AUTO-108: Basic Automotive Electricity

Business, Entrepreneurship, & Professional Development
Automotive Technology
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Basic Automotive Electricity
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
62.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
62.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Catalog Course Description

A study of basic automotive electricity theory and principles. Covers voltage, amperage, Ohm’s law, accessories, and lighting as well as series, parallel, and series-parallel circuits. Reading of electrical schematics/wiring diagrams is covered. Also discusses the various meters that are used in the service of automobiles. Emphasizes circuit diagnosis and troubleshooting using proper diagnostic techniques and tools, including flex-probes.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. Introduction to Electricity
  2. Methods of Producing Electron Flow
  3. Circuit Types

    Series Circuit
    Parallel Circuit
    Compound Circuit

  4. Ohm’s Law

    a. Simple circuit
    b. Series Circuit
    c. Parallel Circuit
    d. Compound Circuit

  5. Magnetism

    a. Theory of Magnetism b. Types of Magnets c. Induction d. Terminology

  6. Circuit Faults

    a. Types of Faults b. Fault Terminology c. Circuit Fault Diagnosis

  7. Electrical Meters

    a. Digital Multi-meter
    b. Scopes

  8. Test Devices

    a. Test Lights
    b. Short Finders
    c. Logic Probes

  9. Circuit Protection

    a. Fuses
    b. Circuit Breakers
    c. Fuse Links

  10. Electrical Components

    a. Relays
    b. Solenoids
    c. Switches
    d. Motors
    e. Lighting

  11. Circuit Diagnosis

    a. Schematic Interpretation
    b. Fault Analysis
    c. Repair Techniques

Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  • Use a DMM to diagnose a circuit fault.
  • Interpret results of voltage drop measurements.
  • Identify five rules that apply when measuring voltage, current and resistance in a parallel circuit.
  • Identify four rules that apply when measuring voltage, current and resistance in a series circuit.
  • Use wiring diagrams during diagnosis of electrical circuit problems.
  • Check voltage and voltage drop in an electrical circuit.
  • Analyze and diagnose lighting circuits.
  • Repair wiring harness and connector faults.
  • Analyze and test switches, relays and solenoids and perform necessary actions.
  • Diagnosis incorrect horn and wiper/washer operation.
  • Diagnose incorrect accessory operation, door locks, heated seats, heated glass, cruise control and power seats and determine necessary action.
  • Identify and use cause and effect relationships presented in service manual and CD solving trees.
  • Calculate mathematically ohm’s law for circuit solutions.
  • Use conventional sentence structure, spelling and punctuation when composing sentences for service reports.
  • Identify the specific cause of the described problem by generating conclusions based on known symptoms related to the problem (SSCC rationale)

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Lab workstations, quizzes, and a written final examination. Measurable objectives will be evaluated by the instructor based on the accuracy and proficiency of completion.

General Course Requirements and Recommendations

Students must take notes on demonstrations, carefully read and analyze assigned course materials and perform exercises to determine their competence in servicing modern electrical systems.


Ford Motor Company reference text.

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Fall 2020
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date