Engine diagnostics: Don’t forget to ask questions

Engine diagnostics: Don’t forget to ask questions

service-generic-2

The truck rolls in with a diagnostic trouble code light on. The chances are good that the first thing a technician will do is grab a scan tool and see what code or codes have set.

However, it’s important to also remember the most basic diagnostic step: asking questions. Asking the driver questions about the operating conditions when the problem occurred can be immensely helpful in diagnosing fault codes. This is particularly true when confronted with intermittent problems. It is not unusual for a technician to be unable to duplicate a problem, only to have the regular driver duplicate the problem in short order. Asking questions about what was going on when the code set or problem occurred will help diagnose many complaints that would otherwise take more time to isolate.

Another helpful step in diagnosing faults is to check the service history when possible. It is always good to know what has already been tried that either corrected the problem temporarily or resolved nothing. Granted, there are some parts that are prone to failure. Still, when repeated failures are noted it is a good idea to look elsewhere in the system to see what else could be leading that particular part to fail.

Virtually every system has initial inspection steps that are unique to the system. The simple steps of asking questions and checking history are fairly universal. With all the different systems and complexities of today’s vehicles, it is also wise to consult your service information resource, like TruckSeries truck repair information from Mitchell 1, to see if there are specific steps that need to be followed in initial inspections.

Yes, these steps to take time. Nevertheless, the time spent in determining the correct path to an accurate diagnosis and repair not only saves time by avoiding the wrong path that could lead to a comeback, but also builds customer confidence that you can get the truck fixed right the first time.

This article was contributed by Jake Schell, associate product manager for Mitchell 1’s Commercial Vehicle Group.

You May Also Like

Peterbilt introduces Digital Vision System-Mirrors

Available on Models 579 and 567, Peterbilt says the DVS-M uses HDR cameras integrated into the mirrors to display video on interior monitors.

Peterbilt-new-Digital-Vision-Mirror-System

Peterbilt launched its new Digital Vision System-Mirrors (DVS-M) in the Models 579 and 567. The company says the DVS-M uses one High Dynamic Range (HDR) camera integrated into the driver side mirror head and two HDR cameras integrated into the passenger side mirror head. All three cameras feature hydrophobic lenses to repel water, ice and dust, which ensures visibility during harsh conditions.

Hendrickson acquires Reyco Granning suspension business

Hendrickson expands its suspension solutions portfolio for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles while maintaining brand independence.

ReycoLogo-hendrickson
SAMPA celebrates 30 years

The heavy-duty spare parts company marked the milestone at Automechanika Istanbul. with a specially themed 30th anniversary booth.

SAMPA-celebrates-30-years
HDA’s Colorado Brake & Supply announces acquisition

The HDA Truck Pride member has acquired Pueblo Brake & Clutch, Inc., another local heavy-duty truck parts provider, with 59 years of service.

HDA-Truck-Pride-Pueblo-Brake-and-Clutch
BettsHD, Featherwing offer roll-off refuse fenders

According to BettsHD, the new Featherwing refuse / roll-off fenders are custom-designed for all tandem and tri-axle applications.

Betts-HD-Featherwing-refuse-fenders-combo

Other Posts

Doleco adds custom production services at new manufacturing facility

The Charlotte, NC location will house manufacturing, product testing and warehousing, while offering new custom production services.

Doleco-expands-with-new-Charlotte-facility-exterior-custom-products
If it waddles, it may not be a duck

If a truck waddles away, don’t let it wait ’til the very next day. Here’s how to address the issue of a rig that starts driving like a duck.

fixing-truck-waddle-maintenance-shop
Eaton to offer fuses for electric trucks

Eaton says it can increase current capability by either design modifications or paralleling multiple fuses.

Eaton-1400
Daimler announces battery repairing, remanufacturing, repurposing and recycling program

DTNA says the circular economy approach strives to extend the usability of rare-earth materials and products.

Daimler-Truck-North-America-Logo-1400