May 19, 2024  
College Catalog 2021-2022 
College Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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AUTO 2405 - Engine Performance

Credit Hours: 3.00

Prerequisites: AUTO 1050  

(formerly AUTO 1520 and AUTO 1530)

This course provides a comprehensive study of modern automotive fuel, emissions and ignition systems that includes theory, principles of operation, inspection and repair. Experiences will include the testing of fuel, emission and ignition systems as well as the testing of computer controlled inputs and outputs.

Billable Contact Hours: 4

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Outcome 1: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to explain the various properties of gasoline as they pertain to the operation of the gasoline internal combustion engine


  1. Identify different gasoline fuel qualities
  2. Identify signs of detonation
  3. Explain possible causes

Outcome 2: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to describe various fuel delivery methods used in the automotive industry


  1. Explain the Venturi principle as it applies to early design fuel delivery systems
  2. Identify the components, function and differences between throttle body, port, central port, sequential port and direct fuel injection systems
  3. Use safety protocols related to low and high pressure fuel injection systems

Outcome 3: Upon completion of this course, students will describe the operation of a primary and secondary ignition system


  1. Describe the theory of electromagnetic induction and ignition system coil operation
  2. Explain the difference between an ignition triggering device and a switching device
  3. Identify the components of both primary and secondary ignition components
  4. Test primary and secondary ignition systems

Outcome 4: Upon completion of the course, students will be able to analyze causes of engine performance related symptoms


  1. Identify the causes of different color exhaust smoke related to oil, coolant and fuel problems
  2. Explain volumetric efficiency in relation to manifold vacuum
  3. Use various engine test equipment to diagnose compression, cylinder leakage, manifold vacuum and volumetric efficiency concerns

Outcome 5: Upon completion of the course, students will be able to propose solutions to possible causes of failure in automotive induction and emissions related systems


  1. Identify the five commonly monitored tailpipe emissions
  2. Diagnose and test exhaust related concerns such as leaks, noise and restrictions
  3. Diagnose and test intake manifold leaks
  4. Diagnose and test exhaust gas recirculation systems
  5. Diagnose and test evaporative emissions systems

• Communication: The graduate can communicate effectively for the intended purpose and audience.
• Critical Thinking: The graduate can make informed decisions after analyzing information or evidence related to the issue.
• Global Literacy: The graduate can analyze human behavior or experiences through cultural, social, political, or economic perspectives.
• Information Literacy: The graduate can responsibly use information gathered from a variety of formats in order to complete a task.
• Quantitative Reasoning: The graduate can apply quantitative methods or evidence to solve problems or make judgments.
• Scientific Literacy: The graduate can produce or interpret scientific information presented in a variety of formats.

CDO marked YES apply to this course:
Communication: YES
Critical Thinking: YES
Information Literacy: YES

  1. Environmental Safety and Hazardous Materials
    1. Proper disposal of fluids
      1. Used oil, fuel and coolant
    2. Federal and State laws
    3. Safety glasses and correct clothing in the shop at all times
  2. Gasoline and Other Fuel Properties
    1. Distillation of crude oil
    2. Refining
    3. Octane ratings
      1. R+M/2 is called the road octane number RdON
        1. Research & Motor methods to determine octane
      2. Altitude and various other factors that effect octane requirements
    4. Common Fuels characteristics, attributes and A/F ratios
      1. Methane, simple Hydrocarbon CH4
      2. Gasoline, C8H15
        1. 14.67:1
        2. Approximately 115,000 btu’s per gallon of gasoline
        3. Volatility & Ethanol testing
        4. Reid Vapor Pressure Test
        5. Digital ethanol percentage tester
        6. Graduated burette water absorption test
      3. Ethanol & E85, E100- C2H5OH
        1. Positive and negative attributes
          1. Corrosivity
          2. Consumes more fuel based on A/F ratio
          3. Gasoline = 14.7:1 compared to E85 = 9.76:1, E100 = 9:1
          4. Less btu per gallon
          5. Compare common fuels btu content to ethanol
          6. Impact on farming and consumers
          7. Consumable vs. non-consumable crops
          8. Higher octane
          9. Able to increase boost and static compression ratio
          10. Higher costs of E85
          11. Consumes 40% more fuel, needs to be 40% less at the pump not 40 cents less, still need to fill up 40% more often
          12. Max ethanol is 15% by volume
      4. Methanol, CH3OH
        1. Max methanol is 5% by volume
        2. M100 = 6.45:1, M85
        3. Extremely corrosive
        4. High specific heat value
      5. Propane, LPG, C3H8
        1. Readily available at RV fill stations
        2. 15.5:1
        3. Safe transport, fill and emissions
        4. 106 octane
      6. Diesel, C12H26
        1. 25% more thermal energy than gasoline
        2. Low volatility, reduced handling risks
      7. CNG, contains methane and other gasses, CH4
        1. Less fill stations around
        2. 16.5:1
        3. 125 octane
        4. Show YouTube video
          1. Durability testing from 70’s
          2. Burn, C4 explosives and arm or piercing rounds
          3. Safe fuel to transport in vehicle
    5. Gasoline Additives
      1. Oxygenates
        1. Reduce C O and HC emissions
      2. Octane improvers
  3. Gasoline Engine Operation
    1. Internal vs. external combustion engines
    2. Parts and systems
    3. 4 stroke cycle, classification & construction
    4. Engine displacement & measurement, compression ratios, horsepower and torque
  4. Intake, Exhaust, Turbocharging & Supercharging
    1. Air filtration
    2. TBI, PFI intake manifolds, egr induction routing
      1. Tuned intake manifold
    3. Exhaust manifold construction
      1. Log vs. tubular equal length
    4. Mufflers, backpressure
    5. Forced induction principles
      1. Superchargers
      2. Turbochargers
      3. Boost control
        1. Wastegate
        2. Bypass or blow-off valves
      4. Nitrous Oxide
  5. Engine Condition Diagnosis
    1. Smoke Diagnosis
    2. Engine noise and vibration diagnosis
    3. Compression testing
      1. Dry compression testing
      2. Wet compression testing
      3. Running compression testing
    4. Cylinder leakage
    5. Cylinder power balance test
    6. Manifold vacuum testing
      1. Normal vacuum readings at idle up to 2500rpm
      2. Expected to go up or remain the same
      3. Go over possible reasons it would go down
    7. Exhaust backpressure testing
    8. Head gasket diagnosis
  6. On Board Diagnostics
    1. OBDI vs. OBDII
    2. Monitor/diagnostic
    3. Enable criteria
    4. Freeze frame and failure records
    5. Global OBDII
    6. Scan tool usage and accessing DTC info
    7. Correctly clearing DTC information
    8. Serial Data protocols
      2. Data baud rates
      3. CANDi module
      4. GDS2, laptop based wireless access
  7. Introduction to Engine Sensors
    1. Engine temp sensors
    2. Throttle Position sensors
    3. MAP/BARO sensors
    4. MAF sensors
    5. Oxygen sensors
  8. Fuel Pumps, Lines and Filters
    1. Fuel delivery
    2. Fuel tanks, rollover valves, lines and filters
    3. Fuel pumps
      1. Amperage draw testing
      2. Fuel pressure and volume testing
      3. Fuel pump replacement and special tools
  9. Fuel Injection Components
    1. Electronic Fuel Injection
      1. TBI, PFI, CPI, SFI, GDI
    2. Return & returnless fuel systems
      1. Leakdown diagnosis
        1. Special shut-off tools to isolate
      2. Fuel injectors
        1. Mechanical & Electrical Diagnosis
        2. Resistance, volt drop, amperage draw
        3. Lab scope injector pulse width
        4. Fuel Injector Balance testing
    3. Air measurement
      1. Direct & Indirect airflow measurement
      2. Idle speed control
        1. Stepper motors
        2. Electronic throttle control
  10. Vehicle Emissions
    1. Five monitored tailpipe gasses
      1. 3 pollutants and 2 non pollutants
        1. NOx, CO, HC CO2, O2
    2. Inspection and Maintenance
      1. US & European standards
      2. Each gas introduced under certain conditions
        1. HC, rich or very lean
        2. CO, only occurs during rich conditions
        3. NOx, lean, hot engine over 2500F combustion temps
        4. O2, lean
        5. CO2, is a diagnostic gas, the more CO2 the higher efficiency
    3. Emissions control systems and devices
      1. EVAP system
        1. ORVR
        2. LDP Systems
        3. Enhanced vs. non enhanced
    4. EGR Valve
    5. PCV system
    6. Catalytic converters
    7. Air Injection Reaction
      1. Intake and exhaust cam phaser
      2. Elimination of EGR and Air pumps
  11. Ignition System Theory and Operation
    1. Theory of Electromagnetic Induction
      1. Coil winding ratio, polarity, soft iron core design
      2. Ignition switching and triggering devices
        1. All related input & output sensors
          1. Hall Effect
          2. PM Generator
          3. MR sensor
          4. Optical sensor
          5. Identify whether digital and analog
    2. Primary ignition & Secondary ignition
      1. Identify components related to primary and secondary
      2. Spark plug identifying external markings
      3. Diagnosis using visual identification of spark plugs
      4. Spark plug heat ranges
        1. Platinum, Iridium and copper core plugs
        2. Spark plug thread chase tool
        3. Distributor Ignition (DI) and Electronic Ignition (EI)
          1. Examples of DI advancement components
            1. Points & condensor
            2. Centrifugal weights
            3. Vacuum advance
          2. Examples of EI, description and operation
            1. Waste spark
            2. Ion sensing
            3. COP
            4. Compression sensing
            5. Knock sensors
          3. Testing
            1. Coils
              1. Primary and secondary winding resistance
              2. Spark tester used for secondary output
            2. Digital and analog trigger devices
            3. Spark plug wires
              1. Max resistance, no more than 10k ohms per ft.
              2. Spray salt water solution on wires to test
    3. Ignition timing
      1. TDC, BTDC, ATDC
        1. Timing advancement
        2. Max cylinder pressure from 10-23 degrees ATDC
          1. Timing indicators and balancers
            1. Set timing tab
            2. Base ignition timing
            3. Standard and adjustable timing lights

Primary Faculty
Prater, Daniel
Secondary Faculty

Associate Dean
Pawlowski, Timothy
Hutchison, Donald

Official Course Syllabus - Macomb Community College, 14500 E 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088

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