Course Content and Outcome Guide for AM 181 Effective Winter 2016

Course Number:
AM 181
Course Title:
Engine Performance I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces the use of automotive scan tools, lab scopes and electronic test equipment. Covers the operation and testing of electronic ignition systems including El, Dl and related 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, with limited supervision, the appropriate procedures involved in ignition system diagnosis and adjustments on cars, pickups and vans. This course will prepare students for the final Engine Performance modules 43 and 53 which provide the opportunity to practice learned skills on customer and school controlled vehicles in a €œlive shop€ setting. This will begin the skill level necessary for employment at an apprentice level.

The course material will be presented in a lecture/laboratory format and include videos, handouts and hands-on lab experience in the shop. Students are required to read assigned materials, take notes, complete homework assignments and research information in service manuals and with electronic service information systems.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Perform engine performance inspection, maintenance, diagnosis and repairs relating to ignition systems.
Access and utilize repair information in a rapidly changing technology.
Develop and implement strategies and processes to solve engine performance problems relating to ignition systems.
Perform engine performance repair of ignition systems to professional and ethical standards.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Students will demonstrate effective work with fellow technicians in the following ways:.
  • Attendance requirements include penalties for excessive days missed and lates.
  • Lecture participation requirements include bringing textbooks to class, being prepared to take notes and remaining attentive in class.
  • Laboratory participation requirements include demonstrating good craftsmanship, using time wisely, treating equipment properly, using procedures properly, demonstrating acquired skills and correct use of tools.
  • Demonstrate preparedness for ASE testing by achieving a passing score on all written exams and completing homework assignments.
  • Scoring worksheets completed in the laboratory.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Define and discuss the automotive Scan Tool
  • Discuss ignition system primary operation, components and circuits.
  • Discuss ignition system secondary operation, components and circuits.
  • Define and discuss testing and adjusting base timing.
  • Discuss the operation and testing of spark advance systems.
  • Discuss removal and replacement procedures for distributors.
  • Define and discuss spark knock and control systems.
  • Utilize the Scan Tool for diagnosis and repair.
  • Evaluate properly working ignition system primary circuits.
  • Evaluate properly working ignition system secondary circuits.
  • Utilize a timing light to properly adjust base timing.
  • Evaluate properly working advance systems and repair failures.
  • Utilize correct procedures to remove and replace distributors.

Related Instruction



1. Perform engine performance inspection, maintenance, diagnosis and repairs relating to ignition systems.


Using engine performance test equipment (voltmeter, lab scope, secondary ignition scope and low amp current probe) students compare vehicle ignition system test results to OEM specifications and industry standards

Human Relations


1. Perform engine performance repair of ignition systems to professional and ethical standards.


Students work in pairs or small groups 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.