ECM/PCM Archives - Page 8 of 9 - Brake & Front End
Reprogramming ABS Controllers

Reflashing undercar controllers is possible at your shop!

COP Connection: Investigating Common Coil-on Plug Misfires

For a number of reasons, the trend of modern engine management technology is leaning toward using coil-on-plug (COP) ignition systems. One reason is that COP ignitions are very compact and are very adaptable to individual cylinder tuning. With the exception of a few designs that incorporate a driver or “module” into the COP assembly itself,

Getting a Grip on Traction Control

The basic principle of traction control is rather simple. A tire is breaking free and starting to spin so we’re going to place a drag on that wheel so that two things can happen. One is we want that tire to have a chance to regain its grip on the road surface. And two, we

Finding the Failure Pattern

but that’s about it when it comes to diagnosing random, no-code malfunctions. Lucky or not, the chances of locating the cause of a random, no-code malfunction can be increased by determining the sequence of events needed to trigger the malfunction. Determining this sequence of events is what I call, “Finding the Failure Pattern.” From the

Diagnosing Intermittent Stalling Issues

Intermittent driveability problems of any kind are always a challenge to diagnose. When a customer brings you a vehicle and complains of a stalling problem, you may not have much to go on other than their description of what’s happening and when it happens. The more information you can get out of them the better,

Downloading Repairs

Have you looked at technical service bulletins lately? Especially ones for vehicles built since 2004? The fixes have changed drastically. I remember a time, not too long ago when the fix in a typical TSB was to install an updated part. From where I stand now in a Ford dealership, it seems like the hardware

ReFlashing Control Modules

You don’t have to be Microsoft A+ certified to flash reprogram automotive PCMs, but the process requires a certain amount of know-how as well as special tools and access to the latest OEM software upgrades. What’s more, it’s not a risk-free endeavor. Certain precautions must be undertaken before you begin, and there are pitfalls that

PCV Service: Helping an Engine Catch Its Breath

I’m certain that each and every one of you have, at some time in your life, experienced the horrific event of having the wind knocked out of you. If you can remember back to the first time it ever happened, before you knew that you would, in fact, breathe again, it was like you were

Update On CAN Diagnostics

Whether you like it or not, Controller Area Networks (CAN) have taken over. CAN technology has been steadily creeping into more and more new vehicles since it first appeared in 1992 on certain Mercedes-Benz models. Thanks to federal emissions rules, it is now required on all 2008 model year vehicles, and will be forevermore. What

Tech Feature: Gaining Access to Perimeter Anti-Theft Systems

It could use the same acronym, but is perimeter anti-theft the same as PATS? No, PATS, which stands for passive anti-theft systems, is a system that is designed to identify the key, and was discussed in the July 2007 issue of Underhood Service. Perimeter anti-theft is a system designed to identify unauthorized vehicle entry. There

Wheel Speed Sensors Replacement: WSS, Chevy, GM

By Larry Carley, Technical Editor When engineers came up with the idea of putting the wheel speed sensor (WSS) and tone ring inside a sealed wheel bearing hub assembly, it seemed like a great idea. The sealed environment would help protect the sensor and make it less vulnerable to damage or contamination from the outside

Automatic Transmissions: From Mechanical to Electronic to Hybrid

A long time ago in a service bay, preventive maintenance for an automatic transmission was an oil change, band and throttle linkage adjustment. The 1960s saw the end of external band adjustments. In the 1970s, the drain plug went away and the pick up screen was replaced with a filter. In the 1980s, a turbo