• How far can ‘Rewires’ really go?

    Posted on: November 21st, 2012 by admin No Comments

    >>>>On one of my many trips along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway I noticed people gathered around a very sleek car when I was close to the Motorways plaza. From the little I could deduce it was clear that an erroneously induced electrical fire was abated and subdued. The surprising fact here was that the vehicle in question was a 2008 S class which was still relatively fresh, however with some little filler patches which suggested the car was still in the process of an on-going panel-beating. One would start wondering how such came about.

    >>>>A friend of mine bought a Nigerian used 2001 Toyota Camry and after using the car for a while she noticed her engine doesn’t quite turn off if she forgets to switch off the air-conditioner before turning off the ignition. She was forced to get used to ensuring the a/c is totally inactive before she switches off the vehicle.

    >>>>One more final incident was 2years back. Let me tag this one as ‘the 1996 Grand Cherokee Jeep encounter’, which I had with a mechanic friend of mine. This vehicle doesn’t go off until you practically open its bonnet and disengage the battery!

    Very strange but true; these are few results of ‘rewire’ sessions gone wrong. The examples above re-sound the fact that some, if not most local auto-rewires or electrical technicians have very basic understanding of the fundamental vehicle electrical architecture, involving circuit elements like fuses, relays etc. But in recent times with the infusion of more computerized functions involving elements like ECUs, actuators, printed circuits, sensors etc, the electrical/electronic configuration of passenger cars have quite evolved and can be said to be complex. Even most conventional window and inner lighting are now fully electronic and most are even controlled by a central BCM (body control module).Hence, basic skills can never be sufficient in dealing complex activities involving even more sensitive circuits.

    Free-Shipping-New-Electric-font-b-Meter-b-font-Tester-Digital-Ammeter-Voltmeter-font-b-AnalogOBDII scanning is one of the sure ways of diagnosing even complex circuits, so rewires that haven’t quite upgraded to the level of understanding the interconnectivity between primary circuit features and additional computerized features of more recent cars have a problem and can even land you in trouble.

    On a more realistic note, most local auto-electricians have begun seeing the very pressing need to upgrade their knowledge base. But in the midst of the highly prevalent wind of change, some still remain adamant or just simply lazy. When it comes to electrical devices like head-lamps, horns, fuses and relays, a large percentage of these electricians know their way around these components. Even when it comes to simply swapping some common analog sensors, most of them understand the process(es). But in more recent cars with a higher level architecture, sensor and actuators are referred to as ‘smart’. This is because these electronic devices are digitally programmed and in most cases, replacement of such sensors requires re-programming; a process that requires specific expertise. The fact here is that most critical sensors in Japanese and American cars or in the case German designed cars, even commonly known sensors are digital sensors for better accuracy and efficiency.

    In conclusion, before you hand your car down to any mechanic; try to really ascertain his/her skill level, especially when the matter at hand has to do with electrical and electronic components. Run away from any mechanic that downplays the relevance of OBDII scanning. At the same time, be wary of the so called ‘advanced technicians’ with expensive and nice looking scanning tools. Like we clearly pointed out in the last edition, a scanning tool in the hands of an inexperienced technician is nothing but an expensive toy in the wrong hands.

     

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