Small Engine Repair

Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your program consists of eight Instruction Sets designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll use in your new career.

Here's how it works: You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams. You can earn your Career Diploma in as little as nine months.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: The Small Engine Repair program provides students with a working knowledge of basic small engine repair to gain employment in the small engine repair field.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Understand the role of a small engine technician and the career opportunities in the outdoor power equipment field
  • Describe the basic operation of small engines and identify the parts of a typical small engine
  • Discuss the theory and operation of the cooling, lubrication, and fuel of a typical small engine
  • Describe the theory and operation of the electrical systems of a small engine, including the operation of the ignition system
  • Describe how to disassemble, rebuild, and reassemble a typical two-stroke and four-stroke engine
  • Identify the types of drive trains found in outdoor power equipment and summarize how to service lawn and riding mowers as well as garden tractors
  • Identify the typical troubleshooting and repair procedures for the most common types of outdoor power equipment
  • Describe the ownership and management of an outdoor power equipment repair business

Instruction Set 1

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal. Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers. Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Introduction to Small Engine Repair
Introduction to the small engine field and OPE repair; tools and tool usage; shop and equipment safety.

Instruction Set 2

Small Engine Parts and Operations
Introduction to small engine terminology and operation theory; basic engine components; major engine systems.

Practical Exercise 1

Instruction Set 3

Small Engine Lubrication and Cooling Systems
Basic components, lubricants, and coolants used.

Small Engine Ignition Systems
Electrical theory and terminology; ignition system operation, service, and troubleshooting.

Practical Exercise 2

Instruction Set 4

Small Engine Electrical Systems
Basic circuit theory; DC and AC power sources; troubleshooting and repair of small engine starting, charging, and accessory circuits.

Small Engine Fuel Systems
Fuels used to power OPE; carburetor operation and related engine components.

• Carburetor

Practical Exercise 3

Instruction Set 5

Engine Disassembly
Disassembling a four-stroke and two-stroke engine.

Engine Rebuild: Part 1
Using precision measuring instruments; reading service manuals; replacing worn engine parts.

Engine Rebuild: Part 2
Pistons, rings, connecting rods, crankshafts, and valves.

Engine Reassembly
Reassembling the two-stroke and four-stroke engine; engine starting and troubleshooting.

Practical Exercise 4

Instruction Set 6

Power Transmission Systems
Transferring power from the engine to working equipment; drives, clutches, transmissions, final drives, and differentials.

Servicing Lawn Mowers and Riding Mowers
Theory of operation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of lawn mowers.

Servicing Garden Tractors
Transmissions, electrical, steering, and braking systems of complex garden tractor systems.

Practical Exercise 5

Instruction Set 7

Servicing Two-Stroke and Four-Stroke Power Equipment: Part 1
Basic maintenance and servicing procedures necessary for most forms of OPE.

Servicing Two-Stroke and Four-Stroke Power Equipment: Part 2
Servicing and repair procedures for many types of outdoor power equipment.

Practical Exercise 6

Instruction Set 8

Servicing Outboard Engines
Differences between standard small engines and marine craft engines; servicing and maintenance tips.

Your Outdoor Power Equipment Repair Business
Opportunities in the field; starting your own business and basic management skills; successful merchandising.

Supplement: Work Experience Option

Practical Exercise 7


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

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