The Auto and Shop Information subtest of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery involves questions about automobile systems and functions/malfunctions and questions about common shop tools and fasteners and their uses.

Your Auto and Shop Information subtest score is used to determine various job qualifications. It is not used in determining your Armed Forces Qualification Test score.

The Test   

On the CAT-ASVAB for the Auto and Shop Information subtest you will have 7 minutes to answer 11 auto-related questions and 6 minutes to answer 11 shop-related questions.

On the paper version of the ASVAB, you will have 11 minutes to answer 25 questions, which are usually split between auto-related questions and shop-related questions.

The Questions

The questions on the Auto and Shop Information subtest are written to test your knowledge of among other things a functioning vehicle and the common practices and equipment used in automotive shops.

You will need to know, among other things:

  • Basic engine components and functions
  • Different engine types and sizes
  • How different car parts interact with each other and with the engine
  • How fuel enters the engine
  • How a car’s electrical system functions
  • How to recognize and fix malfunctions in a car
  • Various vehicle operating systems, including the transmission, electrical, brakes, steering and ignition
  • How computers are used in vehicles today
  • Auto shop procedures
  • Auto shop tools and their functions
  • And much more

A big part of this test is understanding how engines work – from small engines to car engines and above. For instance, you will need to know how a typical engine functions from the fuel mixture it burns to how the fuel enters the engine to how the engine utilizes that fuel to produce motion and more.

You’ll need to know the four strokes that make up the engine cycle, what the carburetor does, what the throttle does and much more.

You will also need to know about other important vehicle systems such as the brake system, the cooling system, the electrical system, the emissions control system and more.

Computers also play a major role in most vehicles these days so you will need to have an understanding of how computers are utilized in various car systems.

You will also need to know how tools, such as a sliding caliper, butt chisel, auger bit, box end wrench, vise grip pliers and adjustable pipe wrench are used.

And that’s not all, you will also need to be familiar with striking tools, fastening tools, cutting tools, drilling, punching and gouging tools and much more.

Here are some sample questions that could be on the test:

  • What is a carburetor’s primary function?
  • What does the alternator do?
  • What’s another name for a pipe wrench?

Test Taking Tips

Like some of the more specialized sections of the ASVAB, when it comes to the Auto and Shop Information section chances are you are either going to have a lot of knowledge and experience in this area already or you are just not that interested in the subjects this test covers and not that concerned about what type of score you will get.

That means when you read a question in this section you are probably either going to immediately know the answer or you are going to have no clue.

Again, this probably has more to do with your interests and past experience than anything else.

If you do want to do well on this subtest but don’t have a lot of knowledge or experience, we’ll share some things that you can do with you later in this study guide.

As for tips for answering the questions on this subtest:

If you don’t have the applicable experience and knowledge, your best choice may be to try and use common sense. This may allow you to eliminate some of the possible answers right off the bat. Then with the remaining answers, you should simply make your best guess. Keep in mind, guessing does not hurt you on the Auto and Shop Information subtest, so you are better off putting down an answer than leaving it blank.

Preparing for the Auto and Shop Information Subtest

If you lack knowledge and experience in auto and shop, there are a few things you can do:

  • You can enroll in a course at your local community college
  • You can learn from someone who has auto and shop experience
  • You can read books and do research on the Internet
  • You can read your car’s automobile manual

One more thing you can do is take our Auto and Shop Information practice tests right here on this website.

Our experts have crafted a series of questions that cover areas commonly tested on the real ASVAB to give you an idea of what to expect on the test.

Our test will also better prepare you for the experience of sitting for the ASVAB so that you feel more relaxed and confident when you go to take the test.

Whether you know a lot about Auto and Shop and know very little, keep in mind this is a timed test and that spending too much time on any one question can negatively impact your performance.

If you run into a difficult question it is best to skip that question and then return to it later if you have time. Also, don’t let one question throw you off track and interfere with your ability to answer other questions.

Keep in mind that you can always come back to the question at the end and give it more thought. Most candidates are able to complete this section without being rushed so that means you may have additional time at the end to review your answers, particularly those answers you are not sure about.

Also don’t forget, if Auto and Shop Information is not required to qualify for the job you want, you may be better served spending your time studying other areas of the ASVAB.