Steering, Balancing, and Alignment

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ATA 114

       Course Name: Steering, Balancing, and Alignment

       Credits: 3 (2 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ATA 102 and consent of Department Chairperson

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course studies fundamentals of manual and power steering, principles of front end alignment and wheel balancing. Focus is on troubleshooting and service area, using manufacturer’s manuals.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the different types tires and their construction
  • Identify the size and quality of the tire by using manufactures designation markings
  • Dismount and mount tire on wheel rim
  • Discuss and identify wheel offset
  • Repair tire punctures
  • Explain the advantages of Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Clarify the differences between Direct and Indirect TPMS
  • Retrieve and diagnose TPMS failures using hand held scanner
  • Name the component of Electronic Stability Control
  • Explain the advantages of ESC
  • Describe how traction control works
  • Demonstrate diagnosis and repair of the ESC system
  • Identify different types of suspensions
  • Identify and diagnose steering component failures

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

  • Suspension System Principles and Components
  • Front Suspension
  • Rear Suspension
  • Electronic Suspension
  • Tires and Wheels
  •  Power Assisted Steering
  • Alignments

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lectures and audiovisual presentations dealing with the function of components. There will be demonstrations, classroom discussions, and small group instructions. Also, individual instruction on light vehicle maintenance and 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.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Students will be evaluated on class participation, tests/quizzes, lab participation (hands on work), lab sheets, and attendance.


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.


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.