Electrical

  • 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.
  • This van is kicking me around, Donnie told me. I had been out of the field for a few years, having traded my toolbox for a grade book, an office and classroom, laser pointer and a lab full of automotive students. My old friend and fellow drivability
  • Sparking your knowledge of electricity can help you solve basic problems in the bay.
  • There are hundreds of color-coded wires on every vehicle, some of them carrying loads, but many more conductors these days are carrying delicate signals that require almost no current at all through tiny little wires.
  • 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
  • Vehicles today feature more safety technologies to keep vehicles from being in an accident, including changes to the brake systems, stability control and new blind spot detection. Here's a description of some of the systems you'll see in your bays to
  • You don't use one testing method to dianose drivability problems, do you? In fact, I bet you know more than one technique for testing nearly every system on the car. We learn these various techniques in order to accurately troubleshoot the problem at
  • April marks the beginning of a new A/C season for many. Now is a good time to take a look at how to properly service these systems, as well as other parts of A/C service you might not expect to see.
  • Today's cars are getting more and more electronic, with computer modules controlling engine management systems to automatically turning on the wipers at the first hint of rain. Diagnosing problems in these circuits can be involved, and the more testi