Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
AM 131
Course Title:
Drive Train Systems I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces manual transmissions/transaxles, the study of power flow and diagnosis of manual transmission systems. Includes proper repair procedures, component identification and service procedures performed on school owned vehicles and components. 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 manual 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.

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 and lab manuals. Computers with Mitchell ProDemand and All Data subscriptions are located in each of the work areas throughout the automotive labs.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Perform manual 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 manual drive train repair problems.
Perform manual drive train repairs to professional and ethical standards

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will be assessed on the following course work for Drivetrain Systems I:

•Performing a complete manual transmission/transaxle inspection and service.
•Remove and reinstall transmission/transaxles.
•Inspect transmission/transaxles and perform necessary action.
•Diagnose noise, hard shifting, jumping out of gear, and fluid leakage concerns; determine necessary action.
•Remove and replace transaxle final drive.
•Perform drive shaft and half shaft, universal and constant-velocity (CV) joint diagnosis and repair.
•Perform drive axle diagnosis and repair on a rear wheel-drive axle.
•Perform ring and pinion gears and differential case disassembly and assembly.
•Perform four-wheel drive/all-wheel drive component diagnosis and repair.

 Demonstrate professional skills and attitudes throughout AM-131 by:

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

 Demonstrate preparedness for ASE testing by taking all AM 131 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 manual transmission/transaxle systems, students will explore the following concepts:

Health and safety:

•Hazards of chemicals used in cleaning and lubrication of the manual 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.
•Absence and tardiness as a work ethic.

Physical laws:

•Energy transfer.
•Heat and friction.
•Hydraulic theory.

Specific system and component operation:

•Clutch assemblies, hydraulic, cable and rod-level mechanisms.
•Bell housing , clutch cover and clutch disc.
•Flywheel, starter ring gear, pilot bearing and input shaft.
•Transmission/transaxle assemblies, Forward gears and reverse.
•Transmission/transaxle shift linkages, bushings, bearings and gaskets and seals.
•Drive shafts, half shafts, universal joints and constant-velocity joints.
•Drive axles (front wheel drive), ring and pinion gears and differential case assembly.
•Limited slip differential, lubrication and theory.
•Four-wheel drive/all-wheel drive component theory.


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

•Drivetrain diagnosis.
•Clutch diagnosis and repair.
•Transmission/Transaxle diagnosis and repair.
•Drive shaft, drive axle, universal joint and constant velocity joint diagnosis and repair.
•Drive axle diagnosis and repair, ring and pinion gears and differential case assembly.
•Limited slip differential diagnosis and repair.
•Four wheel drive/all wheel drive component diagnosis and repair.