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advanced automotive fault diagnosis

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One of the things that I most enjoy about automotive work is being able to diagnose problems that others cannot. This skill takes a few years to develop, but it is really all about two things:

 knowledge of the vehicle system and an understanding of the importance of a logical diagnostic process. 

In this book, I have therefore included some basic technologies (as a reminder) and then examined appropriate diagnostic techniques. 

This book is the third in the “Automotive Technology: Vehicle Maintenance and Repair” series: 

● Automobile Mechanical and Electrical Systems 

● Automobile Electrical and Electronic Systems 

● Automobile Advanced Fault Diagnosis Ideally, you will have studied the mechanical and electrical book, or have some experience, before starting on this one. This is the f rst book of its type to be published in full colour and concentrates on diagnostic principles. It will cover everything you need to advance your studies to a higher level, no matter what qualif cation (if any) you are working towards. 

You will also fnd links to lots of free online resources to help with your studies. The final chapter of this book contains lots of learning activities, questions, diagnostic case studies and more. 

You can look at this at any time or wait until you have studied the rest of the book. Good luck and I hope you f nd automotive technology as interesting as I still do.

Finding the problem when complex automotive systems go wrong is easy if you have the necessary knowledge. This knowledge consists of two parts: 

● understanding of the system in which the problem exists; 

● the ability to apply a logical diagnostic routine. It is also important to be clear about these defnitions:

 ● symptom(s) – what the user/operator/repairer of the system (vehicle or whatever) notices; ● fault(s) – the error(s) in the system that result in the symptom(s); 

● root cause(s) – the cause(s) of the fault. If a system is not operating to its optimum, then it should be repaired. This is where diagnostic and other skills come into play.

 It is necessary to recognise that something is not operating correctly by applying your knowledge of the system, and then by applying this knowledge further, and combining it with the skills of diagnostics, to be able to f nd out the reason. The four main chapters of this book (‘Engine systems’, ‘Chassis systems’, ‘Electrical systems’ and ‘Transmission systems’) include a basic explanation of the vehicle systems followed by diagnostic techniques that are particularly appropriate for that area.

 Examples of faultf nding charts are also included. In the main text, references will be made to generic systems rather than to specif c vehicles or marques. 

For specif c details about a particular vehicle or system, the manufacturer’s information is the main source. Other chapters such as ‘Sensors, actuators and oscilloscope diagnostics’ and ‘On-board diagnostics’ are separated from the four previously mentioned chapters, because many operations are the same.

 For example, testing an inductive sensor is similar whether it is used on ABS or engine management.