Scope & Scan

  • Programming Ford electronic control units (ECUs) is pretty straightforward and simple compared to many other OEMs. However, Ford does do one thing differently than most other OEMs. The normal Ford programming procedure has you "inhale" (read and stor
  • Welcome back for part two of advanced circuit diagnostics. We are going to take a look at some live scope captures taken from circuit defects installed on a test board.
  • Low amp current probes have become a popular technician purchase in the last 10 years or so. There have been many good articles on the usefulness of this tool in our daily diagnostic adventures. Through visits to hundreds of shops over the years as a
  • For part three of the series on advanced circuit diagnostics, we are going to apply theory to an actual defect caught using a two-channel scope.
  • More circuit diagnostic techniques are on the way in the near future. But for the next few columns, let's look at how our test equipment works. And, more importantly, we can then use this knowledge so that we do not use the equipment the wrong way, t
  • The advanced circuit diagnostics I will be explaining will require a three-part study. Part one will show the two contained advanced circuit diagnostic charts that you can keep both for study now and in the future to help organize your thoughts and a
  • Modern vehicles not only use more electronics, but those same electronics are more interlinked than ever before. Typically, every control module on the vehicle is linked to a network through one or more communication lines. This means one part of a s
  • We all wish scan tools had enough bidirectional control commands to cover every output device on a vehicle. But even factory tooling does not cover every output. So how do you handle a lack of output commands from your scan tool?
  • Chrysler's Star Mobile PC-based scan tool offers a number of diagnostic functions, including a CAN-C Bus Test and Advanced LoC screen.
  • This month, we will discuss an often overlooked cause of loss of communication with a powertrain control module (PCM). Many techs have been trained to first check a non-communicating module for proper power feeds and grounds. In addition, techs were
  • The Ford IDS is a PC-based factory scan tool software package that utilizes a Vehicle Communication Module (VCM), an interface to connect a PC to the vehicle's Diagnostic Link Connector (DLC). The IDS has become a very popular purchase in aftermarket
  • While engine mechanical diagnostics dates back to, well, ever since the first engines were made, the way we diagnose defects continues to evolve. The toughest aspect of engine mechanical diagnostics may not be as sophisticated as electronic control s
  • So begins the ancient riddle in which a questioner must ask a series of questions to a pair of sisters in order to determine which one of them is the liar and which one is the truth teller. Sometimes diagnostics can take on this same level of frustra
  • Two-wire Variable Reluctance (VR) position sensors have been with us for better than 30 years. However, testing these devices can still be problematic because of their unique AC voltage output, which rises above as well as below the chassis ground re
  • Unlike the Variable Reluctance (VR) sensors that output an AC signal, the output from a Hall-effect sensor is a square wave. This square wave starts from the sensor reference ground level to a positive DC voltage of typically 5, 8, 10 or 12 volts, de
  • An extra pair of hands in the bay usually can?t hurt, and mobile diagnostics brings in another technician without adding too much to your books and staff.
    Tschanen Brandyberry
  • Scan tool manufacturers on bothe the aftermarket and OEM sides have stepped up to the place to make diagnostics more efficient. But understanding how systems work will help you in your diagnosis of vehicle problems.
  • The DRBIII (Diagnostic Readout Box 3) scan tool uses specific functions to diagnose Chrysler PCI (Programmable Communication Interface) Bus system.