Fundamentals of Automotive Troubleshooting


How to Approach Troubleshooting
The most important points for troubleshooting Your Automotive
• Correctly identify the symptoms of the malfunction. When troubleshooting, it is important to correctly identify the symptoms that the customer points out.
• Work effi ciently to determine the estimated cause in order to fi nd the true cause. To correctly and promptly perform troubleshooting, systematic work is required.
Estimation must be backed up by logic and facts
When estimating the cause, a technician must not rely on his sixth sense without any logical back-up. Asking the question “why” is of great importance. When a technician makes an estimations about the cause, he must check whether facts that support this estimation exist or not. To troubleshoot the true cause, the technician must adopt a habit of following the cause-and-effect relationship of each item by observing the following cycle: estimate and verify, estimate and verify.
Troubleshooting Procedure
The troubleshooting procedure consists mainly of fi ve stages. When a technician troubleshoots, and does not follow the necessary procedure, the malfunction could become complicated and fi nally the technician may perform irrelevant repair procedure due to the wrong estimation. To prevent this, he should understand the fi ve stages accurately when troubleshooting.
Stage 1:
Verifying and reproducing the symptom
Verifying and reproducing the symptoms is the fi rst step in troubleshooting. The most important element in troubleshooting is to correctly observe the factual malfunction (symptoms) that the customer points out and make an appropriate judgement without any preconceptions.
What is diagnostic questioning?
To reproduce the symptoms, ask the customer about the conditions under which the symptoms occur.
Stage 2:
Determining whether or not it is a malfunction
When a customer makes a complaint, there are various cases. Not all of the symptoms are related to malfunctions but could be characteristics inherent to that vehicle. If a technician repairs a vehicle that has no malfunction, he will not only be wasting valuable wasting time, but will lose the customer’s trust. What is a malfunction? An abnormal condition that occurs in a certain portion of the equipment, causing defective function.
Stage 3:
Estimating the cause of the malfunction
Estimating the cause of the malfunction should be done systematically based on the malfunction symptom that the technician has confirmed. To accurately estimate the cause of the malfunction
Stage 4:
Inspecting the suspected area and fi nding the cause
Troubleshooting is a step-by-step repetitive process for approaching the true cause of a malfunction based on facts (data) obtained through verification (inspection).
Important points for inspection
Stage 5:
Recurrence prevention
Repairs are completed not just when the malfunction is eliminated, but when the fear of recurrence has also been removed. Important points for preventing recurrence

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