Diagnostic Solutions Archives - Import Car
Lexus Air Ride Repair

A conversion kit might cost less and provide better long-term results for the customer.


Audi Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) are some of the easiest to reset and relearn.

Understanding Subaru’s EyeSight System

EyeSight uses cameras mounted inside the car on the upper edge of the windshield.

CarTech Company Launches Universal OBD Diagnostic Adapter

The universal plug-in adapter works with a car’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) port and pairs with an easy-to-use app.

Nissan Frontier: Finding Failures, Faults

Nissan uses two accelerator pedal position (APP) sensors to transmit a throttle position command.

How Computers Think

The ways a bad battery can drive a simple diagnosis off the rails are many, so let’s begin this month’s Diagnostic Solutions by reviewing the foundational aspects of how volts, amps and ohms can affect advanced vehicle diagnostics.

Steering It Straight In 4-Wheel Drive Vehicles

AWD vs. 4WD: In contrast to an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle, a four-wheel drive vehicle is typically equipped with a two-speed transfer case capable of driving in two or four-wheel drive and a Hotchkiss or “solid” rear drive axle for main propulsion. A four-wheel drive might incorporate either a solid front axle as with older Toyotas and Nissans or an independent front suspension as found in more modern configurations.

Making The Quick Stop: Getting Ready For Active Braking Services

Today, no matter how far our mental faculties might wander, we now have automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems constantly searching our driving lanes for slower-moving vehicles or motionless objects.

Fuel System Diagnostics Is All In The Fuel Trim Numbers

With lean-burn operating strategies being built into many of today’s gasoline direct-injection and gasoline compression ignition engines, it’s important to build a foundational knowledge of how fuel trims work in the real world.

Old School Versus New: Will Your Old Diagnostic Strategies Work On New Engines?

If your primary workflow consists of pre-2008 models, terms like “Gasoline Direct Fuel Injection (GDI), Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI), Variable Compression Ratio (VCR) and Spark-Controlled Compression Ignition (SpCCI)” might sound like engine technologies lurking somewhere in the distant future. But, given that many import repair shops are just beginning to see these engines for advanced driveability diagnostics, your “distant future” might suddenly become your “here and now” when these futuristic engines show up in your service bays.

Diagnostic Solutions: Using The ‘Systems’ Approach To Starting Problems

Good examples of systems logic occur each September when I serve as a technical advisor for a church-sponsored single mom’s car care clinic. We sometimes, for example, accidentally bump hidden cranking “disable” switches installed by suspicious ex-husbands or encounter engines with bad fuel pumps that will start only by spraying a liberal dose of starting fluid into the air intake.

Finding That Spark Of Genius: Diagnosing Cranking, No-Start Failures

By the dawn of the Industrial Age, the gasoline internal combustion engine had replaced steam power as the driving force behind America’s great economic expansion. In that day, a cranking, no-start condition could easily be diagnosed by testing the available spark at the spark plug. If there was no spark, we touched a test light to the coil negative terminal to determine if the distributor contact points were switching the coil on/off. If the test light blinked, the primary circuit was switching as designed, so we replaced the coil. A pretty simple diagnosis, right?