Basic Automotive Engines

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ATA 204

       Course Name: Basic Automotive Engines

       Credits: 4 (4 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Interview with and consent of the chairperson

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

This course covers the basic operation of automotive engines. Emphasis is placed on engine components, covering measuring of components, disassembly/assembly. Also, complete valve repair.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  • Discuss engine component operation
  • Identify engine components
  • Compare component to manufacture specs
  • Perform repairs to the cylinder head
  • Demonstrate proper operating procedures when using the engine block Lathe

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

  • Gasoline engine operation, parts, and specifications
  • Engine oils and lubrication
  • Coolant system operation and diagnosis
  • Intake and exhaust systems
  • Cylinder head and valve guide service
  • Valve and seat service

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lectures and audiovisual presentations dealing with the function of components. Demonstrations and audiovisual presentations dealing with the repair procedures of components. Class discussion based on field experience. Individual and small group instruction on component disassembly and reassembly.

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

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course is taught as face-to-face.

Reading: The student will be responsible for reading handout materials as required and assigned for class discussion.

Writing: The student should maintain a comprehensive notebook of lecture topics for reference during class discussion sessions. The student shall submit a comprehensive report titled "Engine Data Profile". The report should include; a "table of content", all relative engine specifications, support data, results, summary of findings and service actions taken. A summary of "What you learned" must also be included.

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, and manufacture specifications.

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

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 of 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.