Automotive Oscilloscopes and Waveform Analysis
The rapid growth of technology used in cars has highlighted the need for a piece of diagnostic equipment that will give you X-Ray Vision, and show you the heartbeat of a vehicles electrical and electronic system.
An OBD scan tool is vital for modern vehicle diagnostics; however, trouble codes will only take you so far. The problem can arise when the phrase ‘fault code’ is used in connection with diagnosis. A code will rarely point you directly to the root cause of a vehicle fault, but can help focus your diagnosis on a specific area and run functional tests.
It is the oscilloscope (or scope) that can truly test the operation and health of a system component.
An important thing to remember about oscilloscopes, is that they should be easy to set- up and use; otherwise they’ll be passed over for a more familiar tool within your comfort zone.
Remember that nothing ever happens within your comfort zone.
There is a great deal of misconception about how difficult a scope can be to set-up, and once you are used to your own equipment, if it is laid out and ready to use, it will soon become your diagnostic tool of choice.
This book has been written to help you get the most from your oscilloscope, and has been designed to give straightforward and uncomplicated methods that can be used effectively for automotive diagnosis.
It covers many of the most common automotive waveforms, assisting you in the analysis of the patterns produced, without restricting you to rigid equipment settings, or vehicle system design. This gives you the ‘scope’ to develop your systematic diagnostic routines, with the flexibility to adapt to changing requirements.
The chapters will introduce you to electrical principles, the set-up and use of oscilloscopes and waveform interpretation; including key terms, points of interest and diagnostic tips to support the information provided within the text.