Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Today's Technician: Automotive Suspension & Steering, 5th Edition

  • includes Classroom Manual and Shop Manual
  • Don Knowles
  • ISBN-10: 1435481186
  • ISBN-13: 9781435481183
  • 1040 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2007, 2003, 1999
  • COPYRIGHT: 2011 Published
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About the Product

Master the knowledge and skills needed to diagnose and service suspension and steering systems for today's cars, SUVs, light duty trucks and now, hybrids, with the latest edition of this highly successful Classroom/Shop Manual package! With the same carefully constructed balance of theory and practice that made previous editions so valuable, the 5th Edition of TODAY'S TECHNICIAN: AUTOMOTIVE SUSPENSION AND STEERING takes the content to the next level, from coverage of the latest mandatory tire pressure monitoring systems to the newest electronically-controlled suspension systems. And the highly updated, state-of-the-art information doesn't end there; the book also features new information on the most current front and rear suspension designs, recent developments in steering columns and air bag systems, and the latest electronic power steering gears. Reinforcing its practical, user-friendly approach are strategically placed cautions and warnings that emphasize safe working procedures and case studies that link theory to the real-life practices of today's professional, ASE-certified technicians, making this a must-have for aspiring automotive technicians in both certificate and degree programs.


  • Builds strong foundation in systems examination with an in-depth look at the latest computer-controlled suspension systems.

  • Quickly brings readers up-to-speed with critical industry information with a solid introduction to the electric-drive power steering pumps used on some vehicles and hybrid cars, as well as the latest electronic wheel alignment equipment and procedures on most current suspension systems.

  • Facilitates understanding of electrical and electronic principles at work through comprehensive coverage of the advantages, application, design, operation, diagnosing, and servicing of electric-assist power steering gears.

  • Forms powerful connections between theory and the day-to-day experiences of today's professional, ASE-certified technicians with case studies and practical customer care tips.

  • Visually exciting four-color format with hundreds of new photographs and line drawings aids learning.

About the Author

Don Knowles

Don Knowles has been writing automotive training materials for over 28 years, with 54 textbooks to his credit, as well as student manuals, training CDs, and short articles for service bulletins. He was previously employed as an automotive instructor at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) Palliser Campus, where he produced over 60 automotive training videos and wrote a computer-assisted instruction (CAI) program to coordinate with each video. Mr. Knowles is currently the owner and manager of Knowles Automotive Training, a company focused exclusively on the preparation of automotive training materials and an educational member of the Automotive Service Association (ASA). An ASE certified Automotive Technician, he has also been a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers for over 30 years, and is a member of the North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT).

Table of Contents

1. Suspension and Steering Systems Introduction, Frames and Unitized Bodies, Front Suspension Systems, Rear Suspension Systems, Tires, Wheels, and Hubs, Shock Absorbers and Struts, Computer-Controlled Suspension Systems and Shock Absorbers, Steering Systems, Wheel Alignment, Steering Axis Inclination, Summary, Review Questions.
2. Basis Theories Introduction, Newton's Laws of Motion, Work and Force, Energy, Energy Conversion, Inertia, Momentum, Friction, Mass Weight and Volume, Torque, Power, Principles Involving Tires and Wheels in Motion, Principles Involving Liquids and Gases, Atmospheric Pressure, Vacuum, Venturi Principle, Summary, Review Questions.
3. Wheel Bearings Introduction, Bearing Loads, Ball Bearings, Roller Bearings, Seals, Wheel Bearings, Rear Axle Bearings, Bearing Lubrication, Summary, Review Questions.
4. Tires and Wheels Introduction, Tire Design, Tire Ply and Belt Design, Tire Tread Design, Tire Manufacturing Defects, Tire Ratings and Sidewall Information, Specialty Tires, Replacement Tires, Tire Valves Tire Chains, Compact Spare Tires, Run-Flat Tires, Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems, Tire Contact Area, Tire Placard and Inflation Pressure, Nitrogen Tire Inflation, Tire Motion Forces, Wheel Rims, Static Wheel Balance Theory, Dynamic Wheel Balance Theory, Noise, Vibration, and Harshness, Summary, Review Questions.
5. Shock Absorbers and Struts Introduction, Shock Absorber Design, Shock Absorber Operation, Gas-Filled Shock Absorbers and Struts, Heavy-Duty Shock Absorber Design, Shock Absorber Ratios, Strut Design, Front Suspension, Shock Absorber and Strut Design, Rear Suspension, Travel Sensitive Struts, Adjustable Struts, Load-Levelling Shock Absorbers, Electronically Controlled Shock Absorbers and Struts, Summary, Review Questions.
6. Front Suspension Systems Introduction, Suspension System Components, Short-and-Long Arm Front Suspension Systems, MacPherson Strut Front Suspension System Design, Modified MacPherson Strut Suspension, High Performance Front Suspension Systems, Torsion Bar Suspension, Curb Riding Height, Front Spring Sag Curb Riding Height and Caster Angle, Spring Sag Curb Riding Height and Camber Angle, Summary, Review Questions.
7. Rear Suspension Systems Introduction, Live Axle Rear Suspension Systems, Semi-Independent Rear Suspension Systems, Independent Rear Suspension Systems, Curb Riding Height, Spring Sag Curb Riding Height and Caster Angle, Summary, Review Questions.
8. Computer-Controlled Suspension Systems Introduction, Programmed Ride Control System, Electronic Air Suspension System Components, Electronic Air Suspension System Operation, Air Suspension System Design Variations, Vehicle Dynamic Suspension (VDS) System, Electronic Suspension Control (ESC) System, Integrated Electronic Systems and Networks, Vehicle Stability Control, Active Roll Control Systems, Active Cruise Control (ACC) Systems, Lane Departure Warning Systems, Collision Mitigation Systems, Telematics, Summary, Review Questions.
9. Steering Columns and Steering Linkages Introduction, Conventional Nontilt Steering Column, Tilt Steering Column, Electronic Tilt/telescoping Steering Column, Active Steering Column, Steering Linkage Mechanisms, Steering Damper, Summary, Review Questions.
10. Power Steering Pumps Introduction, Power Steering Pump Drive Belts, Types of Power-Assisted Steering Systems, Power Steering Pump Design, Power Steering Pump Operation, Hybrid Vehicles and Power Steering Systems, Various Types of HEVs, Fuel Cell Vehicles, Summary, Review Questions.
11. Recirculating Ball Steering Gears Introduction, Manual Recirculating Ball Steering Gears, Power Recirculating Ball Steering Gears, Summary, Review Questions.
12. Rack and Pinion Steering Gears Introduction, Manual Rack and Pinion Steering Gear Main Components, Steering Gear Ratio, Manual Rack and Pinion Steering Gear Mounting, Advantages and Disadvantages of Rack and Pinion Steering, Power Rack and Pinion Steering Gears, Types of Rack and Pinion Steering Gears, Electronic Variable Orifice Steering, Saginaw Electronic Variable Orifice Steering, Rack-Drive Electronic Power Steering, Electronic Power Steering System Operation, Column-Drive Electronic Power Steering, Column-Drive Electronic Power Steering Operation, Pinion-Drive Electronic Power Steering, Active Steering System, Steer-By-Wire Systems, Summary, Review Questions.
13. Four-Wheel Steering Systems Introduction, Electronically Controlled Four-Wheel Steering, Input Sensors, Four-Wheel Steering System Operation, Quadrasteer Four-Wheel Steering Systems, Quadrasteer Four-Wheel Steering System Operation, Rear Active Steering System, Four-Wheel Active Steering (4WAS), Summary, Review Questions.
14. Frames and Frame Damage Introduction, Types of Frames and Frame Construction, Unitized Body Design, Vehicle Directional Stability, Types of Frame Damage, Summary, Review Questions.
15. Four Wheel Alignment Part I Introduction, Wheel Alignment Theory, Importance of Four Wheel Alignment, Rear Wheel Alignment and Vehicle Tracking Problems, Types of Wheel Alignment, Computer Alignment Systems, Camber Fundamentals, Driving Conditions Affecting Camber, Caster Fundamentals, Safety Factors and Caster, Steering Terminology, Summary, Review Questions.
16. Four Wheel Alignment Part II Introduction, Steering Axis Inclination (SAI) Definition, SAI Purpose, SAI and Safety Factors, Scrub Radius, Wheel Setback, Toe Definition, Toe setting for Front-Wheel- Drive and Rear-Wheel-Drive Vehicles, Toe Adjustment and Tire Wear, Turning Radius, Rear Wheel Alignment, Summary, Review Questions.

New to this edition

  • All-new content on the latest automotive industry trends and developments, including Active Steering System operation and service, Four Wheel Active Steering (4WAS) operation and service, PAX tire systems, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Warning Systems, and Telematics.
  • Expanded and updated coverage of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS).
  • New, visually exciting four-color format with hundreds of new photographs and line drawings.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor Resources  (ISBN-10: 143548133X | ISBN-13: 9781435481336)

This Instructor Resources CD includes the following components to help instructors more efficiently manage their classroom time: PowerPoint with video clips and animations, computerized test bank, chapter-end questions in Word, NATEF correlation grids, Job Sheets and Work Sheets.

Cengage Learning Hosted WebTutorâ„¢ Advantage Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 1111314322 | ISBN-13: 9781111314323)

Student Supplements

Cengage Learning Hosted WebTutorâ„¢ Advantage Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 1111314322 | ISBN-13: 9781111314323)

Succeed in your automotive course with this anytime, anywhere customized learning solution that reinforces and clarifies complex concepts, provides online quizzes with instant feedback and other online learning tools, and keeps you connected to your textbook, instructor, and classmates.