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Toughest Spark Plug Changes

We have all been there before: scratched arms, busted knuckles and an aching back caused by a difficult spark plug replacement job. If you think they are getting tougher every year, you are right. Every new engine design is putting the plugs deeper...

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Improving the Head Gaskets, Fasteners Relationship

The relationship between head gaskets and head bolts is an intimate one. The clamping load applied by the head bolts is what allows the head gasket to maintain its seal. For this marriage to last, there has to be constant tension – not too much,...

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Top Ten Fuel Pump Fails

10. Strainer Blocks Fuel-Level Sender A fuel pump inlet strainer may be installed that is interfering with the travel of the fuel-level sensor’s float arm, which causes an optimistic fuel level reading. Dented fuel tanks may also cause a false reading...

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Why Alignment Angles Change

An alignment angle doesn’t change randomly. There is a cause-and-effect relationship between external and ­internal forces that can alter the geometry of a vehicle’s suspension. Having the alignment reading for only one angle on one corner is just...

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Using Recalls, TSBs as Brake Job Tools

You are getting ready to perform a brake job on a vehicle. While checking the torque specifications on the vehicle, you decide to hit the tab with TSBs and recalls. All of a sudden you are staring at a screen of brake recall notices and TSBs for that...

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Causes of Clutch Failure: Diagnosing Chatter

One of the most difficult clutch-related problems is chatter. Chatter is sometimes difficult to diagnose because it has many root causes, and some of them may not seem related at first. Chatter can be detected as a pulsing or a grabbing sensation that...

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Inside Import Car Collision Warning, Automatic Braking Systems

Anything that moves under its own power also has to stop, so brakes have been a safety feature on cars since day one. Over the years, technical innovations such as antilock brakes (ABS) have ­improved the ability to stop with minimal skidding on...

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Intermittent Engine Misfire Analysis

Even for an experienced diagnostic technician, ­attempting to diagnose an intermittent misfire ­condition that occurs only under specific driving conditions can be a frustrating exercise. Let’s begin by getting the basics out of the way. As we know,...

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Honda: Easy Fix for Engine Noise

We often encounter engines that have a cold-start knock or ticking noise. In this case, the 3.5-L V6 engines installed in various Honda models can make a knocking or ticking noise at idle and only when warm. The cause of the problem is that the rocker...

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Analyzing the Cylinder Pressure Waveform from a Running Engine, Part 3

By Vasyl Postolovskyi and Olle Gladso Contributing Writers and Instructors at Riverland Technical and Community College in Albert Lea, MN   In Part 1 of this Maximizing Tools series, we discussed an alternative approach to diagnosing an engine...

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Mac Tools Is Wrenching for a Cure

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Mac Tools is featuring a variety of Wrenching For A Cure products available for purchase in the Flyer 11 through Nov. 2. Featured pink products include clothing, accessories, flashlights, pint glasses, and...

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5 Tool Storage Tips

  As a technician, you likely own thousands of dollars worth of tools and equipment, and require tool storage capacity to hold them all, along with carts and accessories to help move those tools around your work area. Here are a few items...

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Since pressure from the master cylinder has been bleed off, the pump in the HCU will spool up and apply pressure. The outlet valve is closed and the inlet valve is opened. The pump applies pressure to the wheel. 
If the wheel is still outside the wheel slip parameters, the cycle will start over. This happens very quickly. The operation of the solenoids and pump will cause a “kick back” or pulsation in the pedal. 
 

HCU Mechanical Problems
Mechanical issues with the HCU are rare, but they can happen. Valve seats and pintles can become stuck or not seat properly due to debris, corrosion or contaminated brake fluid. 
 
If the inlet/isolation valve is stuck open, it will not affect normal braking in any way. It will only hurt the ABS system. This could lead to a pulling condition during ABS activation. 
 
If an outlet/dump valve is stuck open in one circuit, this could cause a pull condition during normal braking. This is due to the loss of brake pressure at a wheel. Typically, this is not discovered until brake hoses, calipers and other parts have been replaced.

Testing Solenoids Electrically
Sometimes a stuck or defective solenoid or pump will set a code. A solenoid has a resistance between 2 and 8 ohms. On some units, it is impossible to access the individual solenoids. 
 
Testing of the unit with a scan tool with bi-directional control might be the best way to confirm the condition of the HCU.
 
Most vehicles equipped with ESC will have 12 valves or solenoids in the HCU. Eight solenoid control the wheels. Four additional solenoids can block off the master cylinder and allow the pump to send pressure to a specific wheel.
 
Understeer is a condition where the wheels are turned, but the vehicle continues to travel in a straight line. This is sometimes described as a push. 
 
The ESC computer would see this event through the sensors. The wheel speed sensors in the front typically read slower than the rears. The computer would also see that the steering angle is greater than the intended path.
 
The ESC system needs to intervene before the event occurs. It needs to anticipate the problem and correct as the vehicle travels.
 
This is what the ESC sees during an understeer event. The SAS angle is at +52º, this means that the customer has the wheel turned to the right at a significant angle. Even with the steering wheel turned, the yaw and accelerometer read like the vehicle is going straight. 
 
 The APPS or throttle pedal position sensor shows the driver is off the gas and the brake pedal is not pressed.
 
The deciding information for the system is in the wheel speed sensor inputs. Between the front and rear there is a 6 to 9 mph difference between the front and rear speeds. The front wheels are traveling slower than the rears.
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Andrew Markel

Andrew Markel is the editor of Brake & Front End and Servicio Automotriz magazines. He has been with Babcox Media for more than 12 years. He is a technician and former service writer and holds several automotive certifications from ASE and ­aftermarket manufacturers. He can be reached at [email protected]
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Analyzing the Cylinder Pressure Waveform from a Running Engine, Part 3

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