Frank Massey on the benefits of oscilloscope diagnostics

Massey explains how garages can accurately diagnose and fix faults first time with PicoScope

Frank Massey on the benefits of oscilloscope diagnostics

Diagnostics expert, Frank Massey has spoken to AutoCar about the issues blighting independent garages when it comes to correctly diagnosing vehicle faults.

During his interview, Frank explained how oscilloscopes can provide the gateway to looking at the cause, rather than symptom of the fault in question.

He said: “A scan tool, or code reader, shows you the symptoms of a problem but an oscilloscope shows you its cause.

“The former gives a tech only half the story; the oscilloscope reveals the profile of the signal and its flow.

“The road map to a fault”

“It’s the road map to a fault.

“Imagine a tiny box. If all’s well within it – in other words, if a signal’s profile doesn’t stray outside it – no error code is triggered.

“But what if the signal’s extremes are teetering on its edge?

“It may be just enough to cause a problem but not to generate an error code.”

Frank went on to explain how the ECU constantly struggles to keep signals within these millions of tiny boxes, in the process generating ‘correction values’.

Identify and understand these, he explained, and you’ll find out what’s really going wrong.

Related: Get your PicoScope questions answered in new GW Views feature

Accurate diagnostics

Referring to a recent example, a customer’s four-year-old Audi A6 2.0 TDI was suffering with a long-running problem after the main dealer who’d been trying to fix the car had been misled by an error code and, running out of options, told the customer it needed a new selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system.

However, Frank said: “By examining signal strengths and flows, and the wider environment the SCR was operating in, we discovered it was the exhaust gas recirculation cooler that was at fault.

“Basically, it had an air block.”

For further information about Pico Automotive, select ‘more details’  below.

Do you use an oscilloscope in your workshop? Do you have any questions you want answered by the experts? Share your experiences, comments and questions below.

Home Page Forums Frank Massey on the benefits of oscilloscope diagnostics

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  David 1 week, 5 days ago.

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  • #172156 Reply

    Adrian Smith

    Just bought cheap oscilloscope andpossibly looking
    For some basic training

    #172158 Reply


    You’ll find Frank on the Auto Informers on Face Book and do a google search he is based in Preston. 01772 201597

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