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Adaptive Cruise Control
Hyundai connector issues
Manufacturer Badge Misconceptions
Proper Diagnostics
Maintenance of todays Vehicles

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Automotive

Adaptive Cruise Control

     The Cars of today are getting more complicated and have far more computers in them compared to cars from 2000. Mr Diagnostic is staying ahead of the curve by studding the new technology and tooling up to repair it. 
     Adaptive cruise control is a "smart" cruise control using cameras and radar systems mounted in the bumpers of vehicles. These cameras send information to multiple computers in the vehicle. Once the information is transmitted the computers react by applying brakes, vibrating the seat or steering wheel, setting off an audible alarm, etc... This system will determine if you are too close to the vehicle in front of you and slow you down to avoid contact and then keep the car at a safe distance as it resumes the speed selected by the driver.

     The draw back of these systems is they are sensitive to dirt, road debris,and may be knocked out of calibration by something as simple as rubbing a parking curb or hitting debris on the road. If you get in an accident there is a multi step process the body shop must go thru to insure the camera is aiming where it is supposed to be. If this process is not done the camera calibration process will be wrong and can cause problems with the system as you drive the vehicle. Make sure you are using a reputable repair facility and ask if they are equipped to fix this properly. 

     Mr Diagnostic is a specialist, so we are equipped to handle these situations for the body shops in the New England area. We do calibrate these systems often, and do it correctly, so the customer can use their car to its full potential when they get it back.

Hyundai connector issues

I had a good one a few weeks ago that I wanted to share. A Hyundai car was having ABS issues. The light was on and they couldn't communicate with the module. They checked for power and ground on the terminals to the module by back probing them and everything tested fine so they changed the module with a used one. The same problem was there. They sent it to the dealer and they said the used module was junk. The customer went and got another one and it did the same as the other two. The dealer told them they needed to buy a brand new one and it would be fixed. This is when I get the call to get involved. I test power and ground at the module and it is there. We unplugged all the sensors and checked wiring between the module and sensors...it checked out fine. At this point I would have said bad module too. Then I remembered a problem I had with Hyundai O2 sensors. The plugs that mated together for the O2 sensor had pin grip issues. The pins in the plug didn't make a good connection. I asked the customer if the plug came with any of the used modules. One of them did. We took the plug and slid it onto the module and you could feel the difference between the plug from the cars wiring harness and the plug from the used unit. The used one was much tighter and slid on harder than the one wired to the vehicle. I advised the customer on how to splice the used connector into the vehicles harness. He called a few days later and said it worked. There are tools out there to test pin grip for most plugs and most people don't have them. If you are going to test electronics I strongly suggest buying a set. It could save you a lot of time and misdiagnosis.

Manufacturer Badge Misconceptions

All auto manufacturers have a "badge"to recognize who the manufacturer is. Ford has the blue oval, Chevrolet has the bow tie, etc... So some consumers will buy an automobile based on the manufacturer because they have become trusting in the product over years of use. I have done this myself with General Motors products. Here is where the problem sets in. Cars built today have a lot of computers and control units in them that talk back and forth to each other. Technicians need a special computer to be able to read what is being said from one control unit to another. Those special computers are the manufacturers specific computers used in dealerships or a universal computer sold by companies like Snap On, OTC, and others. When we see the badge on the car that tells us what computer to grab to be able to diagnose problems or program software into the cars computers. I just recently rand into a problem with a Saturn. Saturn was manufactured by General Motors before going out of business. The general motors Tech2 computer was used to diagnose and program these vehicles. Saturn decided to offer the Astra model that carried the Saturn badge but was controlled by German engineered computer systems. You could not do anything to this car electronically until you downloaded the special programming to the Tech2. Once that was done the platform that the program ran on was quite different than regular Tech2 software. I tried to call the technical assistance hot line for GM but they could not help me with any of my questions. I then called a few Saturn techs and they laughed and said good luck...."it is an Opal with a Saturn badge on it". So no matter if you are a consumer or a technician you were fooled by the badge of the vehicle which lead to hours and hours of time spent to learn this system to be able to service it. I do not believe it is fair for me to eat the billable hours trying to service this car. I also do not believe it is fair for the customer to have to pay for all the hours of time spent trying to fix this vehicle either. I recommended to send it to a GM dealer and they said they did already and the dealer said they could not do anything for them. I then split the difference of time spent on the vehicle with the customer and proceeded to fix the car that the GM dealer said they could not. 
     In closing I would like to remind you that just because the badge says a certain thing it does not mean it is that under the hood! Do your research before purchasing a vehicle so you are sure you are getting what you think.

Proper Diagnostics

Hello again. I am posting this information on my blog because I do not think there is enough consumer education on the subject of automotive diagnostics. I made this Infomercial to help try to educate you a little more.
 
 
   Thanks for watching
        Craig... AKA Mr Diagnostic
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