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Does size (of the vehicle) matter?

A solid diagnostic process can be applied to any size problem.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 09:00
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As a mobile diagnostic tech, I receive numerous calls from many different shops asking me to program a module or diagnose a problem vehicle that's in their shop. Many times the information I'm given over the phone isn't quite the complete story. In this particular instance, a tech called to tell me they had a 2012 Mitsubishi that had an Antilock Braking System (ABS) light illuminated on the dash and they couldn’t seem to find the problem. I arrived at the shop thinking that the vehicle in question was a car, but it turned out to be a medium duty truck, 2012 Mitsubishi Fuso FE160!

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Most car and light duty shops around my area are not geared up and properly tooled to 

work on vehicles like this. As a mobile tech, I have to be able to cover just about every vehicle on the road. Not being able to service a vehicle is out of the question. When it comes to scanning these vehicles, they can be a little dicey, as most scan tools won’t communicate with these trucks due to the communication network protocol they use. You might get lucky communicating with it using a Global OBDII scan tool, but the information you will see might not be accurate or there is just not a lot of it. The tool of choice on these vehicles is the factory Mitsubishi scan tool, called the Multi-Use Tester (MUT) III. Because this is an ABS problem, I hooked up my tool to the Diagnostic Link Connector (DLC) and tried to communicate with the vehicle.

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OK, that’s strange; there isn't any communication with the ABS module. Is that why the ABS light is on? I wanted to make sure that the tool was working, so I tried communicating with the Engine Control Module (ECM), which it did. Before I located the ABS control module on this vehicle to check its powers and grounds, I wanted to make sure that the scan tool was at least attempting to talk to thiscontrol module.

I installed a DLC breakout box between the connector and the scan tool. This is a great tool to use to check the circuits at the DLC connector for proper power and grounds. On this vehicle, pin 16 is power and pins 4 and 5 are grounds just like the cars 

and light duty trucks on which you normally work.  Those circuits checked out just fine. The communication lines on this vehicle are pin 7 and pin 13. As I tried to communicate with the scan tool, the pin 7 light illuminated on the breakout box. That told me that the scan tool was at least making an attempt to communicate with the ABS module. I also verified that I was receiving a signal of about 12 volts with my Digital Volt-Ohm Meter (DVOM). The next step I took was to locate the control module itself and with the help of a wiring schematic, I checked the powers and grounds to the module. Those, too, checked out to be working properly.

Why can't I communicate with this module? By all accounts I should be talking to it based on the testing I have done so far. My next step was to use one of the most powerful tools I have in my arsenal: networking. I contacted a friend at the Mitsubishi dealer and asked him about this problem. He told me that in 2011/2012, Mitsubishi started using a tool called the SD Connect, the same tool used on the Mercedes Benz vehicles. I plugged my SD Connect VCI (Vehicle Communications Interface) and finally was able to connect with the elusive ABS module.

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