotive Maintenance from This is a great tool to organize your work, projects and thoughts.
  3. Automotive terms from
  4. NPR's Car Talk show:  My kids love this show as much as I do.  Some of your Scouts might recognize their voices from characters in Pixar's movie Cars.  New show every week.
  5. Car Talk's Teen Driver Area
  6. Car Talk's Search of 1500 columns
  7. Change a tire, step by step.  Funny and good details.
  8. Change the oil, at
  9. Check the fluids!  Concise list to keep everything working right.  Missing fluids are really bad...
  10. Automotive careers--lots of information on a wide variety of car related careers

Related BSA merit badges: Traffic Safety, Truck Transportation

Do you have a resource for the Automotive Maintenance merit badge? Please share via email or the comments below.

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