This course covers principles of operation and types, diagnosis, service, and repair of brake systems. Topics include drum and disc brakes involving hydraulic, vacuum boost, hydra-boost, electrically powered boost, and anti-lock and parking brake systems. Upon completion, students should be able to diagnose, service, and repair various automotive braking systems.

Prerequisites: ENG 002, TRN 110, TRN 120

Corequisites: AUT 151A

Class Hours: 2        Lab Hours: 3        Clinical/Work Exp.: 0        Credit Hours: 3


General Brake Systems Diagnosis

  • Identify and interpret brake system concerns; determine needed action.

  • Research vehicle service information including fluid type, vehicle service history, service precautions, and technical service bulletins.

  • Describe procedure for performing a road test to check brake system operation including an anti-lock brake system (ABS).

  • Install wheel and torque lug nuts.

Hydraulic System Diagnosis and Repair

  • Diagnose pressure concerns in the brake system using hydraulic principles (Pascal’s Law).

  • Measure brake pedal height, travel, and free play (as applicable); determine needed action.

  • Check master cylinder for internal/external leaks and proper operation; determine needed action.

  • Remove, bench bleed, and reinstall master cylinder.

  • Diagnose poor stopping, pulling or dragging concerns caused by malfunctions in the hydraulic system; determine needed action.

  • Inspect brake lines, flexible hoses, and fittings for leaks, dents, kinks, rust, cracks, bulging, wear; and loose fittings/supports; determine needed action.

  • Replace brake lines, hoses, fittings, and supports.

  • Fabricate brake lines using proper material and flaring procedures (double flare and ISO types).

  • Select, handle, store, and fill brake fluids to proper level; use proper fluid type per manufacturer specification.

  • Inspect, test, and/or replace components of brake warning light system.

  • Identify components of hydraulic brake warning light system.

  • Bleed and/or flush brake system.

  • Test brake fluid for contamination.

Drum Brake Diagnosis and Repair

  • Diagnose poor stopping, noise, vibration, pulling, grabbing, dragging or pedal pulsation concerns; determine needed action.

  • Remove, clean, and inspect brake drum; measure brake drum diameter; determine serviceability.

  • Refinish brake drum and measure final drum diameter; compare with specification.

  • Remove, clean, inspect, and/or replace brake shoes, springs, pins, clips, levers, adjusters/self-adjusters, other related brake hardware, and backing support plates; lubricate and reassemble.

  • Inspect wheel cylinders for leaks and proper operation; remove and replace as needed.

  • Pre-adjust brake shoes and parking brake; install brake drums or drum/hub assemblies and wheel bearings; perform final checks and adjustments.

Disc Brake Diagnosis and Repair

  • Diagnose poor stopping, noise, vibration, pulling, grabbing, dragging, or pulsation concerns; determine needed action.

  • Remove and clean caliper assembly; inspect for leaks, damage, and wear; determine needed action.

  • Inspect caliper mounting and slides/pins for proper operation, wear, and damage; determine needed action.

  • Remove, inspect, and/or replace brake pads and retaining hardware; determine needed action.

  • Lubricate and reinstall caliper, brake pads, and related hardware; seat brake pads; inspect for leaks.

  • Clean and inspect rotor and mounting surface; measure rotor thickness, thickness variation, and lateral runout; determine needed action.

  • Remove and reinstall/replace rotor.

  • Refinish rotor on vehicle; measure final rotor thickness and compare with specification.

  • Refinish rotor off vehicle; measure final rotor thickness and compare with specification.

  • Retract and re-adjust caliper piston on an integrated parking brake system.

  • Check brake pad wear indicator; determine needed action.

  • Describe importance of operating vehicle to burnish/break-in replacement brake pads according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

Power Assist Units Diagnosis and Repair

  • Check brake pedal travel with and without engine running to verify proper power booster operation.

  • Identify components of the brake power assist system (vacuum and hydraulic); check vacuum supply (manifold or auxiliary pump) to vacuum- type power booster.

  • Inspect vacuum-type power booster unit for leaks; inspect the check-valve for proper operation; determine needed action.

  • Inspect and test hydraulically-assisted power brake system for leaks and proper operation; determine needed action.

  • Measure and adjust master cylinder pushrod length.

Related Systems (i.e. Wheel Bearings, Parking Brakes, Electrical) Diagnosis and Repair

  • Diagnose wheel bearing noises, wheel shimmy, and vibration concerns; determine needed action.

  • Remove, clean, inspect, repack, and install wheel bearings; replace seals; install hub and adjust bearings.

  • Check parking brake system and components for wear, binding, and corrosion; clean, lubricate, adjust and/or replace as needed.

  • Check parking brake operation and parking brake indicator light system operation; determine needed action.

  • Check operation of brake stop light system.

  • Replace wheel bearing and race.

  • Remove, reinstall, and/or replace sealed wheel bearing assembly.

  • Inspect and replace wheel studs.

Electronic Brake Control Systems: Antilock Brake (ABS), Traction Control (TCS), and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Systems Diagnosis and Repair

  • Identify and inspect electronic brake control system components (ABS, TCS, ESC); determine needed action.

  • Describe the operation of a regenerative braking system.

  • Diagnose poor stopping, wheel lock-up, abnormal pedal feel, unwanted application, and noise concerns associated with the electronic brake control system; determine needed action.

  • Diagnose electronic brake control system electronic control(s) and components by retrieving diagnostic trouble codes, and/or using recommended test equipment; determine needed action.

  • Depressurize high-pressure components of an electronic brake control system.

  • Bleed the electronic brake control system hydraulic circuits.

  • Test, diagnose, and service electronic brake control system speed sensors (digital and analog), toothed ring (tone wheel), and circuits using a graphing multimeter (GMM)/digital storage oscilloscope (DSO) (includes output signal, resistance, shorts to voltage/ground, and frequency data).

  • Diagnose electronic brake control system braking concerns caused by vehicle modifications (tire size, curb height, final drive ratio, etc.).


A Excellent 4 Grade Points Numerical grade of 90 - 100
B Above Average 3 Grade Points Numerical grade of 80 - 89
C Average 2 Grade Points Numerical grade of 70 - 79
D Below Average 1 Grade Point Numerical grade of 60 - 69
F Failed 0 Grade Point Numerical below 60
WP Withdraw Passing 0 Grade Point Issued if the course is dropped after the
census date and on or before the 60% point
of the course unless the instructor issues
a WF based on extenuating circumstances
WF Withdraw Failing 0 Grade Point Issued if the course is dropped after the
60% point of the course or the instructor
chooses based on extenuating circumstances


Regular, prompt attendance is essential for academic success. Students should strive for perfect attendance. It is recognized, however, that students may be absent from class occasionally. Students should reference the instructor's syllabus to determine the attendance requirement for this course. The instructor is responsible for enforcing the attendance requirement. It is the student's responsibility to withdraw from the course. Students may complete the withdrawal process in the Advising Center. Students may receive a grade of WP if they withdraw from a course by the 60% point/date of the course. Any student withdrawals that occur after the 60% point will result in a grade of WF. Exceptions to the "WF" grade may exist if the student has a mitigating circumstance. Students are encouraged to discuss withdrawal options with the faculty member and complete the withdrawal process in the Advising Center. Students who come in after the scheduled starting time or students who leave before the scheduled ending time will be counted as tardy. Students should reference the instructor's syllabus to determine the tardy requirement for this course. The instructor is responsible for enforcing the tardy requirement.


To preserve the best learning environment for all students, all cell phones and other electronic devices must be turned off and stored with other personal property in book bags while class is in session. Ear buds must be removed. If a student uses these devices during class, the instructor will require the student to leave because text messaging and other activities disturb the class and prevent others from concentrating on class work. If a student uses electronic devices during a test or quiz, a zero will be recorded for that assignment, and the instructor may withdraw the student from the course. The use of a phone in any way during a test or the discussion of a graded test is strictly prohibited and considered cheating.


If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact Frank Pait, Counselor for Students with Disabilities, at extension 4222, in the Learning Assistance Center (LAC) located on the first floor of the Cuyler A. Dunbar Building (CAD).

If you are a student with a mobility impairment and have a class in a multi-story building, please discuss evacuation plans with your instructor.


Students shall be permitted excused absences from all classes two days per academic year for religious observances required by their faith. The absences requested in accordance with this policy are "one of" and not "in addition to" any absences otherwise permitted by the faculty for a class. The excused absence request must be submitted by the second class meeting and a minimum of two (2) weeks in advance of the absence. Please contact your instructor for the required forms.


Students at CVCC are expected to be honest in all academic pursuits, whether class, lab, shop, or clinical. Acts of academic dishonesty are considered unethical and subject to behavior sanctions. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Sharing information about the content of quizzes, exams, classroom/lab/shop/clinical assignments (scheduled or make-up) without approval of the instructor including but not limited to unauthorized copying, collaboration, or use of notes, books, or other materials when preparing for or completing examinations or other academic assignments (scheduled or make-up).

2. Buying, selling, or otherwise obtaining a copy of a quiz, exams, project, term paper, or like document, without approval of the instructor.

3. Plagiarism, which is defined as the intentional representation of another person's work, words, thoughts, or ideas (from any source) as one's own.

4. Failing to follow approved test taking procedures by performing such acts as:
  • Looking on another student's test
  • Use of unauthorized notes; written, electronic, or otherwise
  • Changing answers after exam is scored
  • Verbal, non-verbal, or electronic communication with another student during an exam

Instructors have the authority to impose either a warning, probation, or dismissal from the class for acts of academic dishonesty relative to classes under their supervision.

Students have an obligation to report any acts of academic dishonesty to the instructor or appropriate campus authority when reasonable grounds exist for such a report. Students also have a responsibility to cooperate in the investigation of any alleged acts of academic dishonesty. Failure to report acts of academic dishonesty could result in a behavior sanction as outlined in the Student Conduct Policy, Policy 3.18


Reporting and Response to Sexual Violence, Sexual or Gender-based Harassment, and Other Sexual Misconduct

"Title IX Violations" is the term that will be used to include "sexual violence, sexual or gender-based harassment, and other sexual misconduct" and is explained further in Procedure 3.18.2. The Procedure can be found on the CVCC Website under About Us/Procedures.

Procedure 3.18.2 applies exclusively to Title IX Violations allegations. All other forms of harassment and/or discrimination are handled under Policy 3.18: Student Code of Conduct.

Students and/or employees are encouraged to report Title IX Violations in any of its forms, including, but not limited to, sexual or gender-based harassment, rape, sexual assault, other forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, domestic or dating violence, or stalking, and CVCC supports this procedure for students and employees in compliance with Title IX legislation.

Any student who believes that he or she is being, or has been subjected to, Title IX Violations is encouraged to file a report of the alleged Title IX Violations promptly with the Title IX Coordinator, Dean for the School of Access, Development, and Success.


To Report a Serious Emergency Dial 911 from any campus phone or 911 from mobile phones; then dial 711 (Campus Safety & Security) from a campus phone.

For specific CVCC emergencies guidelines, please refer to the CVCC Emergency Guidebook


Quickly get all persons behind a locked door, close blinds, lock all windows/doors, and turn off lights. Sit against an interior wall away from windows and doors (hide). Keep cell phones ON in silent mode or vibrate. Do not leave the locked area until notified by a known CVCC administrator or by law enforcement that the emergency is over.

Seek Shelter (tornados, hurricanes, etc.)
Move to hallways and/or other inner rooms. Stay away from windows and doors. Sit on floor facing the inner wall and shield head with hands. Remain in shelter until notified by CVCC administration or by emergency personnel that the danger is over.

Building Evacuation
Leave the building immediately and proceed to a parking lot location at least 300 feet from the building. Do not delay to retrieve books or other personal items. Do not use elevators. Do not touch suspicious objects. Stay clear of the building once outside. Faculty should take class rosters if possible and account for all students at evacuation locations. Report any special assistance needed to CVCC faculty/staff or to emergency personnel. If you are aware or suspect someone is trapped in a threatened building, notify CVCC faculty/staff or emergency personnel. Remain at your building evacuation location until further instructions are provided by CVCC administration or by emergency personnel. In case of bomb threat, avoid using cell phones and wireless devices; this may detonate the bomb.

Smoke, Fire or Hazardous Materials
Activate the nearest fire alarm. Before attempting to fight a fire, notify someone nearby. Never attempt to fight a fire larger than wastebasket size. Close doors and windows to isolate the problem if the situation permits. If trapped in a building during a fire, use wet towels or cloths to protect you from flames and smoke. Stop/drop/roll if your clothes catch on fire. Do not open doors that feel hot. Always stay between the fire and an exit. Stay low to the floor as you try to exit.

Personal Emergencies
Unless you feel threatened, stay with the victim until emergency personnel arrive. Avoid contact with bodily fluids. Stay calm and try to minimize panic. If the person is conscious, ask if he/she is a High School student (if so, include this information in your 911 call).

Emergency Procedures Revised: April 4, 2012

Cell phone backup to 711 Campus Safety & Security:

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