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Vehicle Network Diagnostic Strategies

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Communication problems and U-Codes become more common every year, whether from generic scan tool communication failures during state emissions tests or complex high-speed powertrain and safety system networks.

The ATG Vehicle Network Diagnostic Strategies manual provides known good lab scope values, scan tool workarounds, and testing strategies that avoid time-consuming ‘resistance test’ path used by most manufacturers.

Network fault flow charts almost always involve disconnecting multiple circuits to make static measurements. This takes too long and the end result is often the replacement of modules even though no test had pinpointed the fault.

The ATG ‘High Level’ diagnostic approach taught in this book will help you determine the most efficient diagnostic path, which may include:
1. Isolation: Disconnecting modules or junction connectors to restore communications. This allows access to codes and PIDs that further focus your diagnostic path.
2. Overlay: Jumping around suspected fault areas or modules to establish communication and verify your hunch.
3. Lab Scope: From tool setup to a collection of good and faulty captures, we’ve got Lab Scope testing completely covered.
4. Topology Analysis: Using wiring diagrams or Scan Tool functions, you can easily create a map of what does and doesn’t work, leading o a very small and precise possible cause list.
5. Code Patterns: Multiple code failures present patterns that we can use, including leveraging history and current status changes during isolation and overlay tests.
6. Other Causes: Other tools and tests are described, including decision-making tips so you know when to (and when not to) check terminal contact, powers, grounds, ignition states, and wakeups. Options include power and ground circuit load tests, module resets, and bypass strategies.

Using the ATG ‘High Level’ approach means that you will start in one place, and then jump around from section to section as needed, taking a different path for every diagnosis. Essentially, each flow chart writes itself as you make simple tests and observations.

For example, if all systems work properly but the Scan Tool won’t communicate, you start with a DLC drag check before putting the Scan Tool itself and the network gateway on the possible cause list, and then proceeding to tests specifically for diagnosing or working around those faults.

On the other hand, if there are symptoms along with the lack of communication, and the Scan Tool and DLC are fine, the diagnostic path adapts to help isolate the open, short, module fault or operating condition responsible.

This book will help your diagnostics be much more dynamic. In fact, each diagnostic path will be unique, leading to much faster isolation of each unique root cause.

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