Archived Technical Articles

We've published 100s of interesting automotive and diagnostic articles since 1999. Almost all articles are extracts from technical assistance calls from automotive workshops received by our technical support team. Each article looks at the issues involved and we share how we resolved the problem.

2000 Toyota Dyna

Done Dyna – 2000 Toyota Dyna

  A 2000 Toyota Dyna, S05D 4.9 Ltr 4cyl.engine truck was referred to the workshop (who owns AECS diagnostic equipment) by another garage, as they were at the end of their diagnostic ability. The truck has this complaint, that when

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Isuzu Elf

Elf by Itself (2003 Isuzu Elf)

  The 2003 Isuzu Elf, had an original long term complaint of hard starting followed by a brief period of bad running and in some cases not starting at all (just winding over). Read this article here.

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2012 Mercedes ML300

DPF Really faulty?

  At AECS, we get lots of questions about Diesel Particular Filters (DPFs). In our DMS 1-3 Common Rail Diesel training, we spend a lot of time on what goes on and what goes wrong with DPFs. We also deal

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AECS in 2015

What is in store for 2015?

  Do you know what is in store for you this year ahead? None of us has a crystal ball, but rest assured that the problems entering your workshop will be more of an electronic nature than last year. Are

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  124. Different point of view.    Oct 2014 newsletter.   Looking at diagnostics from a wider perspective.
  123. Exhausted E-Class.    Nov 2014 newsletter.   2003 MB E-320 CDI The vehicle became harder and harder to start, untill no more.
  122. P(r)oxy Voxy.    Oct 2014 newsletter.  2002 Toyota Voxy. The vehicle has a bad surge at light throttle below 2500 RPM, and intermittently at idles.
  121. Polo don't Go.    Sept 2014 newsletter.  This car refuses to fire up, it winds over, but not one beat of fire.
  120. Closed Loop Common Rail.    Aug 2014 newsletter.  2008 Nissan Vanette CR diesel with a misfire at about 1300-1500 RPM.
  119. Sly Sylphy.    July 2014 newsletter.  This car with direct-injected QR20DD has been hesitating on acceleration, pinks under load and the engine check light comes on intermittently.
  118. Making money, diagnosing.    June 2014 newsletter.  "We are running a workshop here for many years already, but we shy away from getting into electronic faults.... "
  117. FSI Fizzle.    May 2014 newsletter.  2005 VW Golf GTX 2.0 Ltr FSI (AXX engine). Engine starts and idles fine, but as soon as you try to accelerate, the engine fizzles away.
  116. Bizarre XR.    Apr 2014 newsletter.  A 2003 Ford 5.4L 260kw Boss XR8 with a light surge at cruise and under slight acceleration up gradients.
  115. Sorento Sorrow.    Mar 2014 newsletter.  2007 Kia Sorento common rail Diesel was presented with a massive oil leak and a badly smoking engine.
  114. Training with AECS     Jan 2014 newsletter.  A candid look into how we gather information for our training.
  113. Why Hyundai H1.    Dec 2013 newsletter.  The engine is accelerating fine when you take it slow but bogs down when you accelerate fully.
  112. coding and Flashing.    Nov 2013 newsletter.  Coding ECUs and re-flashing files.
  111. Suzuki V6 zoom zoom.    Oct 2013 newsletter.  Suzuki V6 with a slight misfire under load on one cylinder only.
  110. Isuzu Wizard with 4JX1 engine.    Sept 2013 newsletter.  I thought we would never see these HUEI systems again. However, they are still around and still trouble.
  109. Truck communication protocol J1939.    Aug 2013 newsletter.  Interesting article about inter ECU communication on Trucks and Busses, and how to diagnose.
  108. Training in Europe.    Jul 2013 newsletter.  We need to be trained up as well, read up about technology fed to us.
  107. Rumbling Rotary.    May 2013 newsletter.  Rotary Mazda every so now and then hard to start.
  106. New training!     April 2013 newsletter.  We have a new and exciting training seminar developed. Deals with all the latest technologies. Stay current!
  105. Munted Mondeo     Mar 2013 newsletter.  A 2008 Ford Mondeo Common rail Diesel, refuses to start after timing belt job.
  104. Hi H1     Feb 2013 newsletter.  A 2008 Hyundai H1 does not want to produce power after engine swap.
  103. Grand Elgrand     Nov 2012 newsletter.  2003 Nissan Elgrand 3.5 Ltr V6, does not fire up anymore after engine rebuild.
  102. Subaru Cam     Oct 2012 newsletter.  2001 Subaru Legacy twin turbo had a persistent cam shaft sensor fault code.
  101. Croaky Cruiser     Sept 2012 newsletter.  2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser with a hesitation over 60km/h.
  100. Vitals on Vitara     July 2012 newsletter.  2001 Suzuki Vitara Bosch Common rail Diesel with a lack of power and misfire.
  99. Launch Scanner support system     June 2012 newsletter.  An in depth look at what we from AECS do to support our Launch customers with problem vehicles.
  98. Wizard Wise     May 2012 newsletter.  Driving over a bump with this drive by wire petrol V6 Isuzu Wizard causes the engine to briefly misfire.
  97. CAN data communication     April 2012 newsletter.  Faulty CAN data bus communication analysed with the ATS scope. Communication decyphered.
  96. Visit to Launch Factory     March 2012 newsletter.  AECS is visiting the LAUNCH factory for training. Get a small insight into this truly huge company.
  95. Prius Practical problem     Feb 2012 newsletter.  A Toyota Prius with a very loud knocking engine gets needless written off.
  94. Prius Battery research     Dec 2011 newsletter.  Hybrid HV NiMH Battery graduation project research report.
  93. Leaping Lexus     Oct 2011 newsletter.  Lexus with drive by wire throttle, Idling at 3500 RPM!
  92. Hilux problem     Sept 2011 newsletter.  Surging Toyota Hilux Diesel, only a really detailed look at the scope patterns revealed the problem. Experts only!
  91. Aircon Comparison     Aug 2011 newsletter.  Comparison between Italian made and chinese made Aircon equipment, the technical inside story.
  90. scantools, scope or emission tester     July 2011 newsletter.  What equipment do you need to diagnose common faults in modern cars.
  89. Mercedes Murder     June 2011 newsletter.  This Mercedes A190 was tried to be repaired using an internet hobby forum as a source. Very Costly!
  88. Modern Diagnostics, Old Car     May 2011 newsletter.  This Citroen Xantia had simply a new starter motor fitted, after, which it would not run anymore. Solved with ATS signal generator.
  87. Capella Problemo     Apr 2011 newsletter.  The Mazda Cappela (626) would drive fine but every now and then, maybe two times in a day it misfired ever so gently..
  86. Cranky Camry     Mar 2011 newsletter.  The Toyota Camry would not start when cold. It would crank and try to fire but would not start up. No fault codes stored in the engine ECU.
  85. Advance needs to be planned!     Feb 2011 newsletter.  Does your company still run as well as the first time you got a buzz from what it gave back to you?.
  84. Hybrid, HELP!     Dec 2010 newsletter.  This Toyota Hybrid was presented to a workshop with all sorts of warning lights on and low on power. The Master warning light in the dashboard was on and on the centre TV display, all sorts of warnings and messages in Japanese scrolled along the screen.
  83. Automechnica Germany     Oct 2010 newsletter.  Just like you, we from AECS need to up skill regularly. New techniques and smart repair methods do not come to you, you have to chase and seek them out. We went to Europe for training.
  82. Towed Toyota     Sept 2010 newsletter.  The vehicle starts fine and runs fine but intermittently stalls, sometimes it runs for several minutes and sometimes it stalls immediately after start up. There are no fault codes present.
  81. Nissan ignition     Aug 2010 newsletter.  A number of Nissan ignition problems analysed.
  80. Hopping Hatch     July 2010 newsletter.  A Toyota with a leaking shock absorber gets a substandard suspension job. Read how this was analysed and fixed up.
  79. Scantools, techical insight     June 2010 newsletter.  My history of working for a scan tool manufacturer as an application engineer has given me a unique insight in how the hardware, software and the politics behind such equipment works.
  78. VW Smoking Gun     May 2010 newsletter.  This VW Golf is running so rough. It is smoking black and smells badly. Wherever you start the car up it leaves a dirty big black stain on the ground.
  77. Bogging Benz     Apr 2010 newsletter.  During firm acceleration it sometimes holds back. Releasing the throttle and depressing it again would often �clear� the fault and makes the car accelerate firmly.
  76. Delicate Delica  The vehicle was bought 6 weeks ago. The engine had a slight knock which developed very quickly in a destroyed number 4 big end bearing,...
  75. Brake, suspension and side slip testers....the facts ! continued  In the October 2009 article I explained in simple terms the suspension tester; following is a description of what can be done with the brake tester.
  74. Air-conditioning Equipment Technology from AECS Ltd  In my view the role and profitability of regular automotive air-con maintenance is totally under-estimated by most automotive technicians.
  73. Brake, suspension and side slip testers....the facts !  The VTEQ range of equipment is very high quality, and is designed to perform up to one test every 90 seconds all day without any problems.
  72. Automotive Equipment Knowledge.  Equipment knowledge,the ins and outs.
  71. No Go Nissan.  This vehicle only came to our attention when the problem was solved. Yet it is still a nice case to get the teeth into, and such a likely fault to come your way!
  70. 2002 Mazda Atenza 4 cylinder  Vehicle starts surging at high revs. Starts fine and runs reasonably well.
  69. 1999 Toyota Nadia 3S-FE D4 Diract injection engine  Vehicle is sometimes impossible to start, it winds over but does not fire. Other days it runs fine.
  68. Mazda Familia 1.5 ltr Automatic 1996, Jap import  This car was presented to garage with apparent gearbox problem. Surging realy badly under full acceleration.
  67. Make the most of the resources...  you have already during these challenging economic times!
  66. 2001 Vito CDI Engine 2.2 L Common Rail Diesel  Vehicle won't start days after a full system overhaul. Scantool found oil level/pressure/quality sensor fault code.
  65. 1997 Mitsubishi Legnum VR4 6A13 (V6 Turbo).  The vehicle lacks power when flooring the throttle.
  64. Daihatsu Hi-jet 1999 EF-SE 659cc, Japanese import  The engine was hunting badly at idle. The idle control valve had been replaced and throttle position was adjusted.
  63. About AECS  An insight into AECS as your training partner
  62. 1996 2.5 Ltr Turbo Diesel (EPIC) Ford Transit  Van falls back to idle during a long climb resulting in no throttle response. Turning key off solves the problem.
  61. VW Golf Mk4 2000 1.8 Ltr 20 Valve AGN Jap import  Car is 'flat spotting' during moderate acceleration. Car has had regular services.
  60. Subaru Legacy 1997 EJ20, with quad coil ignition system.  The car has a high tension misfire. Only easing the throttle down increases the revs.
  59. 1996 V6 2.5 ltr pertol VQ25DE Nissan Cefiro, Jap import  The taxi has a slight mis at low revs and seemingly only on 1 cylinder. The car has had a new water pump fitted.
The following articles below will be added soon. (These links won't work).
  58. Emission Testing In New Zealand  
  57. 1996 4 Cylinder 2 ltr petrol twin cam E 200 Mercedes  The owner of this vehicle had bought the car and only a week after purchase it stopped altogether.
  56. The sense and nonsense on Emission testers (continued...)  Emission testers and where to look for (diesel).
  55. 1998 Chevrolet Blazer V6  The engine is cutting out intermittently. This used to only happen after the vehicle run low of fuel, subsequently it was suspected that it was a fuel problem.
  54. Holden Astra X18XE1 1999 Jap import  The car is running predominantly fine, but about twice per day it runs extremely rich. No visible smoke, but it sounds like a "Bridgeport rotary".
  53. Modern Diagnostics complicated? ��. NOT!  An insight into AECS as your training partner
  52. 1998 Nissan Primera P11 engine QG18DD 4 cyl direct injected petrol  The car has been towed in by another garage. The vehicle is very hard to start, and when it starts it misfires badly. It is hard to keep it running.
  51. 1997 Holden Vectra 2.0 Ltr (Simtec 56.5) NZ New.  Vehicle is towed in from an other garage. It starts, runs briefly on 2 cylinders and then dies.
  50. Honda F22B 4 cylinder 2.2 ltrs 1996.  The vehicle apparently stalled at the traffic lights and now refuses to fire up. It sounds like it wants to go but just not catches on...
  49. Toyota Landcruiser 4.2 Ltr 6 cyl Turbo Diesel 1HD-FTE 2002  The vehicle has had over a period of time every so now and than a slight misfire. When you are driving along, you will feel intermittently a hesitation. Some times it can be fairly hefty, the whole vehicle 'bunny hops'.
  48. Nissan Primera SR 1.8 DE 1996  Vehicle has been running fine. One morning the car had a flat battery the owmer jump started car, but it refuses to go.
  47. 2001 155 Hp 5 cylinder 2.0 Ltr (187B7000) Fiat Bravo New Zealand new.  This one owner vehicle has been for the last two years in and out of garages and auto electricians, including the shop it was bought from.
  46. 1999 Toyota Prado 1KZ-TE 3.0 ltr turbo Diesel  This Toyota is brought in from an other shop. The engine used to smoke and was down on power.
  45. 1995 2.0Ltr Ford Mondeo Automatic  This car won't start. It has been from shop to shop for the last 4 months.
  44. 1989 VL Commodore RB30 3.0L 6 Cyl Turbo  This Holden is using way too much fuel. It has been to the Holden dealer and to several auto electricians.
  43. 1996 Toyota Estima 2.4 L Petrol  This vehicle has been hard to start for a while, but will now it will not start at all anymore.
  42. I am not green  An insight into Bio-fuels as an alternative energy source for vehicles.
  41. 1998 Holden Vectra 2.0 Ltr (Simtec 56.5) NZ New  Vehicle runs seemingly normal, occasionally the check engine light comes on and the engine sometimes stalls.
  40. 1995 Nissan Patrol 2.8 Ltr 6 Cyl. Turbo Diesel (RD28)  This vehicle was bought 4 months ago it was hard to start. Hot or cold and had to wind over for sometimes 15 - 20 seconds.
  39. 1990 Subaru Legacy EJ20 single turbo.  The car is towed in to our garage and absolutely refuses to start. Car has been parked up for about three months, now with a new battery it winds over but does not start.
  38. 1994 Saab 900 2.3 non turbo  The check engine light is on, and the car runs beautifull. The scantool we possess does not want to talk to this particular Saab.
  37. 1994 Mazda Marvie Proceed 2.6 ltr  This vehicle is running fine most of the time, but every so now and than it briefly misfires.
  36. 1992 Mazda Eunos 500 V6 KF 2.0 Ltr  Vehicle is hard to start, it winds over for about 2 or 3 seconds, than kicks into life and runs seemingly normal.
  35. Tragic Transit Van  Ford transit after engine swap sluggish smokey and check engine light on.
  34. Spoiling Spill Valves in Perth  1997 Toyota Surf with 1KZ-TE 'eats' multiple $700 spill valves.
  33. The sense and nonsense on Emission testers    Emission testers and where to look for.
  32. 1986 Flippin Fairmont    1986 Ford Fairmont, runs real bad sometimes not at all. Lots of bits replaced by 'experts' to no avail.
  31. 1993 Protesting proceed    Mazda 2.6 Starts and than stalls within 2 seconds, every time. No immobiliser.
  30. 1993 More commodore    Commodore V6 running massivly rich. Solved with ATS signal generator.
  29. 2000 Toyota RAV 4    After getting some replacement keys through the Toyota dealer, the car would not start.
  28. Toyota1992 Hilux Surf 3VZ-E    The three week old import stalled during an emergency stop, it was going fine until this stop and does not want to fire up anymore.
  27. 2001 Fiat Multipla 1.9 JTD common rail Diesel 110 KW.  The vehicle it starts fine, runs really nice, but as soon as you want full power it is not there. Problem is getting worse.
  26. Nissan Lucino 1994 Engine type GA15DE.  starts fine, runs nice but every so now and than it will stall and is extremely hard to start. 're-trained' ECU with ATS signal generator.
  25. VTEQ Brake testing Equipment  Theory and practicalities on roller brake testers.
  24. Nissan Primera  Primera does not want to keep running on its own. Only by pumping the accelerator violently it keeps running but than very badly.
  23. Training changes  About the improvements of AECS trainings
  22. 2000 Hiace Van 3.0L Turbo Diesel (1KZ-TE).  Hard to start Electronic controlled Diesel. Pump and injectors are serviced and glow system is fine...
  21. 1994 Holden Commodore VR 3.8 V6.  Emission introduction in WoF testing with "good" Holden.
  20. 1995 Mercedes C280 petrol.  Occaisional stalling problem fixed, but garage wanted to deliver true quality.
  19. 1994 Toyota Hi-lux 2.4 L Turbo Diesel.  The pump checked out fine, the injectors where fine, the compressions are fine. Still the injection timing seems too much advanced as the engine knocks really badly.
  18. 1995 Holden Astra 1.6L 16V (X16XEL).  Car was towed in and it wont start but is winding over and does not fire-up.
  17. 1995 2.0L 16V turbo Coupe.  Car behaves really well, except sometimes in the warm-up phase it will stall.
  16. Diesel Emissions.  A nice bit of insight in Diesel emission diagnostics.
  15. 1991 Toyota Soarer 4.0L V8 (1UZ-FE).  Intermittently back firing, and occasionally stalls.
  14. 1996 Mazda Marvie 2.6L petrol.  Car starts fine, runs fine but uses oil and far too much fuel.
  13. 1991 Nissan Skyline 2.8L .  The car starts, runs briefly, than stalls. The running period is not steady, it some times does not start at all. No data available.
  12. 1996 VW Golf GTI.  Car starts fine, runs fine but will run rich between 2500 and 3500 RPM.
  11. 1993 Mitsubishi Galant 4G63.    Car starts fine, runs fine but intermittently will run rich (black smoke) and stall.
  10. Mazda MPV 1993, 3.0L V6 engine (JE).    At idle the engine will sometimes surge.
  9. Citroen XM 2.0L (RFV) 1997 MP5.2.    Car stalls very occasionally.
  8. Toyota Hilux Surf 3.0L TD    Smoking Diesel.
  7. Volvo 850 T5    Airco trouble.
  6. Ford Escort    Bucking real badly.
  5. Subaru Legacy    Bad Running / stalling when warm.
  4. Nissan Maxima VQ    Warm-up problem.
  3. Opel Omega X25XE    Intermittent starting problem.
  2. Volvo 740 2.3L    Airmass sensor problem.
  1. Ford 2.5L T. Diesel    Epic diesel system with loss of power.