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4-H Automotive, Small & Tractor Engines Project

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Start your engines and get excited about the automotive, small and tractor engines 4-H project area! Explore your interest in tractors and cars and learn how engines work, what problems can occur and how to fix those problems, and even build your own small engine.

Ages and Stages of Youth Development


Beginners start by learning basic information such as parts of an engine and tractor, the uses of different engines, spark plug maintenance, and the importance of clean air for an engine. Know safety with engine repair and tractor use.


Juniors can begin to work on their own. They understand the tools needed for repair, water and air cooling systems, transmission power, compression ratios, and types of small engines. Gain more driving and operating materials experience with tractors.


Learning occurs through experience. Seniors can use diagnostic tools, tear down and assemble an engine, fix an engine’s electrical or fuel system, and understand regulations using small engines. Seniors are proficient in driving a tractor.

4-H Programming Priorities


Educate younger members and community members on some basic skills in engine repair. Learn about small business start-up and operation in this field.

Health & Wellness

Working with small engines, safety is very important. Study and promote safety and proper body mechanics.


Learn both the mechanical process that occur in an engine and the chemical reactions that are needed. Analyze the effect different fuel types have on an engine.


A knowledge of engine repair and maintenance is beneficial for using tractors and other small engines on farm and ranch operations.

Get Involved

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Youth Voice

  • Discuss differences in fuel types
  • Speech on causes and prevention of tractor roll-overs
  • Illustrated talk on the basic parts of an engine
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Community Service

  • Teach a workshop on small engine safety
  • Repair a lawnmower engine for a community member
  • Organize a battery recycling day
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Career Connections

  • Agricultural engineer
  • Equipment sales
  • Small engine technician/mechanic
  • Farmer
  • Automotive mechanic
  • Electrical engineer

Exhibit Ideas

  • Poster on safety with small engines/lawn and garden equipment
  • Display showing how a small engine runs
  • Display on maintenance of small engine parts
  • Poster comparing tractors and their use
  • Display showing restoration of a tractor engine