Growing number of classic cars in need of repair

Autodata is advising workshops to prepare to accept a growing number of ‘classic cars’ in for repair and highlights which cars they’ll begin to see…

Today, the average age of cars on the road is growing. In the UK, this now stands at 8.4 years old.

As to the reasons driving this change, Jamie Willis, Technical Support Supervisor at Autodata said, “The COVID outbreak is seen as a more recent protagonist for this latest trend, as drivers opt to hold on to their cars for longer. But that’s not the only reason. Some drivers still think switching to an electric vehicle is their next move; however, many are nervous due to the technology and cost, and simply want to continue in their current vehicle until the time is right for them to change.” 

According to Willis, there is also a longer-term trend. “As vehicles have become more reliable, better built, and able to handle the higher mileage needs that age throws at them, drivers have increasingly been keeping vehicles, with many turning into collectors’ items.”

Today, Autodata is seeing an increasing number of repairs being conducted on cars from the 1960’s through to the 1990s, all of which are increasingly viewed as cherished vehicles to keep. This nostalgic reflection means that, as drivers hold on to their vehicles longer, the onus on the aftermarket is increasing and technicians are progressively being called upon to service these older vehicles with a wider range of issues. Those vehicles hitting the Autodata servers for repair range across a whole host of manufacturers from Alfa Romeo to MG and Mercedes-Benz to Volvo. 

Chris Wright, Managing Director of Autodata, added, “We’re delighted to see so many classics and modern classics being serviced in workshops with our data. With electric and hybrid legislative deadlines on the horizon, we anticipate consumers will keep vehicles longer than we’ve experienced before.

“This makes staying current on service data for a vehicle extremely important. Service data for a vehicle doesn’t stay constant and, at Autodata, we regularly update our information to reflect manufacturer updates for vehicles 30 years old and older. Old service manuals don’t cut it anymore if you want to keep that cherished motor running sweetly!”

www.autodata-group.com

Growing number of classic cars in need of repair

Autodata is advising workshops to prepare to accept a growing number of ‘classic cars’ in for repair and highlights which cars they’ll begin to see…

Today, the average age of cars on the road is growing. In the UK, this now stands at 8.4 years old.

As to the reasons driving this change, Jamie Willis, Technical Support Supervisor at Autodata said, “The COVID outbreak is seen as a more recent protagonist for this latest trend, as drivers opt to hold on to their cars for longer. But that’s not the only reason. Some drivers still think switching to an electric vehicle is their next move; however, many are nervous due to the technology and cost, and simply want to continue in their current vehicle until the time is right for them to change.” 

According to Willis, there is also a longer-term trend. “As vehicles have become more reliable, better built, and able to handle the higher mileage needs that age throws at them, drivers have increasingly been keeping vehicles, with many turning into collectors’ items.”

Today, Autodata is seeing an increasing number of repairs being conducted on cars from the 1960’s through to the 1990s, all of which are increasingly viewed as cherished vehicles to keep. This nostalgic reflection means that, as drivers hold on to their vehicles longer, the onus on the aftermarket is increasing and technicians are progressively being called upon to service these older vehicles with a wider range of issues. Those vehicles hitting the Autodata servers for repair range across a whole host of manufacturers from Alfa Romeo to MG and Mercedes-Benz to Volvo. 

Chris Wright, Managing Director of Autodata, added, “We’re delighted to see so many classics and modern classics being serviced in workshops with our data. With electric and hybrid legislative deadlines on the horizon, we anticipate consumers will keep vehicles longer than we’ve experienced before.

“This makes staying current on service data for a vehicle extremely important. Service data for a vehicle doesn’t stay constant and, at Autodata, we regularly update our information to reflect manufacturer updates for vehicles 30 years old and older. Old service manuals don’t cut it anymore if you want to keep that cherished motor running sweetly!”

www.autodata-group.com

Growing number of classic cars in need of repair

Autodata is advising workshops to prepare to accept a growing number of ‘classic cars’ in for repair and highlights which cars they’ll begin to see…

Today, the average age of cars on the road is growing. In the UK, this now stands at 8.4 years old.

As to the reasons driving this change, Jamie Willis, Technical Support Supervisor at Autodata said, “The COVID outbreak is seen as a more recent protagonist for this latest trend, as drivers opt to hold on to their cars for longer. But that’s not the only reason. Some drivers still think switching to an electric vehicle is their next move; however, many are nervous due to the technology and cost, and simply want to continue in their current vehicle until the time is right for them to change.” 

According to Willis, there is also a longer-term trend. “As vehicles have become more reliable, better built, and able to handle the higher mileage needs that age throws at them, drivers have increasingly been keeping vehicles, with many turning into collectors’ items.”

Today, Autodata is seeing an increasing number of repairs being conducted on cars from the 1960’s through to the 1990s, all of which are increasingly viewed as cherished vehicles to keep. This nostalgic reflection means that, as drivers hold on to their vehicles longer, the onus on the aftermarket is increasing and technicians are progressively being called upon to service these older vehicles with a wider range of issues. Those vehicles hitting the Autodata servers for repair range across a whole host of manufacturers from Alfa Romeo to MG and Mercedes-Benz to Volvo. 

Chris Wright, Managing Director of Autodata, added, “We’re delighted to see so many classics and modern classics being serviced in workshops with our data. With electric and hybrid legislative deadlines on the horizon, we anticipate consumers will keep vehicles longer than we’ve experienced before.

“This makes staying current on service data for a vehicle extremely important. Service data for a vehicle doesn’t stay constant and, at Autodata, we regularly update our information to reflect manufacturer updates for vehicles 30 years old and older. Old service manuals don’t cut it anymore if you want to keep that cherished motor running sweetly!”

www.autodata-group.com

Growing number of classic cars in need of repair

Autodata is advising workshops to prepare to accept a growing number of ‘classic cars’ in for repair and highlights which cars they’ll begin to see…

Today, the average age of cars on the road is growing. In the UK, this now stands at 8.4 years old.

As to the reasons driving this change, Jamie Willis, Technical Support Supervisor at Autodata said, “The COVID outbreak is seen as a more recent protagonist for this latest trend, as drivers opt to hold on to their cars for longer. But that’s not the only reason. Some drivers still think switching to an electric vehicle is their next move; however, many are nervous due to the technology and cost, and simply want to continue in their current vehicle until the time is right for them to change.” 

According to Willis, there is also a longer-term trend. “As vehicles have become more reliable, better built, and able to handle the higher mileage needs that age throws at them, drivers have increasingly been keeping vehicles, with many turning into collectors’ items.”

Today, Autodata is seeing an increasing number of repairs being conducted on cars from the 1960’s through to the 1990s, all of which are increasingly viewed as cherished vehicles to keep. This nostalgic reflection means that, as drivers hold on to their vehicles longer, the onus on the aftermarket is increasing and technicians are progressively being called upon to service these older vehicles with a wider range of issues. Those vehicles hitting the Autodata servers for repair range across a whole host of manufacturers from Alfa Romeo to MG and Mercedes-Benz to Volvo. 

Chris Wright, Managing Director of Autodata, added, “We’re delighted to see so many classics and modern classics being serviced in workshops with our data. With electric and hybrid legislative deadlines on the horizon, we anticipate consumers will keep vehicles longer than we’ve experienced before.

“This makes staying current on service data for a vehicle extremely important. Service data for a vehicle doesn’t stay constant and, at Autodata, we regularly update our information to reflect manufacturer updates for vehicles 30 years old and older. Old service manuals don’t cut it anymore if you want to keep that cherished motor running sweetly!”

www.autodata-group.com

Growing number of classic cars in need of repair

Autodata is advising workshops to prepare to accept a growing number of ‘classic cars’ in for repair and highlights which cars they’ll begin to see…

Today, the average age of cars on the road is growing. In the UK, this now stands at 8.4 years old.

As to the reasons driving this change, Jamie Willis, Technical Support Supervisor at Autodata said, “The COVID outbreak is seen as a more recent protagonist for this latest trend, as drivers opt to hold on to their cars for longer. But that’s not the only reason. Some drivers still think switching to an electric vehicle is their next move; however, many are nervous due to the technology and cost, and simply want to continue in their current vehicle until the time is right for them to change.” 

According to Willis, there is also a longer-term trend. “As vehicles have become more reliable, better built, and able to handle the higher mileage needs that age throws at them, drivers have increasingly been keeping vehicles, with many turning into collectors’ items.”

Today, Autodata is seeing an increasing number of repairs being conducted on cars from the 1960’s through to the 1990s, all of which are increasingly viewed as cherished vehicles to keep. This nostalgic reflection means that, as drivers hold on to their vehicles longer, the onus on the aftermarket is increasing and technicians are progressively being called upon to service these older vehicles with a wider range of issues. Those vehicles hitting the Autodata servers for repair range across a whole host of manufacturers from Alfa Romeo to MG and Mercedes-Benz to Volvo. 

Chris Wright, Managing Director of Autodata, added, “We’re delighted to see so many classics and modern classics being serviced in workshops with our data. With electric and hybrid legislative deadlines on the horizon, we anticipate consumers will keep vehicles longer than we’ve experienced before.

“This makes staying current on service data for a vehicle extremely important. Service data for a vehicle doesn’t stay constant and, at Autodata, we regularly update our information to reflect manufacturer updates for vehicles 30 years old and older. Old service manuals don’t cut it anymore if you want to keep that cherished motor running sweetly!”

www.autodata-group.com

Corsa tops UK list of most serviced vehicles

Autodata, part of Solera Holdings Inc., has published its annual ‘Most Serviced Vehicles’ report, which is generated by its 85,000 workshop subscribers. It found that globally, the top three most accessed product modules included Engine oil, Technical specifications and Camshaft drive system and in total, technicians checked over 47 million pieces of technical information through Autodata. 

In the UK, the most serviced car was the Vauxhall Corsa-D, retaining its first position from last year’s report. The Ford Fiesta (model year 2013) moved up to second position from eighth replacing the Ford Focus (model year 2004 & model year 2008) which dropped to third position. The most serviced Light Commercial Vehicle was once again the Ford Transit (model year 2006) and the most serviced motorcycle was the Honda CBR. The report also identified Ford as the most serviced brand in the UK. 

In the UK, Japanese manufacturers continued to dominate the top 10 most serviced Hybrid vehicles filling nine out of the ten positions with the Mitsubishi Outlander (12-) retaining its first position from last year’s report. The Nissan Leaf (Ze0) (10- 18) was in first place for the third report in a row as the most serviced electric vehicle. The Tesla Model S (13-), after having not appeared in the top 10 in the either of the last two reports, took second place. 

Rod Williams, Managing Director of Autodata, commented: “Autodata’s continuous evolution of the product enables us to provide customers with increasingly valuable technical resources. Data from our extensive global database allows us to see where the demand for content exists so that we can provide the most in-demand and up-to-date information to workshops.”

TOP TEN MOST SERVICED VEHICLES IN THE UK:

  1. 01  Vauxhall Corsa-D (S07)
  2. 02  Ford Fiesta (’13)
  3. 03  Ford Focus (’04/’08)
  4. 04  Vauxhall Astra-J (P10)
  5. 05  Ford Fiesta (’08)
  6. 06  Fiat 500/500C (07-)
  7. 07  Vauxhall Insignia-A (G09) (08-17)
  8. 08  Ford Focus (’11)
  9. 09  Vauxhall Astra-H (A04)
  10. 10  Nissan Qashqai/Qashqai+2 (J10)

 

Autodata gives an overview of the 48V mild hybrid system

Unlike true-hybrid configurations that use the engine and/or electric motor to propel the vehicle, the 48V mild hybrid system is used in a typical stop-start vehicle with the integration of a 48 volt electric motor/generator assembly to supplement the engine, improving acceleration and enhancing fuel economy. Electrifying components such as the air conditioning compressor, power steering pump and engine oil pump further reduces the engine load and increases fuel efficiency. 

The automotive industry contemplated using a 42-volt system in the 1990s but was later dismissed due to cost concerns and practicalities such as switches and relays prematurely failing. Driven by environmental concerns, modern electronics make use of transistors, diodes and microswitches which are more robust, making this a more viable option. Why stop at 48 volts? Current regulations state anything over 60 volts officially becomes ‘high voltage’. This adds extra cost due to expensive shielding, connectors and conduits like the orange ones commonly seen on many hybrid and electric vehicles. Yet, this doesn’t mean the electrical architecture of the entire vehicle will move to 48 volts. The conventional 12-volt supply is still used to power many of the standard circuits. The common 48V mild hybrid consists of a small number of additional components: electric motor/generator assembly, AC/DC inverter, DC/DC converter, a 48V battery and an e-charger. 

Electric motor/generator assembly: The water cooled, belt driven electric motor/generator replaces the regular alternator and functions to restart the engine after a stop-start event. The 12-volt starter motor is used for normal starting via the ignition key. The electric motor/generator can support the engine to improve acceleration and reduce load strategically to maximise fuel economy and when in generator mode, recharges both batteries, like a conventional alternator, but also when the vehicle is coasting or braking. 

AC/DC inverter: The AC/DC inverter can either be integrated or non-integrated into the 48V electric motor/generator and performs two functions. It converts the direct current from the 48V battery to alternating current, which then powers the electric motor/generator in motor mode, and also converts the AC generated by the electric motor/generator whilst in generator mode to DC – recharging the 12- and 48V batteries. 

DC/DC converter: As this vehicle encompasses both 12 volt and 48V systems, a DC/DC converter is installed to reduce the electrical voltage from 48 volts to 12 volts. 

48V battery: The lithium-ion 48V battery is generally located in the rear of the vehicle. Just like the electric motor/generator, it can use the cooling system to dissipate heat. 

E-charger: The conventional turbocharger is superseded with an electrified version, or e-charger. Instead of waiting for the exhaust gases to spin the impeller up to speed, an electric motor is used, instantly providing the necessary boost. Alternatively, superchargers can also be electrified to provide equivalent results as an electric motor driven turbocharger. 

FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS 

Vehicle manufacturers are already developing other intelligent enhancements to compliment the 48V system. The following are just some examples: 

• Dynamic Skip Fire, DSF, technology integrates cylinder deactivation with the 48V mild hybrid system. The DSF system isolates a cylinder by disconnecting the camshaft followers, locking the inlet and exhaust valves in the closed position when less power is required, improving fuel economy. 

• Extended stop-start technology: This system will also switch off the engine when approaching a stop or while the vehicle is cruising at a constant speed. 

• Electrically heated catalytic converter: To reduce the amount of harmful emissions, the catalytic converter must reach operating temperature as quickly as possible. Hybrid systems exacerbate this due to frequent stop-start events or coasting with engine off however, this can be easily solved by heating the catalytic converter electrically using the 48V system. 

So, while the current 12 volt system struggles, compared with other more expensive true hybrids, the 48 volt mild hybrid technology offers a cost-effective solution in satisfying emission regulations and future increases in energy-hungry electrical components. The use of 48 volt technology is set to grow even further as stricter CO2 emission targets are set and the decline of the internal combustion engine continues. With the growth in popularity and demand for HEVs and EVs, Autodata is rolling out drive system diagrams for electric and hybrid vehicles. 

www.autodata-group.com 

Technical Data

Without accurate technical data, even the most talented technician will come a cropper. In this feature, Autodata deconstructs the DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code)…

As soon as a fault is detected, DTCs are stored in the memory of an on-board module and if the fault is critical or emission related, the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) is illuminated. Autodata says that knowing how the DTC is constructed can assist in pinpointing where and what issues exist. 

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the International organisation for standardisation, more commonly referred to as ISO, are the regulatory bodies responsible for approving and standardising DTCs. With the introduction of OBD-II in 1996, all occurrences of the standard DTC configuration begin with a letter, denoting which system the DTC refers to; B-Body, C-Chassis, P-Powertrain, U-User network. A DTC of P0117 indicates the powertrain. 

The DTC’s second character – 0, 1, 2 or 3 – reveals whether it is a manufacturer controlled or SAE/ISO controlled DTC (see table opposite). SAE and ISO DTCs are universal, they are adopted
by most manufacturers that follow the OBD-II agreement but as some vehicles contain system differences in design and strategy, provisions are in place allowing manufacturers to use additional DTCs when a SAE/ISO controlled DTC is not suitable. 

Based on the P0117example, the fault stems from the powertrain and it is a SAE/ISO controlled DTC. The third character suggests which area requires inspection. By dividing the vehicle systems into categories and numbering them 0 – 9, in this case, the engine coolant temperature sensor requires investigation. 

There are numerous variables of the DTC’s fourth and fifth characters. They can highlight the number of a cylinder or bank, if the fault is intermittent or permanent, low or high input signal, or a short or open circuit. In DTC P0117, the fourth and fifth characters suggest a low input, the fault is situated in the powertrain, it is a SAE/ISO controlled DTC, stored in the engine management system with a low input signal from the engine coolant temperature sensor. 

The conventional 5-character DTC could have another two characters at the end to indicate the failure type – a DTC of P0117 with an additional 07, implies a mechanical failure. 

DTCs are not the answer to the problem, but a starting point to finding the problem 

Autodata is keen to point out that knowledge of how the DTC is constructed can give the technician a better understanding of how to approach a fault but as with any diagnosis, components should not be replaced with DTC references alone. The vehicle wiring diagram should be consulted and surrounding components must be taken into consideration before a part is replaced. 

Autodata’s built-in DTC module allows users to quickly search thousands of codes and return OE results, as well as additional common issues and fixes related to those codes.

 

Solving mystery problems after timing belt/chain failure

For over 45 years, Autodata has worked closely with manufacturers and workshops to ensure the information they provide to technicians is the most accurate possible to aid in the service, maintenance and diagnostics of vehicles. During this process, it can identify common or unique faults that could prove difficult to solve. 

It has found an increasing number of technicians having to undergo costly and time-consuming repeat repair work after a timing belt/chain failure – due to an increasing number of Original Equipment Manufacturers, OEMs, using the assembled camshaft, also known as a hollow camshaft. OEMs have started to favour the assembled camshaft rather than the traditional heavier forged solid cast iron camshaft, to improve fuel economy and help lower emissions. 

The assembled camshaft is put together using forged or sintered cam lobes and a hollow steel shaft, which is expanded in the region of the cam lobes, securing them in place. However, a weakness with the assembled camshaft becomes evident after a timing belt/chain failure where valve-to-piston contact has occurred. 

Since the camshaft and cam lobes are not of one solid cast iron construction, any unforeseen exertion on the cam lobes can force them to turn, or under severe conditions, twist the hollow steel shaft. It is therefore very easy to complete the obvious work after a timing belt/chain failure, but not remedy the damage 

to the camshaft. This is likely to result in non-starting, poor idling, increased emissions and in extreme cases, further engine damage. All of this is frustrating, time-consuming and potentially very costly – both in terms of money and reputation. 

These simple checks will assist in identifying the type of camshaft installed: 

1 Cam lobes. 2 Hollow steel shaft. 3 Assembled camshaft

In the event of a timing belt/chain failure, it is now advisable to check if the cam lobes have moved or if the hollow shaft has twisted. To do this, some vehicle manufacturers may issue
a template tool which can be placed over the cam lobes to validate correct alignment. Alternatively, a visual comparison can be carried out, positioning a new assembled camshaft alongside the suspect camshaft. It should be noted that minor distortion in cam lobe alignment can be difficult to spot using this second method. 

If these inspections are inconclusive as to whether the cam lobes have moved, or the hollow shaft has twisted, replacing the assembled camshaft should be considered to avoid engine damage from reoccurring.

With any valve timing-related repair, precautions must be taken before the engine is cranked via the starter motor. Rotating the crankshaft by hand two complete revolutions will verify if any valve to piston contact exists.

ACCURACY IS KEY

In the last 12 months the number of technical data updates released in the Autodata online tool exceeded 35,000, encompassing both new vehicles and OEM changes to specifications for previously released vehicles.

For more information about Autodata technical resources, visit www.autodata-group.com.

Is brake-by-wire the future?

Traditional hydraulic braking systems haven’t changed too much in the last century. Enhancements along the way have included a move from drum brakes to disc brakes and the addition of Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS) and Electronic Stability Programs (ESP). More recent additions include regenerative braking and Autonomous Emergency Braking.

The phasing out of mechanical control systems to ones that are electronically controlled was first seen in the aerospace industry as part of Fly-by-Wire technology. Control systems for steering, throttle and brakes became entirely electrical, removing the use of mechanical components such as cables and rods. The engineers found that removing these electrical components and using electronic systems instead greatly improved reliability and were also more compact. The automotive industry has only adopted this method of electronically controlled systems in throttle-by-wire tech.

Within the automotive industry, there are three types of brake-by-wire solutions: Electro-hydraulic, fully electric, and a combination of the two. The electro-hydraulic system removes the need for a brake booster. It uses sensors and actuators to measure the amount of pressure applied to the pedal, transferring this force to all brakes from the master cylinder using hydraulic fluid and slave cylinders. Using control units and powerful actuators, the pressure exerted to the brakes can be much higher than in a traditional hydraulic braking system (2,000 psi vs 800 psi). This was used on some models of Mercedes-Benz within their Sensotronic Braking Control (SBC) system. SBC was short-lived, manufactured for four years within their mainstream vehicles e.g. E-Class (211) 2002-06. This was due to issues with the fail-safe (increased stopping distance and pedal effort without the brake booster assistance) and the fact that the hydro-electric control unit was an expensive serviceable item (replaced after a predetermined number of brake actuations were carried out), costing close to £1,000 just for the component!

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 19.22.12A fully electric braking system replaces all hydraulic and mechanical components with electric ones. Control units and electronic actuators are attached to the brake calipers at each wheel. Information is sent to them from a central control unit via communication bus wires. Extra sensors at each caliper include temperature, clamp force and actuator position. If there are one or more failures of the caliber control units, the central unit can still maintain system functionality. Currently, the systems reaction time is 90 ms vs 300 mss for a traditional hydraulic braking system, which can lend itself towards the pursuit for semiautonomous and autonomous vehicles. As the actuators on the calipers are fully electric, the pistons can be positively retracted when not in use, causing less drag for the vehicle, improving fuel economy and reducing emissions. Image on the left is a Brembo rear brake with ECU and actuator on the caliper.

The third system is a blend of electro-hydraulic and fully electric systems. It has electro-hydraulic and fully electric systems.It has electro-hydraulic on the front axle and fully electric components on the rear axle. This system is in use on vehicles with larger font brakes, as they cannot fit the fully electric components directly on the front brake calipers. Traditional hydraulic systems have their flaws, but drivers like the fact they have a direct link from the pedal to all four brakes the event of failure. Although brake-by-wire systems are advanced, a separate battery supply from the main battery may also be required for fully electric systems as one of many fail-safes. We may have to wait a bit longer before these systems can meet international ‘Road Vehicle-Functional Safety’ regulations.

Autodata’s online workshop application provides technical information to service and repair both traditional and modern braking systems.

Phone: 01628 688 111