Automatic Transmission

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ATA 208

       Course Name: Automatic Transmission

       Credits: 4 (4 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Interview with and consent of Chairperson

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course studies operational principles of automatic transmissions. Topics include theory of operation, repair, and troubleshooting on different assemblies of automatic transmissions.

IV.   Learning Objectives

After completion of the course, the student will be able to identify the components of an automatic transmission drive train and explain how to achieve different gear selections by the use of planetary gear sets. The student will be able explain the difference between hydraulic pressures and follow hydraulic flow charts.

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

    1. Construction
    2. Principles of Operation
      1. Rules of planetary gears
      2. Typical transmission power flow
      3. How various ratios can be obtained
        1. Hold one member
        2. Drive two members
        3. Neutral
      4. Compound planetary
        1. Used in pairs or as a multiple unit
    1. Basic Principles of Hydraulics
    2. Hydraulic System Components (Identification of Parts and Operation)
      1. Reservoir (sump)
      2. Pump
      3. Valves
        1. Pressure regulator
        2. Manual valve
        3. Governor valve
        4. Shift valve
        5. Throttle modulator valve
    3. Torque Converters
      1. Elements of the converter
      2. Principles of converter operation
      3. Stator operation
    4. Fluids
      1. General Motors (Dexron)
      2. Ford
    5. Bands, Clutches, One-way Clutches
    6. Servos
    1. Oil Level and Condition (Draining and Refilling)
    2. Linkage Adjustments
      1. Manual
      2. Throttle
      3. Neutral start systems
    3. Vacuum Modulators ("Weighing" and Adjustment)
    4. Leaks (Seal and Gasket Replacement)
    5. Filters
    6. Band Adjustment
    1. Required End-play and Clearance Checks
    2. Inspection of Components
      1. Foreign material in pan
      2. Gear
      3. Pumps
      4. Bands and clutches
      5. Machined surfaces
      6. Control valves
      7. Converter assembly
      8. Turbine shaft
      9. Flex plate
    3. Seals
      1. Metal clad
      2. Lip
      3. Flat and o-ring
      4. Metal seal rings
      5. Plastic
    4. Bushings
      1. Installation tools
    5. Thrust Washers
      1. Torrington
      2. Plastic
      3. Phenolic Resin
    6. Assembly of Components
      1. Clutch soak
      2. Converter flush
      3. Install valve body following Torque specifications
      4. Indexing manual shaft
      5. Indexing the throttle valve
      6. Pump clearance checks
      7. Lubing the converter hub
      8. Converter drive lug installation position
      9. Flushing cooler lines
      10. Checking stator end-play
      11. Speedometer gear installation
    1. No Drive
    2. Drive in One Range Only
    3. Moves in Range Other than One Selected
      1. Motor mounts
      2. Bent linkage
      3. Linkage adjustment
      4. Transmission mount
    4. Noises and Problems
      1. Pumps
      2. Friction plates
      3. Bands
      4. Gears
    5. Vacuum Modulators
      1. Late shift
      2. Early shift
      3. Rough downshift
      4. Rough up shift
      5. Checking vacuum
      6. Exhaust smoke
    6. Shifting, Late and Early
    7. Rough Shifting (Up and Down)
    8. Vehicle Does Not Hold in "P"
    9. Slip on up shifts
    10. Harsh Engagement in Any Gear
    11. No Downshift
    12. Leaks
      1. External
      2. Internal
    13. Converter
      1. Stall testing procedures
      2. Slipping one-way clutch
      3. Frozen stator
    14. Tests
      1. Pressure (test plug location)
      2. Air

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lectures and audiovisual presentations dealing with the function of components. Demonstrations, classroom discussion based on field experiences. Small group and individual instruction on disassembly and repair.

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

VIII. Course Practices Required

Reading: The student will be responsible to read hand out 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 instructor. Handouts, shop manuals, manufacturer’s spec sheets, note paper if needed.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Give the correct answers to seven out of ten questions drawn from topics being studied. Pass a Mid-term and final examination with 70% of the questions answered correctly. Demonstrate maintenance or repair procedures when given the proper tools and equipment

Numerical scores will be assigned letter grades as follows:

A = 93-100
B = 85-92
C = 77-84
D = 70-76
F = 0-69

XI.   Other Course Information

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

Reading materials provide by the instructor only supplements and reinforces major lecture topics and demonstrations.

Tests: The student shall be responsible for contacting the instructor and making arrangements to makeup any missed scheduled examinations at the convenience of the instructor.

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.