Brake Systems

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ATA 113

       Course Name: Brake Systems

       Credits: 3 (2 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ATA 102 and consent of Department Chairperson

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course studies fundamentals of passenger car brake systems. Topics include hydraulic systems, power brake systems, self-adjusting systems, Anti-Lock Brakes, diagnosis and repair of the brake systems.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  • Identify components of disc and drum brakes
  • Explain the six brake system categories
  • Interpret Inertia
  • Discuss Pascal’s Law
  • Compute mathematic problems using Pascal’s law
  • Discuss the different types of brake fade
  • Describe the differences between metering, combination, pressure differential valves
  • Machine brake discs/drums with table top lathes and on car brake lathe
  • Diagnose and repair hydraulic leaks
  • Demonstrate proper procedures for brake system bleeding
  • Demonstrate how to retrieve ABS codes manually and electronically
  • Execute diagnosis and repairs on ABS systems

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  • Principles to Braking
  •  Hydraulic System Theory
  •  Drum Brakes
  •  Disc Brakes
  •  Machining Brake Rotor and Drums
  •  ABS and Electronic Stability Control

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lectures and audiovisual presentations dealing with the function of components. There will be demonstrations, classroom discussion, small group and individual instruction on disassembly/repair of vehicle and components.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as face-to-face.

Reading: The student will be responsible to read hand outs and textbook materials.

Writing: The student should maintain a notebook of lecture topics for future reference.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

To be supplied by the instructor: Handouts, shop manuals, instruction books, and manufacturers' specification sheets.

To be supplied by the student: Note paper and a good quality three-ring notebook in which to keep comprehensive notes and retain a volume of topical handouts generated by the instructor.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Class attendance and participation are part of the student grade. Chapter quizzes will be given after every chapter. Students are responsible for turning in his/her lab work.  Also, lab participation will be factored into making up the students overall grade.


Homework* 10%
Quizzes 10%
Attendance** 10%
Mid-term Test 20%
Final Test 20%
Lab 30%

* Homework: Late homework will count only 50%.

** Attendance: Student attendance is critical for satisfactory completion of course work.

Each unexcused absence will reduce your grade by 2% with a maximum of 5 unexcused absences. Three unexcused tardiness equals one day missed. If needed in certain situations, the student will need to bring in proof of absence.


90 – 100 A
80 – 89 B
70 – 79 C
60 – 69 D
0 – 59 F

Missed lab assignments maybe made up if there is time allotted and with some form proof why the student was absent.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.