Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
AM 142
Course Title:
Undercar Systems III
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers diagnosis and repair of steering system service, suspension system service and 4-wheel alignments in a laboratory/shop setting. Includes how to perform complete steering and suspension system inspections and determine what repairs are needed, order parts and complete repairs under close instructor supervision. Vehicles serviced are drawn from a pool of customer or school owned vehicles. Prerequisites: CG 209. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Students will practice the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to perform, with supervision, base (non anti-lock) brake and anti-lock brake (ABS) repairs on import and domestic cars and light trucks. This course prepares students to service brake systems with limited supervision, which 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
and shop safety. Concepts and attitudes that they will put into practice include craftsmanship, professionalism and responsible customer service.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Perform comprehensive, steering and suspension system inspection, maintenance, diagnosis and repairs with limited supervision.
Communicate effectively with employers, customers and co-workers.
Access and utilize repair information in a rapidly changing technology.
Develop and implement strategies and processes to solve, steering and suspension system repair problems.
Perform  steering and suspension system repair to professional and ethical standards.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will demonstrate achievement of the course outcomes for Brakes II by completing the following tasks:

1. Perform 3 complete brake jobs on customer vehicles (or school vehicles, as needed)
A complete brake job will include the following tasks, to be completed on customer vehicles as required or school vehicles as needed:

Perform complete vehicle brake inspection
Diagnosis of poor stopping or vibration complaint
Overhauling drum and disc brake systems (including machining)
Servicing brake hydraulic components
Performing repairs to correct brake vibration
Performing power assist brake diagnosis
Adjusting base brake systems

2. Completion of all six ABS labs

Students will perform the following ABS tasks:
Perform scanner and manual ABS OBD tests and procedures
Perform DVOM and scope Wheel Speed Sensor tests
Perform ABS integral system de-pressurizing and ABS system bleeding
Diagnose ABS system failures in at least two bugged vehicles

3. Demonstrate professional skills and attitudes throughout AM 115 by:

Maintaining good attendance
Using safe shop procedures
Demonstrating respect for other students, school and customer property
Making good use of class time

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Major concepts
Students will practice and apply concepts and skills developed in AM105. These concepts and skills are:

Health and safety

Hazards of brake dust, importance of shop cleanliness
Hazards of chemicals used in brake systems and repair

Professional business and personal conduct

Customer safety
Repeat repairs
Communicating with customers
Customer satisfaction as business strategy
Cooperative problem solving
Work absence and attendance

Physical laws

Energy transfer
Heat and Friction
Hydraulic theory - Pascals law

Specific system and component operation

Hydraulic - caliper, wheel cylinder, master cylinder, quick-take-up
Master cylinder, control valves, ABS, brake fluids, brake lines
Disc brakes - floating, fixed, low drag, phenolic, parking brake calipers
Drum brakes - servo, non servo, self-adjusting
Power assist - vacuum, Powermaster, Hydraboost
Parking brakes
ABS brake operation - modes of operation, sensors, OBD, limitations


Hydraulic systems
Evaluate and overhaul wheel cylinders
Evaluate and overhaul Master cylinders
Evaluate and overhaul calipers
Measure and adjust master cylinder push rods
Bench bleed master cylinders
Adjust brake switches
Inspect flexible brake lines for wear
Flare and bend steel brake line
Bleed brakes using gravity, manual, pressure, and vacuum methods
Bleed an ABS systemås front and rear hydraulic circuits
Diagnose control valve malfunctions
Properly select, handle, and install brake fluid and dispose used fluid

Drum brakes

Measure and evaluate lining thickness
Evaluate hardware condition
Replace linings, using safe procedures
Service backing plate
Perform major adjustment, and parking brake adjustment
Remove, clean, measure, evaluate and machine brake drums

Disc brakes

Measure and evaluate lining thickness
Replace pads, remove and install pad/caliper hardware
Service sliding mechanism
Measure and evaluate rotors for thickness, run-out, and parallelism
Refinish rotors
Overhaul calipers

Wheel bearings

Service conventional wheel bearings
Adjust conventional wheel bearings
Inspect and replace wheel studs
Remove an reinstall sealed bearing assembly

Power brakes

Perform and evaluate power booster function test
Perform power booster leak test

Parking brake systems

Diagnose parking brake problems
Adjust parking brakes

Base brake diagnosis

Identify and interpret brake system concerns and necessary action
Research applicable vehicle service information
Use vehicle identification numbers

ABS Brakes

Evaluate a Wheel Speed Sensor for open circuit, air gap, tone ring and EMI
De-pressurize a high pressure ABS type system
Bleed an ABS system (all circuits) using the recommended scanner
Determine number of wheel speed sensors, hydraulic channels, and type of
OBD on a given ABS system; describe OBD parameters
Perform manual ABS code retrieval and erase code
Perform ABS code retrieval and erase code using a scanner
Perform Scanner live data and auto-test

Related Instruction

Hours: 4


1. Perform comprehensive, steering and suspension system inspection, maintenance, diagnosis and repairs with limited supervision.


Students measure brake rotors and drums compare vehicle test results to manufactures specifications.
Students measure brake pad and shoe linings compare vehicle test results to manufactures specifications.
Students compute/document labor hours, parts prices, and labor prices on repair order for each vehicle worked on in the lab.

Hours: 11


1.  Communicate effectively with employers, customers and co-workers.
2. Develop and implement strategies and processes to solve, steering and suspension system repair problems.


Students document inspections, repairs, service recommendations, and work performed daily on an electronic repair order including investigating
customer complaints, researching systems via Alldata and Mitchell and TSB€™s
Students work teams communicate with staff to check out tools, school cars, and have repair orders written for lab projects.
Students write parts request, and verbally explain what parts/repairs/service is needed to customer service personnel, and instructor

Human Relations
Hours: 23


1. Perform, steering and suspension system repair to professional and ethical standards.


Students work in teams to complete assigned lab projects.
Students work with lab partners, staff members, and their instructor to bring customer/school cars in /out of the shop for class lab projects.