Auto Service Professional

JUN 2018

Magazine for the auto service professional

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16 A S P J u n e 2 018 cated electronics-laden vehicles. ere are miles of wiring in these vehicles, and the electrical sys- tem has to be in tip-top shape to be able to power these systems for proper working order. Manufacturers such as Clore Automotive, Midtronics and Interstate Batteries all have con- tributed to the electrical diagnostics part of our industry. e technologies that have changed over the years have given us some pretty tough challenges, including new battery technology, such as AGM type batteries or valve regulated lead acid type batteries, deep cycle batteries and battery systems used in hybrid vehicles. ere are three major types of batter- ies that companies use or are considering for use in hybrid cars: lead-acid, nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) and lithium-ion (Li-ion). Electrical system testers have evolved as well. e testers available for today's modern vehicles are getting increasingly more accurate as battery technology, charging systems and starting sys- tems become more complex. Today's testers not only measure voltage and amperage, but use im- pedance and or conductance testing as well. As many of you have noticed in recent years, replacing a standard car battery isn't as simple as it once was. Sometimes you have to remove mul- tiple panels just to gain access to these batteries. To add insult to injury, some of these vehicles re- quire that the batteries are registered with a scan tool for the electrical system to work properly! For example, on a BMW 320i xDrive: If the vehicle has the energy management system like IBS or power module, then a battery registra- tion is needed. e reason a battery registration is needed is that the vehicle's electrical system is informed about vehicle data characteristic data such as type, size, age and current power capacity. If performance drops below a defined mini- mum, the check control message will alert the driver that a battery replacement is needed. When replacing the battery, a battery registra- tion must be performed so the control module will have updated information. is will allow the check control message to go out. Also, if retrofitting with a bigger, more power- ful battery in place of an OEM spec battery, the new battery information will need to be registered as well. When the battery is registered, the stored energy history is deleted. If the battery is not regis- tered, this may cause the root cause to return. at is why staying updated on your training and the new technologies that will be entering your service bays in the not so distant future is mission- critical for properly servicing your customers. As a close friend of mine would say, "Either update or evaporate." ■ Edwin Hazzard owns South East Mobile Tech in Charleston, S.C., which is a mobile diagnostic and programming service providing technical service to many automotive and body repair shops. He has 35 years experience in the automotive industry. He currently is an automotive trainer, a board member of TST (Technician Service Training), a member of the MDG (Mobile Diagnostic Group), a member of the Professional Tool and Equipment advisory board for Pten magazine, a committee member of Nastaf, and is a beta tester for multiple tool makers. Figure 8: Some amp clamps like the unit shown here, feature a built-in DVOM. C h a r g i n g S y s t e m s

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