EUROTEKK is specialized in electronic, electric, and mechanical advanced diagnostics and repair for Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Porsche.
German engineering has evolved tremendously through the years. The electronic system is continually developing becoming more complex and more integrated.
Did you know that a modern German car can have up to 80 modules, weighing over 100lb?
Controlled Area Network (CAN) has made redundant the complex dedicated wiring of the past. It is the nervous system of the car, enabling communication in a network of electronic control units (CAN, ECM, TCM, ISM, EIS, ABS, ESP, SRS, SCR, SAMs, BCM, IC, Airmatic and many others).
CAN is a message-based protocol where every message is identified by a predefined unique ID. The transmitted data packet is received by all nodes in a CAN bus network, but depending on the ID, CAN node decides whether to accept it or not. CAN bus follows the arbitration process when multiple nodes try to send data at the same time. For example – in a sudden situation – when the brakes are applied, then the engine ECM commands reducing power, it will have the transmission ECM command a downshift, ABS is “armed” and ready. Same with the ESP, same with the Air bag and the seat belt. If the software detects even a harder breaking, then the seat belt will start tighten around the seat occupant, to prevent a harmful impact crated by a slack in the seatbelt, during an accident. When the brake pressure has been reduced, then the seat belt is again relieving its tension, to a comfortable “mode”. All of this scenario is possible because of a well-coordinated action of integrated systems. All of this is to maintain the driver’s intended trajectory of the vehicle. The first production of the CAN system was in 1992, on several Mercedes top-class models.
Diagnosing a complex issue. It is like solving a puzzle. It requires attention to detail and lots of experience. At EUROTEKK, we love a good challenge. The primary goal of correctly diagnosing a symptom is to avoid throwing expensive parts without solving the issue. Investing in a good diagnostic will save time, frustration, and money. Many people assume that retrieving a code is enough to identify the issue. And while that might be true in some basic cases, in more complex cases a code is just a starting point (or a small part of the initial information), simply because the modules are not able to detect “everything” but will list a fault that could, at least, bring up a clue – although the listed fault could be just a by-product of the actual problem, therefore it can be misleading. The reality is that with the growing complexity of vehicles, the issues become more complex, as well. It is relevant to mention that it is not possible to diagnose a problem “over-the-phone”
Intermittent conditions are the most complicated because it is sometimes very difficult to replicate them. That is why it is very important that the client supplies as much information as possible regarding the conditions under which an event happens. Even the most insignificant detail can sometimes make a big breakthrough.
From the more than a century old flathead engine design, to today’s engine design, there is a lot more added in the engine complexity, to create more power per drop of fuel, better fuel mileage. We no longer are seeing only the crank, pistons, rods, bearings, valves and springs as to be the entire moving mechanical assembly of the engine, but now we got variable advance/retard-controlled camshafts, valves with infinite variable lift devices, variable oil pump pressure, variable intake runners, to ensure a better fuel burning, a better starting in an extreme cold or very hot weather conditions.
Diagnosing mechanical issues requires a mind that has been trained long enough in what each component does – let’s say of the engine; about what that component is supposed to perform by its particular function within the engine, and what are the consequences of its reduced function or its failure. Also, it is very important to know the necessary steps to be able to identify the problem – basically to know where to start. Because many times a mechanical problem will associate with a check engine light, it is a common practice for the owner to acquire a hand-held scan tool and try to clear the faults, in the hope that such action will resolve the issue, i.e. in a no start condition, or when the vehicle has stopped while driving etc. That, in fact, is a counter-productive move, because sometimes, we would see no faults. Only our extensive experience will bring us positive results in diagnosing certain complicated issues, without having the possibility of driving the vehicle, to duplicate the problem.