Electrical

  • Even though the optical bus system isn’t being used in extremely high volumes it’s still worth understanding how the system works, what goes wrong, and how to fix it properly.
  • When I first started in this business, you could diagnose most running problems based on a generalized set of rules. Of course, this was in the day of carbureted engines and mechanical ignition systems. Today, the Engine Control Module (ECM) does a p
  • When the 4.6L first appeared under the hood of brand new Crown Victorias back in 1992 (Town Car got it a year earlier), those of us who pounded the concrete and pulled steel in Ford dealership service departments expected a host of new problems. You
  • Vehicles sitting on car lots can experience a lot of problems because they sit for long periods of time. Batteries aren't unhooked, and can drain. On this Dodge Caravan, the driver door lock was malfunctioning.
  • A window that won't roll back up is not the only power window complaint you may face. Other common faults are windows that only move partially through their travel before grinding to a halt, work in one direction only or no longer respond to their au
  • The Jeep Wrangler belongs to a fellow employee and just needed a routine oil change. A simple task, right? No matter what the customer complaint is, I always do a complete visual inspection so I can advise my customer on his or her car's current cond
  •   There is a new revenue stream in pursuing high voltage (HV) hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) battery packs diagnostics or service.
  • The most expensive fuses on the vehicle are any one of the several dozen computers found on a modern automobile. What happens when they replace the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and the problem doesn’t go away?
  • Chasing down wiring faults can be considered one of the tougher tasks most technicians face. Let's see what we can do to make this one challenge a bit easier.
  • Want to know a secret? Electronically controlled transmissions on newer vehicles actually are similar to their electronically controlled engines, and often are just as easy to diagnose.
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  • This fine piece of Detroit engineering arrived at the shop on a tow strap, dead in the water. The battery voltage is very low, due to the owner cranking the engine trying to get it started.
  • As the weather warms, more and more of your customers will be switching over their HVAC control settings to Max A/C. And if the system doesn't respond by blowing that refreshing cool air, they will show up at your door to find out why.
  • There was a time that hybrid cars were unusual enough that people would turn their heads and point them out to their friends as one passed by. Those were the days when folks were undecided as to whether this hybrid idea was even going to stick. Of co
  • From the days when automobiles were first built, racing has played an integral role in their development. Racing has been where new technologies are tested and proven on their way to becoming mainstream. It also has been where many ideas are introduc
  • Not too long ago, one of our Motor Age community members wrote excitedly about a new technology he was told about in a training class. The topic of his excitement was ion sensing ignition systems, and I certainly admire him for his enthusiasm. But as
  • Diagnosing circuits operated by a control module is not as hard as many techs think. Like any diagnostic situation, it all comes down to understanding how the module operates. Control modules are computers programmed to carry out specific functions.
  • Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) have been in common use for several years now, yet when I asked the technical support specialists of several aftermarket companies what the most common request for help is, they told me two things. First, many
  • One would think that, after running a successful automotive repair business for 22 years, the direction of the business would be pretty much written in stone. What then, would compel me, the owner of Taylor Automotive, to change course during one of
  • Not every shop can afford more than one scan tool, but a scope might fill the gap by evaluating combustion behavior at all driving conditions. With a scope, you won't be cliff hanging when your scan tool is not compatible with a specific vehicle. You
  • Air conditioning system service can be very profitable, but new technology will tend to throw a wrench in the works. One good example of this is hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) A/C systems. While these have a great deal in common with conventional A/C