Electronic diagnosis Archives - Transmission Digest
Magic Boxes and Basic Wiring

However, one thing that has remained fairly constant through the years is the wiring that connects to all of those “magic boxes.” Copper wires in a vinyl sheath; seems simple enough. Where it gets a little complicated is with CAN network protocols, module connectivity and the like. It’s easy to suspect these things when diagnosing a customer issue, and just as easy to forget the basics. The following cases involve the latter: basic wiring issues creating a customer complaint.

Taking a Short Trip Back to the 1970s

In a service and repair world filled with CAN/BUS systems, scan tool diagnoses and iATN archives, I found a recent repair interesting due to its lack of these technical needs.

My customer arrived with a 1971 Chevy C10 long-bed pickup truck and a concern that his dash lights did not function. I was excited to accept this repair because I hadn’t had my hands on one of these in quite a while! Besides, how hard could it be to find out why his dash lights weren’t working?

And Then There’s Paul

Paul’s list of problems with his car consists of some of the definitions that technicians (especially flat-rate techs) love to hate. Things like “The heat doesn’t always come out right” and “Sometimes the transmission doesn’t want to go like it should” or “The dash doesn’t light all the way up, and the radio needs a new speaker in the back right.”

Double Trouble

Electronic failure can be very similar to a mechanical failure in that when one thing goes wrong, it can cause another part to fail. If you are not careful, you could make a repair that doesn’t fix the original cause of the failure, leading to a repeat failure after repairs.

Why Didn’t I Think of That?

Once in a great while something comes along that makes you slap yourself on the forehead (ala Homer Simpson) and wonder why you didn’t think of that. The Teslite (teslite.com) test lead is one of those items – a very simple tool that can find a bad connection or contact with a quick push of a button.