ECU issues and how to fix them

The ECU is truly a wonderful piece of engineering. Not only does it contain a lot of functionality, but to reliably operate in a harsh environment with very variable conditions is a big achievement. However, the reliability still leaves something to be desired every now and then. Why can’t they solve these weaknesses?

It might be useful to start with some elaboration about the technology that’s used inside an ECU. Of course, the basis is formed by a processor, memory and a PCB (Printed Circuit Board), but there is really much more to tell.

The PCB

We’ll start with the PCB itself: The well-known green printed circuit board, made out of fibreglass and epoxy resin, is still used regularly, but the arrival of ceramic material has made some manufacturers switch. Ceramic printed circuit boards can conduct and dissipate heat much better and are made
of much finer and better structured material, which allows for very high precision manufacturing. This also has its advantages for printed circuit board design, as it also makes possible very small and complicated 3D structures. Car manufacturers are very eager to take advantage of these characteristics, as any form of space and weight saving is welcomed with open arms. We therefore expect to see the use of ceramic material in ECUs even more in the near future.

Ceramic printed circuit boards are mostly glued to an aluminium base plate with a heat-conducting paste. This gives the circuit board its firmness and lets the heat (generated

by active components) dissipate quickly. Deformation and vibration therefore occur way less with ceramic printed circuit boards. It also prevents possible consequential damage due to these deformities. Cracks in solid connections are therefore also relatively rare. So, all-in-all, the use of ceramic material really has huge advantages. We even dare to say that the now somewhat older green printed circuit board is partly to blame for the varying reliability of some current ECUs.

Components on, and inside, the PCB

It should come as no surprise that this difference in printed circuit boards also results in a different use of components. A conventional printed circuit board has a coarser structure in comparison to the ceramic variant. The components themselves are therefore logically somewhat more “robust”
in design. Most contact points are therefore large enough to be seen without a microscope. You would therefore think that these components are also more reliable than the smaller fragile components on a ceramic printed circuit board, but strangely enough, this theory does not seem to hold true in reality. The larger components still regularly fail. Could low manufacturing costs play a role in this?

Fortunately, with suitable (solder) equipment and sufficient skill, much is possible in repairing connections and replacing components on these conventional printed circuit boards, even if the contact points are located beneath the component, as is the case with processors such as BGAs. You’ll need special high-end equipment that can heat locally with extreme precision, but it’s doable for real experts.

An ECU with a modern ceramic printed circuit board.

So, if something fails on a conventional printed circuit board, repair is possible in many cases. However, with components that are used on a ceramic printed circuit board, it suddenly becomes a lot more difficult. Because the overall design can be made smaller and more complex, it also becomes necessary to use smaller components. Fortunately, heat dissipation is not a huge problem due to the use of the ceramic material, even if these components are embedded. However, as soon as these delicate electronics fail, repair is not that easy. The components are difficult, if not impossible, to reach and they’ll damage quickly. In addition, the joints are often so small that they cannot be repaired without a microscope and some highly advanced equipment. It’s not impossible, but you must keep asking yourself in each individual case whether this is still economically justifiable.

Joint by wire

Speaking of joints, due to the compact and complex design of a ceramic PCB, solder joints aren’t the obvious choice. Manufacturers often resort to wire connections, which can be microscopic. For example, the wire connections that run from the PCB to the ECU connectors are clearly visible, but the hundreds of gold wires connecting the square purple component in the centre of the PCB are only 50 microns thick and therefore almost invisible to the naked eye.

Note: These small gold wires are an excellent example to explain why you should never touch components with your fingers: The probability of pressing these gold wires together and thus cause a short circuit is very high.

Let’s be honest: These wire connections are clearly the weak spot of modern ECUs. They cannot withstand the continuous vibrations and temperature fluctuations for several years, circumstances that are common under the bonnet. This is mainly why a layer of silicone gel is applied, which should protect against this. However, this silicone gel does not prevent us from regularly encountering ECUs with faulty wire connections. And in our opinion, the chosen position of the ECU is also partly to blame. For example, on top of an intake manifold is not the most tactical position for a sensitive piece of technology such as an ECU. Yet some cars actually have the ECU placed right there!

Unlike the components themselves, the wire connections on a ceramic printed circuit board are often easily repairable. That is, if you have the right (often expensive) equipment and use the correct methods. The thin aluminium wires cannot be soldered reliably, even if in theory there would be space for this option. But if soldering isn’t the solution, how do you get these wire connections reattached to a contact point?

Ultrasonic wire bonding

A possible solution is to opt for ultrasonic wire bonding, as ACtronics have also done. As the name suggests, ultrasonic vibrations are used (frequency: 60 kHz) to make two metals (in this case the contact surface and the bonding wire) flow into each other. We won’t go into too much detail, but we can tell you that this way of bonding takes place quickly, accurately and without the addition of heat. The technique is therefore particularly suitable for use around delicate components.

In addition, the new joint is particularly strong: the result is comparable to a welded joint.

In short…

The shift to ceramic material has really benefited the ECU, as the older green circuit board has its drawbacks. Components appear to last longer due to better heat dissipation; solid connections suffer less from distortion and vibration and the design can be made much smaller, lighter and more complex. However, there is also a downside: wire connections. The ECU itself is by no means always to blame for the failure of these connections, but we cannot deny that this is clearly a weak spot. Fortunately, there are also companies such as ACtronics that have thoroughly studied this problem and can therefore provide a qualitative solution.

www.actronics.co.uk

At ACtronics, a company that focuses on remanufacturing of electronic automotive components, they also use local heating to replace components. The machine has been programmed entirely in-house, creating a fast and precise solution for replacing BGAs. Programming this equipment does require a lot of specific knowledge and the equipment is very expensive. It is therefore not expected that other companies will follow quickly in these developments.

Remanufacturing at ACtronics – A high quality A to Z solution

The complexity of modern vehicles makes it increasingly difficult for a car mechanic to determine the cause of a technical problem. That’s why at ACtronics remanufacturing is seen not as a product but as a service whereby we gladly support the entire process from diagnosis to test drive. We are happy to share our knowledge in the form of technical advice from our product specialists, but also by publishing various supporting documents. So, with this concept in mind, let’s walk through our remanufacturing process.

Diagnosis and removal

As mentioned above, modern vehicle technology can be quite complex. And while training options are endless, you just can’t know every little detail. So, when things get difficult, wouldn’t it be useful to have a specialist like ACtronics as a partner, who can help you both diagnose and solve the problem?

It was precisely this thought that prompted us to start making technical documentation. Besides the countless online articles and fault code lists on our website, we’ve also launched two diagnostic guides: a 120+ page book about transmission control units and a 150+ page one about the ABS/ESP braking system. It contains technical information, diagnosis tips and instructions how to remove and re-install the part properly. Our customers can download or order a copy in their online account. This initiative has been so well received that we will be developing other editions in the future.

Of course, when documentation isn’t sufficient, you can always call customer service. Our product specialists will help you out.

Two diagnostic guides are available on transmission control
units and the ABS/ESP braking system, containing technical information, diagnosis tips and instructions on how to remove and re-install the part properly
.

Packing and sending: The start of a well-organised process…
When determined the part is faulty, the next thing to do is packing and sending it to ACtronics. Because our process is largely automated, this is a very important part of the process. It basically consists of 4 simple steps:

1. Register the part for remanufacturing on our website 

2. Print out the Remanufacturing Order Form
3. Pack the part
4. Send the package

As an alternative to step 4:

Choose the ACtronics pick- up service and we’ll have the package collected from your workshop.

Stay informed online

From here on everything is taken care of for you. The current status can be tracked in real time on ‘my account’ at our website and you will also receive status updates by email. Of course, we will always contact you should anything particular arise.

Testing, repairs and final inspection

Why would you limit to repair if there is a better alternative like remanufacturing? Let’s explain this statement a little, because there are some major differences between the two. Where a repair could be explained as a single action, remanufacturing is like a whole process. At ACtronics it consists of testing, all recommended repairs (not only the one that solves the current problem) and a final inspection.

ACtronics launched two fully automated remanufacturing lines last year.
During the testing phase, a part performs an automated script (simulation) to expose any underlying issues.

Testing

In general, any weaknesses in an electronic component do not always appear during the preproduction test period, but only after several years of everyday use. Because manufacturers have already shifted their focus to newer products by then, these weaknesses are often no longer corrected. This presents an opportunity for remanufacturing specialists like ACtronics, because they can analyse these weaknesses in detail and improve the product where necessary. In many instances, a remanufactured product is therefore even more reliable than a new one. This is also the main reason why we have a testing phase at ACtronics, where a part performs an automated script (simulation) that will expose any problems. Any underlying issues will certainly be noticed.

All recommended repairs

At ACtronics quality is top priority. This is reflected in the way we perform our repairs as well. Each remanufacturing solution has its own protocols and where possible improvements are made. We’ve even launched two fully automated remanufacturing lines last year, using vapor phase soldering, pick and place machines and glue robots. We are very proud to have come this far, but of course we’ll keep on improving.

Final inspection

No part will be shipped back to the customer unless a successful final inspection is completed. It uses the same automated script as entry testing, but the part will also undergo a visual quality control.

Back into the car: plug-and-play?

And that’s it, just put the part back into the car and the job is done. But is it?

Encrypted components

For various reasons, car manufacturers are increasingly encrypting electronic components. This is making it increasingly difficult to replace these parts. The notification/ introduction of a new component often requires special (expensive) equipment as well as specialist knowledge of the procedures to be carried out. In these cases, it is therefore much easier to have the defective part remanufactured because it preserves existing configurations and minimises the need for re-learning. This saves valuable time and is a lot simpler to do! So yes, in most cases putting back a remanufactured part is plug-and-play.

Software updates

As is the case with PC’s and mobile phones, the electronics used in the automotive sector are also increasingly provided with software updates. This has to do with ensuring the existing functionality, but also with tightening up on environmental requirements or solving any problems found. Unfortunately, you will lose these updates as soon as a new component has to be installed. Of course, it’s possible to update these parts, but the procedures for doing so can be cumbersome. All of which makes remanufacturing a very interesting option.

Installation instructions

However, even putting back a part without programming and updating can be a complex process. To help you further and provide you with information after the remanufacture has been completed, we will supply you an installation instruction if necessary. And of course, you can also use our diagnostic guides.

The end-result: an eco-friendly solution and a satisfied end customer…
So, all things considered, remanufacturing at ACtronics really is a great solution. Choosing remanufacturing is a good step towards a circular economy and as a bonus, remanufacturing also reduces costs in comparison to replacing the part for a new one. And that in turn has a positive effect on the overall repair costs: a satisfied end customer.

The Multec HSFI 2.X – A regular customer at ACtronics

“Multec? Aren’t they those ECUs (Engine Control Units) that are commonly used in Vauxhalls?”

We’re not sure if it’s a good or a bad sign, but almost every car connoisseur we speak to, knows that many Vauxhalls are equipped with a Multec ECU. Why do so many people know the name Multec? Are these ECUs really that bad? Multecs are indeed malfunctioning a lot, but this is due to several causes. It is short-sighted to put the blame entirely on the ECU itself.

Lesson 1 – when using car-electronics, always ensure the utmost protection against moisture, temperature fluctuations and vibration. Maybe Vauxhall is a little at fault in this matter – mounting an ECU right on top of the inlet manifold simply doesn’t provide the best possible environment.

What’s causing the main malfunctions?

So, the ECU is operating in a hazardous environment full of vibrations and big differences in temperature. What could possibly go wrong? Several connections on the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) tend to tear or break and it’s no surprise for us to find these defects in every Multec we get hold of. So, it actually doesn’t matter which faults we find inside the ECUs, we always check all connections directly after every diagnosis. It’s really rare to have all connections on the PCB in perfect order. Almost every Multec will therefore continue to undergo our full remanufacturing process.

It’s probably no surprise that all these defects are causing so much trouble. The complaints we find on incoming Multec ECUs are also diverse. Below, we’ve made a short list of the most common complaints:

• Car doesn’t start, fuel pump isn’t activated • Car doesn’t start, no injection
• Ignition fails on one or more cylinders
• Fluctuating RPM at idle

• Absolutely no throttle response • Faults in EGR
• No communication to CAN
• Cooling fan isn’t activated

Remanufacturing: The process

We can’t stress enough that ACtronics doesn’t repair defects, but remanufactures products. We know for a fact that these ECU’s are highly sensitive and we want to be absolutely sure a remanufactured ECU will have the quality equal to, or better than, OE (Original Equipment). We therefore not only repair all the complaints we encounter, but we also put each ECU through the complete remanufacturing process.

In this process, the protective gel will first be removed professionally. Once all components are completely unprotected, we can begin with the removal of all existing bonding wires. This is a very delicate process, but this isn’t an issue thanks to our many years of experience. Once this second step is completed, all new bonding wires will be attached to the PCB using highly sophisticated equipment. The method we use is called ‘ultrasonic bonding’. The equipment is fully programmed and set up by our engineers and because of this we can also perform a pull test on the freshly installed bonding wires. This way we know for sure every new attachment is strong enough to withstand vibrations and fluctuations in temperatures. The newly made connections are even stronger than the original ones.

Once the bonding process is complete, it is time for the final test. This test is necessary to establish if all the functions are working properly. Our testing facility also gives us the ability to perform an endurance test, in which the temperature actually rises in the ECU. You can really feel the ECU getting hot while performing this test. After this testing period, a special high specification gel will be applied in order to properly protect the PCB. Finally, we will close the ECU with a new (self-developed) cap.

If the ECU still isn’t working properly after this entire process is complete, we will proceed using much more specific methods. There are many possibilities in the field of diagnosing and solving problems.

To find out more, visit www.actronics.co.uk, or email your query to info@actronics.co.uk.

FUN FACT…

The Multec HSFI ECUs are also used in cars with diesel engines. There is one malfunction that’s really standing out in these particular cases: Fault code P0251 (Injection Pump Fuel Metering Control “A” Malfunction). If you ever experience this fault code on a Multec ECU that controls a diesel engine, please send in both the ECU and EDU (Engine Diesel Unit). In most cases, it’s the EDU that’s causing this fault code, not the ECU itself.

Autotech is evolving

Autotech is evolving: Test your knowledge and gain new insights online.

The Autotechnician team were looking forward to welcoming old friends and new to Delphi’s training centre in November for Autotech’s Big Day Out but have decided to hold fire for now, due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding gatherings. To keep us all connected, learn a trick or two, and to have a bit of fun, the team are looking at ways to create an online training experience that technicians and workshop owners can enjoy this winter from the comfort of their own homes.

If you would like to see a particular topic covered, or would like to contribute in some way, please email Nicola@autotechnician.co.uk.

All will be revealed in our Winter issue, published on 6th November.

LIBRARY OF CONFIDENTIAL ASSESSMENTS…

There are currently nine multiple choice knowledge quizzes available on the AT website, covering LIN Bus, CAN Bus, oscilloscope use, testing electrical components, plus diesel and ignition case studies to assess your diagnostic process and fault-finding skills.

Results are strictly confidential and instantly emailed back to you once you have completed the test. Supplementary explanations are also provided to help you strengthen your knowledge in these areas.

We will add another test ready for the Christmas break. Register or log in at https://autotechnician.co.uk/registration and see what score you can achieve.

Autotech’s Big Weekend 2020

Join us for a unique two-day training workshop at Chatham Dockyard in June 

Autotechnician will return to the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent this summer with a team of independent repair experts and technical trainers, delivering practical advice on the diagnosis and repair of various systems. 

The event will run over two days on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th June, with groups taking in a mixture of classroom presentations, live fault finding scenarios and an exhibition/demonstration area. 

Tickets are strictly limited and heavily subsidised by sponsors. Day tickets, discounted two-day tickets, with options for evening meal and accommodation, are available now. Head to: www.autotechnician.co.uk/training to book your place online or email: Nicola@autotechnician.co.uk 

IMI Members can claim up to 12 CPD points by attending the 2-day event.

Technician’s hone their diagnostics skills at Autotechnician’s Big Day Out

The event delivered valuable advice to promote that desirable first-time-fix – here, we deliver a few insights to get your fault-finding juices flowing…

An eclectic crowd of technicians and workshop owners, plus a handful of college lecturers, gathered at ZF’s [pro]Tech technical training centre in October, to gain practical fault- finding advice from Andy Crook of GotBoost, plus James Dillon and David Wagstaff of Technical Topics. Delegates had travelled wide and far – with Hitesh Valambia of Tanzania winning top prize for mileage, for this unique training experience, where the three trainers used live faults and a mobile voting app to guide the crowd through initial diagnosis to fix. 

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Andy Crook began with a section on reducing diagnostic time and stressed the importance of primary data capture. He begins each job back in his workshop with a customer survey – detailing the vehicle’s symptoms, timing, background and so on. By adding ‘Is there anything else?’ to this questionnaire increased the success of his first hypothesis dramatically, explaining that customers who are not comfortable due to a lack of technical knowledge can leave importance clues out for fear of appearing silly. Once the interview is done, Andy then forges ahead with sensory checks, a global scan, then a test drive – to try and capture data whilst symptoms, hopefully, occur. Then he stops to have a cuppa or walks away to do another job to let all the primary data sink in slowly. He says the next step is to plan your testing and is best done away from the car, so you are not distracted. 

PLAN – TEST – EVALUATE – ACT 

“In diagnostics, I consider myself a detective, convicting a component in a court of law.” 

The trick, Andy says, is to design a test with known outcomes, then devise another. You then need to devise The Columbo Test – the killer question, which could show a component who was at the scene, but not actually guilty. Then the time comes to go to the vehicle and conduct the tests, collecting as much evidence as you need to convict the killer! The next stage is to evaluate your findings, “I draw my own wiring diagrams and add voltages, what I expect to see, so I know if results are good, bad or indifferent.” If the tests prove your fault hypothesis then save the information as base rate data for future reference. If they don’t, start the process again using your new evidence. 

“If your primary data is weak, your best guess at the fault will be weak too.” 

Andy explains that there will be occasions you are not sure, and you must replace a part but OK this with the customer first. Even if the light comes back on and the customer’s not happy, you have a chance to turn it around and change the process. Those times you are not convinced you found the underlying fault, give the customer a call two weeks after the job to check everything’s OK – customers would rather you put your hands up, you can then justify what actions you have taken so far and take it from there. 

UNHELPFUL THINGS WE ARE GUILTY OF SAYING TO CUSTOMERS

After a tea break, James Dillon took to the workshop floor to carry on the discussion around customer communication in the context of diagnostics. He suggested to delegates that we tend to use language that we’re used to saying to be convenient, but this devalues our worth. Unhelpful things to say to customers when they first call in with a problem include: “Bring it in, we’ll have a quick look,” or, “We’ll get the tool/ computer to do this or that”. The first implies it’s a quick job, so it will be cheap, the second makes Joe Bloggs think the tools are doing the work, not you, and you end up devaluing your own skills and knowledge. It’s also unwise to initially suggest what the problem might be, even if it seems obvious to you, as they will then be stuck on this idea and you will then face a later retort of, “You said it was that!” 

“Us technicians are guilty of thinking we have the biggest mental notepad – write it all down!” 

James stressed that even if you have a Eureka moment, take your time… call the customer back with well informed choices and consider confirming the symptom with the customer by conducting a test drive. A mantra throughout the day was no matter how long it takes you to physically rectify the fault, ensure you are charging properly for your knowledge, evaluation skills and analysis. 

The introductory sessions paved the way for using these techniques on live faults, with David Wagstaff providing advice on scoping, and suggestions of how to communicate effectively with customers and charging for time spent diagnosing. Both workshop owners and technicians, of varying levels of experience  in complex diagnostics, came away with food for thought, to help tweak their current processes and make more effective use of their tools and time. We hope you can join us next year at our subsidised training events. 

Thank you to all our sponsors this year, who have enabled Autotechnician to provide subsidised training and online assessments, and special thanks to ZF for lending us their impressive training workshop in Crick. 

“I HAD A WONDERFUL TIME AT THE TRAINING, SEE YOU AT THE NEXT ONE!” – HITESH VALAMBIA 

 

FANCY A BIG WEEKEND WITH US IN 2020?

Next year, Autotechnician magazine is planning to hold a two-day event, taking place on a Friday and Saturday. More intensive training will be delivered on the first day and will be followed by an informal dinner & drinks reception, so technicians can swap notes and catch up with the support network.

Saturday’s schedule will be more relaxed and hands-on, with mini-workshops, demonstrations and competitive feature areas.

Content for these sessions will be designed around the needs of delegates, so please register your interest by emailing Nicola@autotechnician.co.uk. As ever, tickets will be subsidised by Autotech sponsors, so you can expect high- value training for a very reasonable investment.

Big Day Out training is bespoke

Our final Big Day Out training event of 2019 will take place next month at the ZF [pro]Tech training facility in Crick, Northamptonshire, and we’d love to see you there… 

On Saturday 5th October, James Dillon and David Wagstaff of Technical Topics, alongside Andy Crook of GotBoost, will engage, challenge and, almost certainly, entertain technicians and workshop owners from across the UK with their unique form of training. Live faults and scenarios will be presented and the group will analyse live data, working out the best courses of action to get that all-important first-time fix. 

BIG DAY OUT TRAINING IS BESPOKE… 

Andy and James are now handing the agenda for the Big Day Out training event over to delegates. 

The trainers will create several mini-workshops and a Q&A session based on feedback from those who have purchased tickets and completed a brief survey. 

Delegates are being asked for examples of diagnostic work they find most challenging, which scan tools they currently use and what vehicles/systems or areas they’d like to see covered. 

Join Autotechnician and the team for some fantastic training, which is heavily subsidised by our Autotech sponsors ACtronics, Delphi Technologies, febi bilstein, Flex Fuel and ZF Aftermarket. 

Join us for our last training event of 2019! 

Our next Big Day Out will take place on Saturday 5th October in Crick, Northamptonshire. Tickets are subsidised by our Autotech 2019 sponsors and are available now for £98+VAT. Email: Nicola@autotechnician.co.uk for details or call 01634 816 165. 

Giving ECU’s a new lease of life

Engine Control Units, or ECUs, are integral to any modern vehicle. They form the brain of the engine and are what essentially controls it, ‘talking to’ the other control units on the vehicle. 

As the ECU is constantly operating, processing signals and data, it is inevitable that the small unit is likely to become faulty at some point in its life. But this doesn’t mean that it is the end of its life cycle when it does develop a fault. 

ECU’s in general are relatively hard to damage, due to most vehicles having other modules and fuses in place that are designed to fail first before the ECU does. However, when such an important control module does fail, a new one from a dealer can potentially write the car off, ending the life cycle of the vehicle many years before it needs to be. 

Replacing the ECU for a new one could resolve the issues on the car; however, it condemns a unit that can potentially be remanufactured, increasing the amount of automotive environmental waste unnecessarily and increasing the cost for the end customer. 

In this article, we will be talking about the EDC16C34 ECU, which can be found on Ford, Mazda, Fiat and PSA Group vehicles, but in this instance, the ECU will be from a Peugeot 206. 

Some of the common faults to occur on the vehicle that relate to the EDC16C34 can be: 

• 5-volt circuit faults

• EGR faults or basic settings not able to set

• Loss of injector signals/injector fault codes. 

These faults could have developed for various reasons, such as short circuits in the wiring, a spike of voltage or excess heat on the unit, due to its location within the engine bay. If the ECU has failed, the vehicle could develop a faulty injector signal, fail to start or suffer complete power loss. 

Here, we will talk about the faults found on the 5-volt circuit. This circuit feeds a range of sensors, such as the throttle position sensor, MAP sensor, Camshaft sensor and Crank Sensor, with the ECU forming part of the 5-volt circuit. 

The ECU ‘simply’ has two wires; one that serves as the ground and the other is the 12-volt circuit, which feeds into the ECU. The ECU then converts the 12V feed into 5V, which returns out of the ECU, feeding the sensors its 5V. If the 5-volt connection within the ECU fails, it breaks the circuit, which will then lead to inaccurate readings from all the sensors and will display fault codes relating to the sensors. This could lead to sensors being replaced unnecessarily. However, the damage that can be caused on the ECU can range from blown capacitors and resistors to damaged tracks and processors, that will all need replacing by specialist machinery and processes developed by ACtronics over 15 years. 

BESPOKE TESTING 

ECU technology is advancing at an incredible rate and because of how advanced it has become; we have our own bespoke- built testing machine. The Vision 6 is able to simulate the ECU being on the vehicle, however, to do this and to not remove the immobiliser from the ECU, we would require the standard immobiliser set from the vehicle. 

As we are talking about the Peugeot 206, we would require the key, transponder ring and the Body System Interface (BSI) to fully test the ECU. When the key is inserted into the ignition barrel, an analogue signal is sent from the transponder ring to the COM 2000 unit, which translates the analogue to a VAN Bus signal to the BSI, which translates to a CAN Bus signal. This is sent to the ECU and will then allow the vehicle to start. However, the COM 2000 and transponder ring are universal – we have golden units here to use when testing. 

When we simulate the ECU on our Vison 6, we can adjust the correct sensor input signals that would be sent to the ECU, so that we are able to see the ECU activating like it would be on the vehicle. 

By using the immobiliser components, we are able to test the unit for complex and specific faults, if the right diagnosis is done on the vehicle. 

As part of the testing procedures, the ECU will also be opened so the technician is able to visually see the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) for potential physical damage to the components on the PCB. ACtronics believes in conducting a thorough, professional test on every unit. 

If a fault has been confirmed on the ECU, it would enter the remanufacture process, where the ECU can be further inspected and the faulty components removed. Removing the minute components can be tricky and requires specialist developed techniques, which allows us to remove the components from the PCB without causing any further damage. 

If there is too much heat supplied directly onto the PCB when removing the faulty components, it could damage the unit permanently. With our specialist machinery and developed techniques, we can control the temperature of the heat applied to within 0.5°C, for example. 

Being able to adjust and control our techniques for individual units allows our technicians to provide the
best remanufacturing solutions for our customers. Once a remanufacture has been completed on the unit, end of line testing is conducted and our two-year warranty is then applied. 

ACtronics has an extensive range, including: ABS-unit, ECU, instrument clusters, Throttle body, TCU and many other electronic components. The electronic components are completely renewed at ACtronics and not repaired with a temporary solution. For example, all the wires that connect to the circuit board are provided with double bounds (wires), something that does not happen with an original product. This extends the lifetime of a product and provides a good alternative to a new product. 

www.actronics.co.uk 

 

Workshop Training Hub – 2019

Autotechnician will again present a series of technical presentations within the Workshop Training Hub, sponsored by ACtronics, informing visitors of new opportunities and methods to achieve a first-time fix more quickly, with live demonstrations from the likes of Frank Massey, James Dillon and Andy Crook. Here’s an overview of some of the training presentations you can take in for free at the show…

Register for your FREE ticket here: http://bit.ly/2VihnBC

Andy Crook

No matter which industry you are in, your business exists to solve problems. The more complex the problem, the more you can charge for your services, but the more difficult it is to recruit and retain staff capable of solving these problems. During his seminar, Autotechnician contributor and Big Day Out presenter Andy Crook of GotBoost will be exploring two options – invest in skills or systems. 

 

 

 

Thijs Jasink

‘Robotics and Remanufacturing’, Thijs Jasink, ACtronics
Where robots meet humans together in synergy to remanufacture vehicle electronics. 

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Massey

‘Engine fault diagnosis, evidence- based prediction’, Frank Massey, Autoinform
Covering a range of topics and test opportunities that technicians face with current vehicle drive trains. An obvious challenge is a lack of accessibility, further compounded by the very technology intended to reduce unwanted noise and vibration. Attention will be drawn to a range of issues that threaten critical damage to the engine whilst remaining vague or undetected by the driver. Frank will highlight serial data, oscilloscope test results and physical pressure tests within the engine. 

 

Mike Sadler

‘Improve Customer Service & Boost Business’, Mike Sadler, DENSO
Effective vehicle inspection not only ensures workshops deliver the best service to their customers; it also maximises their profit potential. Mike Sadler will demonstrate the customer service and business retention benefits of thorough vehicle inspection and with the aid of an innovative tool, proactively detect potential future defects via a module that compares live data with reference data to assess the health of the engine. 

 

 

Darren Darling

‘Don’t turn down DPF Business’, Darren Darling, DPF Doctor
Darren will inspire garages to grow and cultivate new income streams by taking on DPF business and keeping it in-house. 

 

 

 

 

Flemming Nohr

Diesel Particulate Filter maintenance, Flemming Nohr of MT Filters, in association with DPF Recovery
An in-depth discussion on the internal structure of Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF), diagnosing issues and cleaning methods. Also, how to check if DPF filters are serviceable, the renovation of defect DPF filters and the benefit of Original versus Aftermarket. 

 

 

 

John Bentley

‘Unlocking Start-Stop battery potential’, by John Bentley & Chris Jones, ECOBAT Battery Technologies Presenting the business opportunities that Start-Stop battery replacement can bring as well as a ‘How to’ training module, demonstrating the basic principles required to effectively deliver this added value service to their customers. 

 

 

 

 

Richard Doran

Important technical updates on servicing with new A/C refrigerants, with Aaron Macfarlane and Richard Doran of Primalec This workshop focuses on the demands of servicing aircon and climate systems with new refrigerants R1234yf and CO2. Topics include fault diagnosis, getting the charge volumes correct, refrigerant identification, lubricant choice, leak detection and repair. 

 

 

 

Steve Carter

‘EV Facts from the Fiction’, Steve Carter, Train4Auto
How will 2020 emission targets legislation affect combustion vehicles after this date? Is the UK current charging infrastructure up to the task? How far has battery technology advanced and what does the future hold? What servicing will an electric vehicle require and are you and your business ready for this? 

 

 

 

FULL PRESENTATION SCHEDULE: 

Register for your FREE ticket here: http://bit.ly/2VihnBC

Automechanika Birmingham 2019: The Big UK Garage Event

A dedicated hall for garages was created last year at the UK’s largest trade event and proved to be a hit with workshop owners and technicians – giving visitors easy access to parts and equipment suppliers, industry bodies and business support, as well as live training within the Workshop Training Hub.

Show organisers intend to build on this success with the launch of its new Big UK Garage Event at this summer’s show, providing more tangible benefits to the thousands of independent garages who visit the show, which takes place 4 to 6 June 2019 at NEC Birmingham. 

“I learnt a great deal from visiting in 2017 and 2018, after speaking to so many different businesses from automotive components to equipment. It’s important for us as a garage business to find out what’s new and how it can help drive my business forward.” 

Peter Welch, Proprietor of Scotlands Ash Garage, Oxfordshire 

The Big UK Garage Event will feature exclusive show offers and big giveaways, group registration to enable quick and easy registration for workshop owners and their team, and access to over 100 leading suppliers such as: Schaeffler, ZF, DENSO, MAHLE Aftermarket, Delphi Technologies, Valeo, Bosch, Hella, Bilstein Group, MANN + HUMMEL, NGK and Yuasa. 

Garages can also get free parking, a free breakfast on arrival and grab a free drink every lunch time during ‘Happy Hour’. Autotechnician will once again provide 14 hours of free training at the Workshop Training Hub, an area sponsored by ACtronics. Technical talks and demos will run each day of the show from the industry’s top speakers including Frank Massey, Andy Crook and James Dillon. 

Jack Halliday, Event Director of Automechanika Birmingham, says: “The aim of The Big UK Garage Event is to package all elements of what Automechanika Birmingham has to offer garages, to define the clear benefits of the show and make engagement as simple and effective as possible. Many of the exhibitors are already sharing deals and offers for us to promote to garages which will be found in a dedicated garage guide onsite. 

“It is designed to ensure our independent garages get the most from attending and that’s why the event is giving back more than ever before to its visitors in 2019, making this the only UK Garage event worth attending.” 

The Big UK Garage Event offers workshops and technicians: 

  • Free CPD accredited training, on a first-come, first- served basis
  • Big savings on tools & garage equipment from over 500 exhibitors
  • 14 hours of free technical training and advice at the Workshop Training Hub
  • Live demonstrations of the latest tech
  • And, business advice – all for free!

 

Collect a free breakfast on entry, plus independent garages will also get free parking.
Register for a free ticket: HERE