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Small Engine Mechanic

Do you want a new career… or just love to tinker with engines? Do you struggle with your lawnmower? If any of these questions apply to you then, this class is for you! Join us to learn all about small engine systems at Cape Fear Community College. Your chainsaw will thank you later.

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Class Description

Students will learn theory and operation related to the overall function of engines, fuel, air, AC & DC and electrical found in common lawn equipment. Heavy emphasis is placed upon interaction with students and their particular needs and equipment. Safety is a major focus. Teaching methods include lectures, videos, demonstrations, and hands-on disassembly and reassembly. On hand we have equipment from Echo, Shindaiwa, Honda, and John Deere. Students are encouraged to bring their equipment in need of repair within space and time limitations.

Class Objectives

Completion of this class will increase confidence and ability to tackle small engine issues. Former students have secured local employment in repair shops, as well as improved their job performance in servicing their organization’s equipment such as those serving lawn care companies.


Spencer Nickel has been a service technician for over 20 years, with the last 5 at John Deere. His certifications include Kawasaki, Echo, Shindaiwa, Stihl, Expert classification with Kohler, and Master Technician Honda Power Equipment. Additional experience includes owning and operating a marine dealership carrying Johnson, Evinrude, Mercury, MerCruiser, Volvo (diesel), Wellcraft, Lund and Triumph boat lines. His degree in business management and daily operational experience prepares students to understand how their technical performance contributes to the operation’s profitability.

“As a former student of the Small Engine Repair classes, I took all the classes available (Basic and Intermediate). The classes were extremely informative, and have given me a new perspective on what I am able to accomplish within that discipline. I am certain that I have more than recovered my tuition costs for all the classes, in my restoration, repairs, and maintenance of my own equipment. I eagerly look forward to any future classes which might further my knowledge and ability to work on small engines and the larger riding mowers. Complete teardown and reassembly of four-stroke engines was paramount in the training process. I feel that I could presently work within the small engine industry from the training provided.”

– Ray Martin, a former student of Small Engine Repair

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