Use of Oscilloscopes to Diagnose Car Faults
At Sommer Car Care in Brisbane, our auto technicians use state of the art diagnostic equipment to detect, diagnose and correct automotive problems. One of our best tools is an “oscilloscope” which records voltage over time on a graph. The sensitivity and high bandwidth of the oscilloscope makes it possible to detect and record lightning-fast response times in electronic equipment, with the ability to zoom in on any anomalies in the waveforms produced.
What Car Systems Can an Oscilloscope Record?
An oscilloscope can be used to analyse variety of electrical systems in your car. This can include:
- Charging and starting systems
- Ignition Systems
- Communications Systems
- Systems Tests
- Pressure Transducers
- Relative compression
- Cylinder balance
An oscilloscope can also test a multitude of systems and sensor signals in EVs (electronic vehicles).
The sensitivity of an oscilloscope is also used for more advanced diagnostics to test issues with noises and vibrations that can’t be diagnosed easily with more traditional methods.
How is an Oscilloscope Used?
An oscilloscope produces data on an active electrical system over a span of time. In most situations, our auto technician would attempt to recreate the malfunction detected by the driver by running the car or system whilst graphing and recording the information on an oscilloscope.
Our auto technician would then compare the graph data (waveform) with existing “known good” data that was taken from the same car when it was working correctly. This would give us a benchmark to compare against the newly recorded data.
If an anomaly is detected, we can then isolate it and determine whether it is causing the malfunction. Diagnosing the problem is the first step to correcting it and restoring your car to working order.
Why to Use an Oscilloscope
Modern car systems have become very sophisticated over time and electronic systems are responsible for a wide variety of essential performance and safety features. The use of diagnostic equipment such as an oscilloscope, offers us the advantage of diagnosing problems more accurately and more quickly, which means less delays and expense for our customers.
Data gathered from an oscilloscope and our other diagnostic equipment, can also be used to create a continuous record of your car’s performance and faults, helping us to understand your vehicle and be better able to diagnose any faults that may develop in the future.