2023 Edition

ASE A3 Practice Test

This ASE 3 Practice Test covers the manual drive train, which is a series of components that transfer power from the engine to the wheels. Manual drive trains are controlled directly by the driver through the use of a clutch and gearshift.

The exam covers the following subjects:

  • Manual Drive Train
  • Axles
  • Clutch
  • Gearshift
  • Related Components

Tests.com's ASE A3 Practice Test was written by Dr. John Kershaw, an ASE test prep expert: ASE test question developer; ASE Certified Master Technician; ASE Master Truck Technician; and Auto Industry Technical Instructor.  Dr. Kershaw was among the first to receive ASE certification in 1972. 

For the complete practice test, flash cards, exam review and testing tips, check out:


Clutch Diagnosis and Repair

1. Which of the following are the three critical clutch pedal measurements?
2. Clutch slippage may be caused by which of the following?
3. Which of the following must be replaced during the service of a hydraulically controlled clutch?
4. A vehicle comes in with hard shifting concerns, particularly into first gear. Technician A says the first speed blocking ring is the MOST likely cause. Technician B says the clutch could be out of adjustment. Who is right?
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Transmission Diagnosis and Repair

5. If a transmission can be shifted into two gears at the same time, which of the following is the MOST likely cause?
6. What would be the MOST likely customer complaint for a damaged transmission case, center adapter plate or rear extension housing mating surface?
7. What disassembly operation is being performed in the photo below?

8. The manual transmission fluid is being checked during a routine maintenance. Technician A says gold-colored particles in the fluid can be from worn blocking rings. Technician B says aluminum colored shavings can be from the gear wear. Who is right?

Transaxle Diagnosis and Repair

9. What is being checked in the illustration below?
10. This question has the word EXCEPT. For this question, look for the choice that could NOT cause the described situation. Read the entire question carefully before choosing your answer. All of these components can be removed from a transmission/transaxle before removing it from the vehicle, EXCEPT:
11. Two technicians are discussing snap rings used in manual transaxles. Technician A says snap rings are used as a selective fit on some main shafts. Technician B says snap rings have a "right side" that should always face up so that the snap ring pliers can be applied. Who is right?
12. A transaxle jumps out of gear under load. Which of the following is the MOST likely cause?

Drive Shaft and Joints Diagnosis and Repair

13. Technician A says u-joints must be in phase to prevent vibration. Technician B says when re-assembling a drive shaft the u-joints do not have to be in alignment for proper operation provided they are greased with the proper lubricant. Who is right?
14. Technician A says a vibration at high speed can be caused by an incorrect rear "U" joint operating angle. Technician B says a squeaking noise in reverse is caused by a worn cross shaft bearing surface. Who is right?
15. Technician A says the drive shafts on a FWD (front wheel drive) vehicle are usually removed with a pry bar or special puller. Technician B says the axle nuts on a FWD vehicle are NOT reusable. Who is right?
16. Two technicians are discussing axle drive shaft removal on a vehicle with a transaxle. Technician A says that, when removing the axle, drive shafts match marks should be made to prevent a vibration after reassembly. Technician B says the front wheel bearings could be damaged if the vehicle is moved while the drive shafts are removed. Who is right?

Rear Wheel Drive Axle Diagnosis and Repair

17. A growling sound is heard from the rear of a rear-wheel-drive vehicle during cornering only. Technician A says incorrect drive pinion bearing preload could be the cause. Technician B says defective rear axle bearings may be the cause. Who is right?
18. What rear axle measurement is being performed in the photo?

19. What rear axle measurement is being performed in the photo?

20. The ring gear to pinion backlash is less than specifications (too low). This will cause the ring gear tooth pattern to show contact in which of the following areas of the ring gear?

Four-Wheel and All-Wheel Component Diagnosis and Repair

21. The owner of an older 4WD (four-wheel-drive) truck that uses Cardan U-joints to drive the front wheels complains that whenever turning sharply and accelerating rapidly a severe vibration is created. Technician A says the rear drive shaft may be out-of-balance. Technician B says this is a normal condition for Cardan U-joints used on early 4WD vehicles. Who is right?
22. Two technicians are discussing the front axle neutral position on a FWD (four wheel drive) pickup truck. Technician A says the front axles are disconnected if the vehicle is being towed. Technician B says the neutral position is also used on an AWD (all-wheel-drive) vehicle. Who is right?
23. A transfer case is extremely noisy in all selections except neutral (N) whenever the vehicle is moving. Technician A says the drive chain may be worn and loose causing the noise as it hits the inside of the case. Technician B says a transfer case bearing could be defective. Who is right?
24. A transfer case will not shift from the low gear ratio up to direct drive or 1:1 ratio. Which of the following is the MOST likely cause?

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Quality starts with who wrote the material.
Our practice exam writer
Written by:
Dr. John Kershaw
ASE Test Prep Expert

ASE Test Question Developer

ASE Certified Master Technician

ASE Master Truck Technician

Auto Industry Technical Instructor

Among first ASE Certified in 1972
Actual ASE A6 Topics

• General Electric/Electronic 
• Battery and Starting Systems
• Charging Systems
• Lighting Systems
• Instrument Cluster/ Driver Info.
• Body Electrical Systems 


Number of Questions on the Actual ASE A Series Tests

A1 – Engine Repair (60)
A2 – Automatic Transmission/Transaxle (60)
A3 – Manual Drive Train & Axles (50)
A4 – Suspension & Steering (50)
A5 – Brakes (55)
A6 – Electrical/Electronic Systems (60)
A7 – Heating & Air Conditioning (60)
A8 – Engine Performance (60)
A9 – Light Vehicle Diesel Engines (60)