Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
AM 121
Course Title:
Drive Train Systems II
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces automatic transmissions/transaxles, the study of power flow and diagnosis of automatic transmission mechanical and hydraulic systems. Includes proper rebuild procedures, component identification and dynamometer testing of a student built automatic transmission. Prerequisites: CG 209. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course is designed for students with no previous industry experience. Students will develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to perform, repairs on import and domestic cars and light trucks. This course will prepare students for Drivetrain Systems III (AM-132), where they will practice learned skills on customer vehicles until they can diagnosis and repair automatic transmission and transaxle with limited supervision. This is the skill level necessary for employment at an apprentice level.

The broader purpose of this course is to provide students, at the beginning of their first year in the automotive program, with authentic experience in basic industry skills and concepts, to ensure their success in later courses and on-the-job. These skills include tool use, fastener tightening, ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) style test taking, professionalism and responsible customer service.

The course material will be presented in a lecture/laboratory format and include videos, handouts and hands-on lab experience in the shop on cars donated by General Motors, Nissan, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota and Honda. Students are required to read assigned materials, take notes and be responsible for the information in the textbooks, lab manuals and Mitchell ProDemand and All Data subscriptions located in each of the work areas through out the automotive labs.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Perform automatic drive train inspection, maintenance, diagnosis and repairs.
Access and utilize repair information in a rapidly changing technology.
Develop and implement strategies and processes to solve automatic drive train repair problems.
Perform automatic drive train repair to professional and ethical standards.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

To reach these goals, students will demonstrate the course outcomes for Drivetrain Systems II by completing the following tasks:

•Performing a complete automatic transmission/transaxle inspection and service.
•Automatic transmission/transaxle diagnosis and repair.
•Clutch drum diagnosis and repair.
•Servo and band diagnosis and repair.
•Automatic transmission/transaxle planetary gear train diagnosis and repair.
•Final drive assembly diagnosis and repair.

Demonstrate professional skills and attitudes throughout AM-121 by:

•Maintaining good attendance.
•Following safe shop procedures.
•Demonstrating respect for other students and school property.
•Participating in a completing all required activities.

Demonstrate preparedness for ASE testing by taking all AM 121 ASE style written exams.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Critical to the effective diagnosis and repair of any automotive system is an understanding of how and why certain components work. On today€™s automobile, this is often more useful for the technician than the ability to perform a particular adjustment or replacement. A technician must also have the ability to determine which repairs are in their own and customer's best interest. To develop this background understanding of automotive automatic transmission/transaxle systems, students will explore the following concepts:

Health and safety:

•Hazards of chemicals used in cleaning and lubrication of the Automatic transmission/transaxle assembly.
•The importance of shop cleanliness.

Professional business and personal conduct:

•Customer safety
•Repeat repairs
•Communication with customers
•Customer satisfaction as business strategy
•Teamwork in the work place
•Cooperative problem solving
•Work absence and attendance

Physical laws:

•Energy transfer
•Heat and friction
•Hydraulic theory

Specific system and component operation:

•General transmission and transaxle diagnosis.
•Transmission and transaxle maintenance and adjustment.
•In-vehicle transmission and transaxle repair.
•Off-vehicle transmission and transaxle repair.
•Oil pump and torque converter.
•Geartrain, shafts, bushings and transmission/transaxle case.
•Friction and reaction units.


In Drivetrain Systems II, students will build an inventory of the following repair skill to prepare for a career as an apprentice technician.

•Transmission diagnosis and repair.
•In-vehicle transmission and transaxle maintenance and repair.
•Off-vehicle transmission and transaxle repair.

Related Instruction

Hours: 3


1. Perform automatic drive train inspection, maintenance, diagnosis and repairs.


Students compare transmission testing/measuring results to OEM specifications.

Hours: 1


1.  Develop and implement strategies and processes to solve automatic drive train repair problems.


Students verbally explain power flow of various automatic transmissions in all gear ranges.

Human Relations
Hours: 15


1. Perform automatic drive train repair to professional and ethical standards.


Students work in teams to overhaul transmissions.
Students work in teams to remove, inspect, replace and test vehicle transmission assemblies and related components.