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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see a lot of wishful thinking posted where folks want to jump to, or blame EUCs and PCMs and electronics for problems that are not really inherent to the system or it's "units".
Accurate & reasonable Diagnostics is the key to making correct & effective repairs, and also keeping vehicles operational and running correctly, efficiently and well.

What causes a particular problem should be the 1st consideration.

When several things can cause a problem, check all systematically to get into the corect realm. Do Not Assume anything. Become certain & specific before you begin buying & replacing things. Guessing is not an applicable practice when making effective repairs. Neither is trial & error searching. Often more damage happens during trial & error diagnostics out of simply not knowing or being aware in the first place. Determine what the cause could be. Electrical, Vacuum, Mechanical, Catastrophic failure, incorrect installation and so forth can drive an expert tech looney if he is unaware of primary cause.
First things 1st Determine the actual cause of the problem.

If you determine problem to be electrical check ground connections to be sure they are connected, clean & functional first. Grounding is 50% of current flow requirements.

Second, Always be sure you have ample current available to operate whatever you test or check. For example don't put full 12volts into something that uses or requires 12Mv to operate.
Do not cross polarity. Positive to negative(+ to -) & neg' to positive (-to +) are opposites. Hooking or testing things backwards is a sure way to destroy them.
When/if Battery is low or dead it can not operate items correctly.
If a charging system is not working or is too low or too high, it can cause faults and do damage to things also.

If what you have InOp, Failing or not working as it should, uses or requires Vacuum to operate, be absolutely sure it has ample vacuum available to do so. This could be anything from a switch (manually or system controlled) to a faulty vacuum line, a poor running engine or a mechanical defect/ leak which causes a lack of sufficient vacuum.

I know of DIY's who go thru Big Money & many many replacement
parts because they do not check things thoroughly before making a conclusion on a diagnosis. It doesn't hurt to seek qualified opinions from others. I say qualified opinions opposed to general opinions.

I know a person who asked too many people too many questions when his vehicle would crank but not fire, or backfire. He was told he had a bad control module and it needed replacement. It's a rather broad statement, as nobody told him what module and he had no clue. So He
changed sensors, modules, even ECU. His car still wouldn't start. No
Return Policy on Electrical Parts cost him huge money. His engine ran worse & worse overtime. Auto stores kept giving him DTC read outs as an alloy timing gear with nylon coated teeth was falling apart. It ran until it failed catastrophically leaving him stranded.

Spark plug out of #1 Cyl located piston & checking rockers showed
problem wasn't electrical or digital or mysterious or unsolveable. It only took knowledge & common sense to diagnose since it was simply a mechanical failure of the fundamental kind & timing chain related.
His vehicle would not start because of that.
The Nylon silencing material on alloy driven gear deteriorated. The chain ate teeth off the alloy gear. That is truly a basic mechanical function. All sensors ECUs, PCMs, Modules & so forth were useless if pistons and valves were not coordinated enough to function.

So before you go off the deep end and in debt by mistake, either do a solid diagnostic 1st things 1st or learn how to OR Ask for help.


684 Posts
I see nothing here to disagree with, the basic engine hasn't changed much, just the method of controlling it's operation. If you indeed do have an electrical problem, it makes sense to check your grounds first. Roughly 85% of all electrical grief is due to poor grounds. I say this as an example to show how a little common sense can lead to a cheap and easy fix, instead of throwing your money away on parts you didn't need. Excellent post FBP!
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