Lesson Plan Industry Sector

Lesson Plan Originally Created By: Curt Erales

Brake Inspection (updated) by Curt Erales

Part of Unit: Brake System Fundamentals

Lesson Plan Overview / Details

Students will perform complete front and rear brake inspection including disc and drum brakes.

Lesson Time

One Class period
55 Minutes

Objectives and Goals

  • Students will understand the procedures and practices of various manufacturers regarding repair and maintenance schedules.
  • Students will complete a work order, including customer information, description of repairs and billing information, in accordance with applicable rules, laws and regulations.
  • Students will know how to properly document maintenance procedures in accordance with applicable rules, laws, and regulations.
  • Students will use reference books, technical service bulletins, and other documents and materials related to the automotive service industry available in print and through electronic retrieval systems to accurately diagnose and repair vehicles.

Activity overview

This lesson is designed for entry level students to safely complete a brake inspection while working in groups of two. It is critical that students work with safety glasses at all times, because of the safety factor. Safety is a crucial, so it is important that students follow all safety guidelines posted on classroom walls

Activities in this Lesson

  • When students come in the class they take their seats and I asked them, "Have you ever asked yourself how your car stops?"  It all happens when the brakes are applied. I then let them discuss the questions so that I can tap into their prior knowledge. After a short discussion I will explain what happens when the brakes are applied. I will start with the brake pedal to the master cylinder, then how the fluid travels through the brake lines all the way to the front and rear brake system.

    I will then explain to them that generally, when the brakes makes noises, such as squeaking or grinding, it is time for a brake inspection.

    Resources and Materials

  • Brake system Lecture

    By the end of this lesson, given a demonstration and practice, students will be able to complete a brake inspection in a timely and professional manner.

    As a general rule of thumb, the front brake should be thicker than the backing of the brake pad or have more than 20% (approximately 2/32nd of an inch) of pad remaining to be still good. The front rotor should be measured with a micrometer to see if it is within specifications. The rear shoes should have more than 10% (approximately 2/32nd of an inch) remaining to be still good for use.

    The rear drum should be measured to check and see if it is within specifications as well as not out of round. The caliper in the front and the wheel cylinder in the rear should be checked for leaking brake fluid at the seals. They should be dry and not have any signs of leakage.

    Resources and Materials

    • Teacher passes out a handout to each group of students for them to find each brake part on the actual car using handout. [ View Image ] [ Download Original ]
  • Inspection Demo / Modeling

    I will have a vehicle with all four wheels removed and perform a complete step by step brake inspection on the vehicle. This includes inspecting the rotors, brake pads, drums and brake shoes, springs and all hardware. I will inspect these components for wear or damage along with the hydraulic system.

    The hydraulic system includes the master cylinder, hoses, brake steel lines, calipers, and the wheel cylinders. On some vehicles there will either be a proportioning valve, metering valve, or a combine system including the mentioned called a combination valve.

    It is critical that the master cylinder fluid level and condition are inspected as well as the calipers and wheel cylinders be inspected for leaks. At this point I will display a set of new brake pads and used set of brake pads so the students can compare the differences. The used brake pads will have visible groves because the brake pad is completely worn out.

    I will also show the students a completely worn out brake rotor, such as one that has been worn beyond use along with a good rotor, again so the students can see a comparison of good versus worn or bad. I will measure a worn brake rotor and compare it to the specifications using basic mathematical skills with the students and help them to understand why the rotor cannot be resurfaced again because it is “too thin” or beyond the limits of servicing which is why it cannot be reused and must be replaced.

    I will have students take notes during this session to refer to for their lab assignments. Students will take notes during this session in which they can utilize during their own brake inspection in the lab. I will also cover safety items that are related to the shop and working on or around vehicles.

  • Students get their safety glasses and notes and get into groups of two. They will proceed into the lab to begin a brake inspection a vehicle that they are assigned to. At intervals, students can ask the instructor specific questions if help is needed as well as refer to their notes. Students will write a report of their brake inspections which will include the steps, their findings, and the condition and irregularities of all of the components. All of the students work can be posted on the classroom bulletin board as well as the school website for future students to see as a learning tool.

  • I will have the students clean their work areas and discuss their findings on all of the necessary parts their vehicle needed in order to complete an actual repair. I will then inform the students that the next session will include repair procedures with the brake system.


Assessment Types:
Projects, Writing Samples, Demonstrations, Observations,

I will discuss with students the importance of a complete and precise brake inspection. I will have the students discuss their findings and answer any questions that arise. I will ensure that the students follow shop safety at all times. I will inspect the work area to ensure that all tools are put away, the shop is clean and organized.