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 Course Title:   Suspension, Steering and Alignment

 Title Abbreviation:   SUSPENSION/STEER/ALIGN

 Department:    AT

 Course #:    131

 Credits:    7

 Variable:     No

 IUs:    9.25

 CIP:    470604

 EPC:    712

 REV:    2017

 Course Description  

Operation, diagnosis and repair of suspension and steering systems including wheel balance and alignment. Scope of course will cover a variety of front and rear suspension types.


Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment: AT 100 or 107, AT 121, 133 and ENGL& 101.

Additional Course Details

Contact Hours (based on 11 week quarter)

Lecture: 44

Lab: 77

Other: 0

Systems: 0

Clinical: 0

Intent: Distribution Requirement(s) Status:  

Vocational Preparatory Required for ATA degree, Required for certificate  

Equivalencies At Other Institutions

Other Institution Equivalencies Table
Institution Course # Remarks

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Understand the operation of the shop, employee and employer responsibilities.
  2. Understand safety and the hazards of the automotive industry, lifting, fire, hazardous waste, and how to react to them.
  3. Understand wheel bearings, their function, and how to successfully service them.
  4. Understand the construction of tires and explain how to identify the proper tire for the vehicle. Understand plys, belts and treads.
  5. Understand the design and operation of shock absorbers and MacPherson struts.
  6. Understand the different types of suspension systems. Understand how to service the following systems: Coil springs, torsion bar, multiple leaf springs, ball joints, I-beam, MacPherson strut, long/short arm, and equal length arms.
  7. Identify the following rear suspension systems: Independent type, leaf-spring type and multi-link type. Explain the service needed to keep them working properly.
  8. Have a basic understanding of computer-controlled components of the vehicles and service procedures.
  9. Understand the purpose, design and operation of power steering pumps and function of drive belts.
  10. Understand and explain how a recirculating ball steering gear functions. Also understand both manual and power steering gears.
  11. Understand the operation and service of a rack and pinion-type steering gear. Identify different types and make necessary adjustments.
  12. Understand the operation and service of four-wheel steering systems. Identify the operation at both lower and higher speeds. Understand parking ability.
  13. Understand and identify the different types of frames and their service.
  14. Understand camber and caster and how to adjust them on all vehicles.
  15. Understand steering axis and toe-in. Explain how to service the steering axis and how to check and service the toe-in or toe-out.
  16. Understand the need for a computerized alignment on your car. Understand the different angles of alignment and how to adjust them.

General Education Learning Values & Outcomes

Revised August 2008 and affects outlines for 2008 year 1 and later.

2. Critical Thinking

Definition: The ability to think critically about the nature of knowledge within a discipline and about the ways in which that knowledge is constructed and validated and to be sensitive to the ways these processes often vary among disciplines.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
2.3 Identify, interpret, and evaluate pertinent data and previous experience to reach conclusions.

3. Communication

Definition: Understanding and producing effective written, spoken, visual, and non-verbal communication.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
3.1 Recognize, read, and comprehend academic and/or professional writing.

6. Individual Awareness & Responsibility

Definition: Understanding, managing, and taking responsibility for one’s learning and behavior in varied and changing environments.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
6.2 Demonstrate standards of professionalism in manner, appearance, and setting appropriate to the context, including the classroom, workplace, and community.

10. Technology

Definition: Understanding the role of technology in society and using technology appropriately and effectively.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
10.3 Use technology appropriate to the context and task to effectively retrieve and manage information, solve problems, and facilitate communication.

Course Contents

  1. Suspension and steering types.
  2. Wheels, tires, and balancing.
  3. Suspension and steering inspection and component service.
  4. Wheel alignment.
  5. Axle and driveshaft service.
  6. Shock absorber and MacPhearson strut service.
  7. Power steering/hydraulic system service.
  8. Vibration diagnosis.