A comprehensive, formal, free-of-charge training program to fleets and dealers has been met with great popularity by electrical components supplier Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America (MEAA). “The fleet managers and shop superintendents fully grasp and appreciate the criticality of a healthy electrical systembattery system, starting system and charging system,” said Dave Stone, executive director of Powertrain Body & Chassis.
“The training and support demonstrates our genuine commitment to this marketplace. The customers deserve ‘cradle to grave’ support,” he said, noting the company’s portfolio includes a full line of 12- and 24-volt Class 8 starters, a new 160 amp HD brushless alternator, and another brushless alternator (200 amp) to be unveiled in the fall of next year.
The company offers dealer, distributor and fleet management methods of training; on-site classroom training sessions; a website with a host of user tools including diagnostics sheets, parts lists and an online training manual; and webinars. In addition, the supplier intends to post on YouTube training sessions on installation, removal and quick-checks.
MEAA developed the in-depth training manual (www.diamond-gard.com/docs/Diagnostics_Manual.pdf) to provide step-by-step procedures for troubleshooting problems with a 12-volt heavy-duty electrical system.
“We service and train all sizes of fleets, as well as the dealers and distributors, with a thorough 60- to 90-minute review-and-training session for up to 125 people,” said Stone. “The technicians learn smart diagnosis procedures, ask valid questions and appreciate the expert assistance. We’re confident that we’re hitting the mark with the right technical info and guidance on the complete charge-start system.”
“Our training recommendations, practices and our training materials are aligned with Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Electrical Study Group’s recommended practices,” said MEAA’s Danny Ritter, technical support manager, and Gus Wajda, quality assurance and technical support manager. Based on recent service experiences, Ritter offers the following best practices:
Establish a battery maintenance program, understand proper battery voltage and have the tools to load and check.
Know how to conduct a cable drop test from the batteries to the starter. This will determine if cables are carrying electrical loads to the starter and will determine if corrosion is present and the cables are tight. Conduct same type of cable drop test from the starter to the alternator, which will determine if the alternator can send charge voltage back through to the starter connection and onto the batteries for proper recharge.
Follow TMC recommended maintenance practices.
Understand proper battery voltage for the type of batteries you currently use. Lead-acid batteries have a different state of charge than AGM (absorbed glass mat) type batteries. Always follow the battery manufacturer’s recommended procedures for charging and service.
One recommended testing tool is made by Midtronics Inc. The company’s GR series battery and electrical diagnostic station combines its conductance technology with diagnostic charging technology, plus battery and electrical system diagnostics, to create a complete, flexible and expandable diagnostic solution.
On the subject of warranty, Stone and Ritter pointed out the company’s two warranties: The OEM manufacturer’s defect warranty between the OEM and the customer for three years/350,000 miles; and the aftermarket warranty, known by Mitsubishi as the Diamond Gard warranty, between the customer and Mitsubishi Electric for three years/unlimited mileage. It covers 100% of all electrical and mechanical failures.
“We pay the freight to have each claim returned to our warranty analysis center in Detroit,” said Stone. “Each claim is put through a thorough analysis of the component’s performance. This analysis allows us to make a fair determination of the claim status, and gives our design engineers good feedback for continuous product improvement.”