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Auto Service Professional


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December 2022

Volume: 12
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Round 12: Techs Helping Techs

Techs Helping Techs is turning 12 And it’s time for another roundup of useful tips and tricks courtesy of your fellow technician readers. While our writers share their expertise in every issue, it’s extra special when our readers share what they’ve learned from their days and nights working in the service bay. Thanks to all who shared their advice.

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The Benefits of Current Ramping

Current ramping is an easy art to learn and returns many good returns. Virtually every 12 volt output device that is controlled by the PCM can be current ramped by using the low inductive current probe non intrusively by simply clamping around the voltage feed wire or the ground side control wire.

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The Ins and Outs of Fuel Contamination

What happens when a vehicle’s fuel tank is filled with “bad” fuel? Well, it varies depending on how bad the fuel is and if the engine is gasoline- or diesel-powered. Fixes can range from cleaning the system with a fuel additive (isopropyl alcohol), flushing the system and refilling with “good” fuel, to needing to repair damage to the fuel system and/or engine.

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Analyzing Oxygen Sensor Failures

Keeping the internal combustion engine as close to the stoichiometric ratio as possible will result in optimum catalytic converter efficiency and fuel economy. The stoichiometric ratio simply means that all the air (14.7 parts) and fuel (1 part) going into the cylinders are being converted to water and carbon dioxide exiting the exhaust. This is the perfect combustion reaction, but this desired stoichiometric operation can’t happen without fuel control.

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Lesson Learned From a Tool Chest Mishap

I learned a hard lesson. Although I love my tools and treat them with respect, tossing miscellaneous bits and pieces into one drawer was a big mistake that I’ll never repeat.  Imagine this happening in the midst of a job while the customer begins to fume due to the delay. Learn from my dumb mistake. Don’t treat your tool chest like a dumpster. One little mistake can bite you hard.

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Heat Pumps Extend EV Range

Our early fleet of electric vehicles all struggled with range in the wintertime. A used 2011 Leaf had a range of 85 miles in the summer, but only 50 miles in the winter. A Chevy Bolt EV in 2017 had a range of 230 miles in the summer, but again the winters took it down to 160 miles. What did they have in common? The cabin heat was created by the high voltage pack heating antifreeze for the heater core. How old school.

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