Electronic Diagnostics & Processes in Automotive Maintenance

Autosphere » Mechanical » Electronic Diagnostics & Processes in Automotive Maintenance
Denis Pageau, Partner Relations Advisor for CAA Quebec's recommended garages. Photo Autosphere

Nowadays, electronics have become the masters of what is basically pure and simple mechanics.

From the drum to the carbon disc, from the shoes to the ceramic pads, from the ABS to the EBD, from the TC to the ESC, and from the braking system with preload, etc… the list is long.

Of course, before making the braking system intelligent, the gas pedal cable had to be removed and replaced by software that allows the system to anticipate stops by modulating the position of the gas pedal and the vehicle speed. Additional inputs from multiple sensors are, without naming them all, used to determine if the vehicle is braking normally or if the driver is braking hard.

The tools to understand

One thing is certain, if you don’t know how these systems work, if you don’t have the research software, equipment and training to set up these systems before you start any work, you will have serious problems. Understand that not all vehicles may have a power switch.

From there, notice to the laymen of mechanics who will be confronted not only with the total failure of their work which in their eyes includes only changing, for example, simple brake pads, but also with the degree of responsibility that they will have to assume in the case of a serious accident.

You will understand in the next paragraph the importance of being equipped and trained, even if the transition to hybrid and electric vehicles does not yet involve electrolysis.

Complex steps

It’s worth noting that to deactivate its braking system, the application on some Mercedes models requires removing the keyless entry remote from the vehicle, moving it out of reach into a small box and locking the doors.

This is important in order to isolate the system so that it cannot be activated accidentally. After 30 seconds, the Sensotronic braking system will go into standby mode. Do not unlock the vehicle while working on the brakes or touch the brake pedal. Safety procedure comparable to the electric vehicle.

Once the job is complete, the system must be reactivated using a multi-step procedure that involves turning the ignition on and off once, then quickly turning the steering wheel from side to side. This will resuscitate the standby system and activate the brake preload. For other models, it will be necessary to use an analysis tool (OEM compatible) or an aftermarket bi-directional analysis tool to access the vehicle’s brake controller so that it can be disabled.

Now, understand that equipment and knowledge will express the value of the hourly rate posted in your waiting room and is representative in part of the hours spent in classrooms, purchasing equipment, updating software and specialized tools, not to mention the responsibility you have to your customers.


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