Andrew Markel debunks the myth that the TCM learns how the customer drives the vehicle.
Gary Goms goes over two case studies this month involving trailers. The electric brakes on one do not function, and the brakes on another activate when the parking light turns on. Learn how bad wiring and damage from rodents can cause these issues.
The most common diagnostic procedures for fuel pumps in the past were analog and hands on. Most fuel pump-related problems could be solved with a pressure gauge and voltmeter. Today, the scan tool is the most important tool when diagnosing a fuel supply problem.
Power windows are great as long as they roll up and down when commanded to do so. But sometimes a window may quit working for one reason or another. Sometimes the fault is electrical, such as a bad power window switch, a blown fuse, a bad relay or a loose or damaged wire. Other times, the fault is a bad window motor or a broken part in the window regulator mechanism that actually raises and lowers the glass.
I think it might have been a 2003 Subaru WRX, but it was parked in front of my local Subaru specialist’s shop after going on its fourth fuel pump replacement from other shops in less than six months. Both the Subaru specialist and I agreed that fuel pump failures on Subarus were relatively rare, so the previous repair shops had obviously overlooked some very important details.
How many times have you been working on the computer when it suddenly locks up? Not one single key or command works, and the more you click, the less it responds. The only thing left to do is hold down those three magic keys, “Ctrl-Alt-Del,” or shut the whole thing off and restart the computer. Chances are you’ll have lost whatever it was you were working on.
The OBDII connector is more than 20 years old. 1996 was the first year all vehicles sold in the U.S. had to have this standard 16-pin connector. Most technicians now take this port for granted, and some do not even remember the days when a scan tool was more about the cables and ID cards than the tool itself.
According to J.D. Power, 189 recalls and 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. Some of us may see this as a problem. But, we should see this as an opportunity.
During the past nine months, I’ve had three instances of powertrain control module (PCM) failures on Jeep Wrangler vehicles that were evidently caused by an over-voltage condition. The first case involved an owner who requested that a local shop replace the fuel pump because his ’98 Wrangler was slow-starting in the morning.
These past two months, I have been trying out a lot of new scan tools while trying to get better with my scope. I am quickly realizing how fast things are changing with tools, vehicles and diagnostics. When I started in this industry, the most advanced tool was a “brick” with a tiny monochromatic display, and the scope was the size of two large filing cabinets.
There are several fixes available to solve carbon buildup problems. The first is preventive maintenance. Scheduled oil changes can keep the camshaft actuators working in optimal condition to control the exposure of the intake valves.
Close isn’t good enough if you want to establish credibility in your local market. Today’s professional technician can’t just grab a component hanging from a branch of the proverbial parts tree and see if that will fix the problem. It requires a diligent effort of testing and diagnostic time to analyze the maze of electronic data.