Auto Diagnostics and Codes
Mini Cooper Tech Tip: False “Service Due” Message For Brake Pad Thickness

Brake pad thickness warning message is displayed even if the pads are above specifications.

TPMS Radio Frequency Theory And Operation

A typical wheel-mounted TPMS sensor will transmit data about tire pressure and temperature. Newer, tire-mounted models can also gauge acceleration and, in some cases, the direction that the wheel is spinning. Some systems display tire pressure by location on the instrument panel, but most do not.

Programming Keys, Codes And Diagnostics

In the 1980s, the only thing standing between a thief and starting a car was the lock’s tumbler. The thief could pick the lock or violently remove the lock’s tumbler with a slide hammer. Re-keying a car involved installing a new lock cylinder – this is not the case with most late-model vehicles.

Understanding Idle Quality

Idle quality is challenging to diagnose because it is a vague description at best on most vehicles. The textbook definition is an engine speed lower or higher than the specification in the service manual. For drivers, idle “quality” is more difficult to define.

GM Tech Tip: Lin Bus Diagnostics

As more smart motors, switches and sensors are being used, there are more Local Interconnect Network (LIN) buses on vehicles.

Intelligent Cooling Systems

Smart thermostats and pumps are adding a new wrinkle to diagnostics.

Reprogramming And Diagnosing Modules And Networks

When a late-model car or truck is started, it is a lot more than the switch activating a solenoid for the starter. Now, it is a series of handshakes and exchanges of information between modules over networks.

GM Tech Tip: Service ABS / TCS / Power Steering, Suspension Message

Monitor the voltage on the communication enable circuit 5986 at any of the modules affected.

Making A Living With A Scope

All technicians know more complex cars with more expensive modules and sensors are coming to shops so parts swapping is not usually an option.

Add Pre-Trip Auto Care To Customers’ Summer Road Trip Plans

With school out for the summer, many families are planning driving vacations. Adding pre-trip auto care to road trip plans lessens the chance of a roadside breakdown for all motorists and is even more important for those driving older vehicles, says the Car Care Council. According to AAA roadside data, “vehicles 10 years and older

Why Maintenance Matters

Although Car Care Month is typically celebrated twice a year in April and October, that doesn’t mean you should miss great opportunities to host impromptu car care clinics during the summer.

Reprogramming And Reflashing

According to a recent survey, more than 800 TSBs have been issued concerning reflashing or reprogramming over the past five years. These numbers do not include the random updates that seem to appear out of thin air on the OE service information websites. Also, OEMs are using more modules that communicate on network.