Diagnostic Dilemmas: 8 Simple Rules … – UnderhoodService

Diagnostic Dilemmas: 8 Simple Rules …

Many of the "Diagnostic Dilemmas" Gary Goms is called upon to solve aren't really all that complicated - but were caused by basic oversights and incorrect assumptions on the part of the technician. This situation has largely been caused by a lack of training and, in some cases, poor training.

Since I began doing part-time mobile diagnostic work for local shops, I’ve noticed that most “Diagnostic Dilemmas” I’m called upon to solve aren’t really all that complicated.

Most of these Diagnostic Dilemmas were caused by basic oversights and incorrect assumptions on the part of the technician. This situation has largely been caused by a lack of training and, in some cases, poor training.

For example, when on-board diagnostics were popularly introduced in the early 1980s, many early trainers had to fill voids in OEM information by gathering information from anecdotal sources. But, in hindsight, much of the information provided 20 years ago has been proven incorrect.

Unfortunately, the incorrect information and incorrect assumptions developed 30 years ago is still part of our diagnostic dialogue. In most cases, they fall into one of eight categories of common diagnostic mistakes.

photo 1: to solve for amps, cover the ampere portion with your finger and divide voltage by resistance. a circuit operating at 14.2 volts against a resistance of 2 ohms will, for example, carry 7.1 amperes of current.1. Skipping the Customer Interview
The most common mistake of service writers and technicians is assuming that any problem can be diagnosed by simply retrieving a trouble code. For that reason, many service writers fail to determine the actual customer complaint or gather the background information needed to quickly and efficiently address the problem.

To illustrate, last spring I was called to solve a cold-stalling problem on a 2005 Jeep Wrangler. The PCM had stored at least one throttle sensor-related DTC and, following a service bulletin on that particular failure, the shop had removed the driver’s air bag to test the cruise control circuits.

I won’t explore this issue since it became apparent that it wasn’t directly related to the stalling complaint. But it did momentarily divert my attention away from the immediate problem of the engine cold-stalling until it had warmed up for about one minute. After a short warm-up, the engine started and idled perfectly for the rest of the day. My first impression was a fuel quality problem, but I set that theory aside for the moment because fuel quality hasn’t been a problem in my community during the past eight years.

photo 2: assuming the resistance (ohms) remains the same, volts and amperes are inseparable components of any 
</p>
</p>
	</div><!-- .entry-content -->

		<div class=

You May Also Like

Acura Turbo Engine Service

It is important to check the operation of the solenoids that control vacuum to the actuators.

The 2007-2012 Acura RDX was Honda’s first production vehicle in North America with a turbocharger. The company took the proven K-series engine and lowered the compression ratio from 10:1 to 8:1, and added a turbocharger with the associated plumbing. But, it is a lot more complicated when it comes to managing the boost.

ECM Damage

Engineers have devised two strategies that can be called the “immune system” for the electrical system.

Voltage Drop Testing

The measurement of voltage is like the speed of the traffic.

Spark Plug Fouling

Understanding why spark plugs get dirty.

Why Alternators Are Subject To Ripple Voltage

The alternator produces an AC current that must be converted into DC current by way of a rectifier.

Other Posts

Diesel Air Filter Replacement

Here are some diesel air filter replacement tips in order to keep these vehicles running as intended.

Auxiliary Cooling Pumps

An auxiliary cooling pump’s primary function is to circulate warm coolant to the heater core.

Battery Management Means Knowing How It Ages

The battery may be fully charged, but you also need to measure how low the voltages go while the engine is cranking.

Deciphering Engine Misfire Codes

When the fuel/air mixture ignites, many factors must be met to pass a misfire monitor.