Course CodeBSS102
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

A Foundation Course for Working with Machines

Learn how motors and engines work, how they are used to drive machines and how to carry out the routine maintenance needed to keep machinery running. 

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Engines and Motors
    • Introduction
    • Power Sources
    • Engines
    • Steam Engine
    • Petrol
    • Engine Operating Cycle
    • Engine parts
    • Four stroke Ignition Engine Cycle
    • Two Stroke Ignition Engine Cycle
    • Electric motors
    • Parts of an electric motor
    • AC and DC motors
    • Induction and Synchronous motors
    • Applied tasks - Changing a wheel, Mending a puncture
  2. Engine Characteristics
    • Measurements and mechanical principles
    • Force, Load, Pressure
    • Atmospheric pressure, Absolute pressure
    • Force of gravity, Centre of gravity, Specific gravity
    • Density, Vacuum, Volumetric efficiency
    • Work, Power, Energy
    • Pistons - motion, bore, piston displacement
    • Compression ratio
    • Engine efficiency
    • Features of electric motors
    • Applied tasks - spark plugs
  3. Machines and their parts
    • Parts of a machine
    • Engine systems
    • Lubrication system
    • Cooling system
    • Fuel system
    • Transmission -gearbox, clutch, transmission, drive shaft, PTO
    • Power source
    • Ignition system - distributor, Coil pack
    • Other machines
  4. Drive Mechanisms -Transmissions, Gears, Belts
    • Introduction
    • Cog drive machinery
    • Belt drive machinery
    • Transmission drive machinery
    • The transmission system
    • Clutch
    • Gearbox
    • Differential unit
    • Applied tasks - replacing drive belts
  5. Managing Deterioration
    • Splash feed lubrication system
    • Pressure system
    • Combination pressure and splash
    • Oil contamination
    • Cooling system - air cooling, water cooling
    • Lubrication - oil viscosity
    • Types of filter systems
    • Materials deterioration
    • Properties of materials - metals, non ferrous alloys
    • Seals
    • Applied tasks: servicing filters
  6. Optimising Function and Longevity
    • Adjustments
    • Controlling power
    • Carburettors - float system, number of barrels, injectors
    • Lubrication
    • Exhaust systems
    • Catalytic converter
    • Muffler
    • Extractor
    • Turbocharger
    • Intercooling, waste gate, blow off valves, twin vs single turbo, boost controller
    • Superchargers
    • Applied tasks - servicing a carburettor
  7. Brake Systems
    • Introduction
    • Drum versus disc brake
    • Drum brakes and shoe pad
    • Disc brakes
    • Pneumatic, Hydraulic and Electric Brakes
    • ABS - Anti lock brake system
    • Regenerative braking
    • Applied tasks - servicing brakes
    • Jacking up a vehicle
    • Changing disc brakes
    • Changing drum brakes
    • Motor bike and push bike brakes
  8. The Mechanics Workshop
    • Tool maintenance
    • Work bench
    • Vices and clamps
    • Lifts, ramps, jacks, ladders
    • Tightening pullers
    • Pulleys
    • Winches
    • Generators, battery chargers
    • Cleaning equipment
    • Grinders, sharpening equipment
    • Work pits, hoists
    • Measuring equipment
    • Hand tools
    • Spanners and Allen keys
    • Pliers & grips
    • Screwdrivers
    • Files
    • Cutting equipment
    • Hammers, chisels, punches
    • Tap and die cutters
    • Lubrication equipment
    • Power tools - Drills, saws
    • Soldering and welding


  • Explain how different types of engines and motors work.
  • Describe the features that differentiate the quality and work capacity of engines; one from another.
  • Describe the scope and nature of components of a machine.
  • Explain different ways of converting the movement of energy to perform useful work tasks.
  • Describe how machinery can deteriorate over time, and responses to both prevent and repair deterioration.
  • Explain how engines and motors have their power output regulated.
  • Explain the mechanisms used to slow or stop any form of motion by applying force.
  • Describe machinery workshop tools and equipment, and explain their safe and appropriate use in maintaining and repairing machinery.

Learn to Get More From Machines

Machines make work easier. They allow you to do more with less effort; but to get the most from a machine you need to understand it, use it properly, and maintain it appropriately. You learn this across this course, in a way that can be applied to any sort of machine -large or small; and in any industry (horticulture, agriculture, or something else).

When machines are built well, operated properly and maintained routinely, they will perform at their best, and last many generations, if not indefinitely. There are machines that were built in the industrial revolution (i.e. 19th century), which still operate perfectly. Sadly though, a neglected machine will not maintain peak operation, and can deteriorate and become useless in a relatively short time.



As sharp edges blunt, they need resharpening (e.g. mowers, chain saws, electric knives, cutting blades in factory machines. Surfaces wear on gearing mechanisms. 


Controlling Power 

Engines can be controlled by a range of different mechanisms, including:

  • Gearing
  • Clutches
  • Carburettors
  • Rheostats – in electric motors

Gearing Mechanisms

A gearing mechanism alters the number of revolutions needed on one side of the gears to cause a single revolution on the other side – and in doing so less power can be used to create more force.
Clutches: engage and disengage a motor.
Rheostats (electric motors only): used to vary current, hence speed.

Carburettors (for petrol engines)

Carburetion is the mixing of fuel and air to create a combustible mixture. This is achieved using a carburettor. Fuel is atomised, vaporised and mixed with air in controlled proportions, depending upon how the engine might be operating.
Example: On starting: 9 parts air to 1 part fuel. Once the engine is functioning the ratio may change to 12 parts air to 1 part fuel. During acceleration that may move to 13 parts air to 1 part fuel, and finally during high speed operation, 14 to 17 parts of air to 1 part of fuel.



Machinery is used in almost every industry today - from cars, office machines and food processors to factory equipment, tractors and garden equipment.  What you learn in this course can help you to better choose, use and care for machines in any of these situations

  • It can be a good starter course for anyone considering work as a trainee mechanic.
  • It is good professional development for anyone working in a garage, machinery workshop, or as a machine operator.

Tradesmen are often difficult to find, and you may often need to wait to get machinery attended to, If you know more about machines, you many save time and money because you may be able to attend to issues that arise, by yourself; and avoid delays having to wait for a mechanic.




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