Automotive Theory and Skills (Grade 11)

by James Hooker

This is the Concentrator Level course that students take in the Transportation Pathway. This automotive course provides students with theory, knowledge, and skills necessary to understand the basic engine, drive-train, and other support systems. The lab component of the class focuses on general inspection procedures, maintenance and light repair work that is common in automotive, agricultural and industrial applications. Demonstrated lecture, simulated problem diagnosis and practical application on "live" vehicles will be used. Prepares students for Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair (G1) ASE exam.

Program Information
Course Certification Elements
Course Standards
California English Common Core Standards (2)
California Math Common Core Standards (8)
Next Generation Science Standards (4)
California's 2013 CTE Standards (28)
Course Competencies / Outcomes


Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

1. Understand and be able perform preventive and light repair maintenance.

2. Evaluate and maintain the engine timing system components of a vehicle.

3. Perform tire work.

4. Inspect and evaluate the suspension, steering, and brake systems of a vehicle

Course Work Based Learning Activities
  • Diagnose and complete basic repair and maintenance issues
  • Work in Lab
  • Guest speakers
  • Internships

Course Materials
  • Text book: Halderman, J. D. . (2016) Automotive Technology: Principles, Diagnosis, and Service , 5th, Prentice Hall 
  • Lab Task Sheets
  • Tools: Basic hand tools, oil filter wrenches, grease gun, torque wrenches, micrometers, feeler gauge,digital or dial caliper, impact guns, DVOM, compression gauge, leak down tester, vacuum gauge, cooling system pressure tester, brake tools 
  • Equipment: two post lifts, tire machine, tire balancer, brake lathe, oil drain, floor jacks, jack stands, tool carts, computers and software subscriptions to AllData or Mitchell on demand, Engine stands, shop vehicles

Course Units (180 hour course)

The Auto Shop and Safety

Unit Length (Hours): 9 hours

Unit Description:  Chapter 6: Shop Safety

General Safety: Covers basic shop safety for tools and equipment 

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes: 

Pass Safety Test, demonstrate knowledge of operating, and proper terminology for, equipment.

Unit Assessment 

Chapter 5 Test, training  and hands-on demonstration of being able to operate equipment safely.

The Auto and Auto Shop

Unit Length :  9 hours

Unit Description:  

Section 1 text book -  Learn components and systems that make up an automobile and  components and make up of an auto shop.

Unit Competencies  

Students should be able to: give an overview of systems and components that make up an automobile, explain areas that make up an auto shop and discuss what is done in each area.

Unit Assessment 

Chapters 1,2,3 Test, formative assessment tests and lab task evaluations

Tests on Automobile Overview and Auto Shop Layout and Areas 

Hands-on identification of automobile systems and components 

Assessment on auto shop layout

Basic Hand Tools & Power tools

Unit Length (Hours): 9 Hours

Unit Description

Book Chapters 9 and 10. Learn how to identify Basic Hand Tools and Power Tools. Hands-on learning of the proper use of hand tools and power tools.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes: 

Be able to identify a wide variety of hand tools, demonstrate proper usage of hand and power tools, and exhibit proper layout for easy usage of a toolbox. 

  1. Tool ID lab

Unit Assessment :  

Chapters 9 and 10 test, formative assessment tests and lab task evaluations

Students should know names and uses of basic hand and power tools, and demonstrate ability to organize a toolbox for easy usage.

Automotive Measurement and Math

Unit Length (Hours): 9 Hours

Unit Description:  

Book chapter 12Know when and how to take basic measurements in metric and standard systems. Learn to use different measuring tools and how to use math to figure engine displacement, gear ratio and vehicle speed.

Unit Competencies/ Outcome: 

Students should be able to:

Use and read a micrometer, rulers, calipers, and dial indicators. 

Perform measurements needed to overhaul engines, rear axles, and transmissions 

Utilize basic equations related to automobile repair and performance assessments 

  1. Check a cylinder head for warpage
  2. Measure cylinder bore taper and out of round
  3. measure end play with a dial indicator

Unit Assessment : 

Chapter 12 test, formative assessment tests and lab task evaluations

Students take tests on measuring devices and the proper reading of tools, as well as calculating engine size and performance. Also included are hands-on measuring of engine parts, brake parts, and clearances.

Fasteners, Gaskets, Seals, and Sealants

Unit Length (Hours): 9 Hours

Unit Description: 

Book chapter 8. Learn the difference between metric and standard fasteners. Learn different thread pitch, size and rating of fasteners. Learn different gasket materials, proper usage and proper installation of seals. Learn how and when to use various sealants.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes: Students should be able to identify fasteners by size, thread pitch, metric and standard. Know how to identify fastener grade, style, and usage. Students should also be able to identify different types of gasket materials, and gasket designs. Students should be able to explain different types of seals, how they work and their proper installation. Finally, students should know which sealants to use when and how.

  1. identify a bolt size per industry standards

Unit Assessment: 

Book test chapter 8, formative assessment tests and lab task evaluations

Students will be able to identify bolts by size, thread pitch, metric and standard. By hands-on demonstration, students show they can identify bolt grades and which grades are required. Students take chapter test on fasteners, gaskets, seals and sealant. Finally, hands-on demonstration of proper installation of seals should be required.

Service Information and Invoice Writing

Unit Length (Hours): 9 Hours

Unit Description:  

Book chapter 15. Students will learn: where to find service information, how to use electronic manuals, identify vehicle year, engine size and other information by VIN number. Students will write shop invoices to meet BAR requirements. 

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes: 

Students will be able to determine vehicle identification by VIN and look up service information and requirements. Students will be able to use electronic service manuals to find manufacturers' specifications and procedures. Students will know how to properly fill out a shop invoice according to BAR requirements. 

  1. Prepare an invoice per BAR requirements
  2. research vehicle service information
  3. Identify labels and information provided by the manufacture on the vehicle

Unit Assessments: 

Chapter 15 test, formative assessment tests and lab task evaluations

Students show they can identify vehicles and look up service information by VIN. They will take chapter, written, tests on vehicle information. Students will exhibit ability to properly fill out invoice to meet BAR requirements.

Vehicle Maintenance

Unit Length (Hours):  27 Hours

Unit Description: 

Book Section V. Students will learn what preventive maintenance is and how to perform: fluid maintenance, oil service, maintenance inspections, and timing belt inspection. 

Unit Competencies / Outcomes: 

Students will understand what preventive maintenance is, how to find manufacturers' schedules as they pertain to: oil maintenance, service, maintenance inspection and their importance to longer vehicle life. 

  1. Perform an maintenance inspection and oil change
  2. R & R a timing belt

Unit Assessment:  

Test from Section V in book, formative assessment tests and lab task evaluations

Students take a written test on vehicle maintenance and demonstrate the ability to find maintenance schedules on vehicles given to them. Additionally, students will demonstrate their ability to perform basic fluid maintenance.

Tire, Wheel, and Wheel Bearing Fundamentals

Unit Length (Hours) 27 Hours

Unit Description:  

Book Chapters 98, 109, 111. Students will learn about tire: construction, purpose, function and part identification, maintenance and inspection, mount and dismount procedures, balancing, repair and diagnosis, and pressure monitoring systems. Further instruction is provided for wheel bearing checking and repacking, and hub replacement.

Unit Competencies / Outcome: 

Students will understand tire load and wear ratings, learn different parts of tires and what sizing numbers mean. They will be taught about proper tire rotation, tire wear and causes, how to mount and dismount tires, how to repair leaks, and tell if a tire is repairable. They will learn how tire monitoring systems work, how to check and pack wheel bearings, and adjust the bearings. Students will learn how to check hubs and when to replace them.

  1. mount and dismount tires
  2. rotate and balance tires
  3. perform TPMS relearn procedure
  4. repack wheel bearings

Unit Assessment: 

Book test from chapters 98,109,111, formative assessment tests and lab task evaluations

Students will demonstrate hands-on dismounting and mounting of tires. They will demonstrate knowledge of balancing tires,how to patch and repair a tire, and show understanding of tire monitoring systems. Students will demonstrate how to pack wheel bearings and adjust tires properly, and how to check hubs. They will complete a written, chapter test with a passing grade.

Suspension and Steering System

Unit Length (Hours): 36 Hours

Unit Description: 

Book chapters 112,116,117. This unit covers suspension and steering system purpose, function, and parts identification, steering and suspension system types, inspection and general repair.

Unit Competencies / Outcomes: 

Students will understand suspension operation and purpose, identify parts and which parts are used in each system type. Additionally, they will know how to properly inspect and replace basic suspension and steering parts. 

  1. perform a pre-alignment suspension and steering inspection

Unit Assessment:

Book chapter 112,116,117 test, formative assessment tests and lab task evaluations

Students will pass a written, chapter test, visually identify suspension and steering parts, and demonstrate the ability to check and replace defective parts.

Brake System Technology

Unit Length (Hours):  36 Hours

Unit Description: 

Book Chapters 92,93,94, 96, 99,100,101,102, and 103. Students will learn the purpose and function of brake systems, as well as how to identify parts. They will perform hands-on brake jobs and learn the function of anti-lock brakes. They will perform brake inspections and understand brake diagnosis.

  1. Perform a brake system inspection

Unit Competencies/ Outcome:  

Students demonstrate understanding of the purpose and function of brake systems. Students are able to identify parts, explain their function, and show they are capable of basic troubleshooting. Students will demonstrate the ability to perform a basic brake job.

Unit Assessment: 

Book test on Chapters 92, 93, 94, 96,99,100,101,102, and 103, formative assessment tests and lab task evaluations

Students will pass a written, chapter test, be able to visually identify brake system parts, and demonstrate the ability to perform a brake inspection.

Course Summative Assessment

The Classroom Summative Assessment should resemble an ASE exam similar to the Maintenance and Light Repair G1. 

The Lab Final Exam should include hands-on tasks such as: parts identification, tool identification and measurement with a micrometer.