Tools to Help Master Today’s Electrical Diagnostics

Some technicians who have been in the industry for a while may remember when an entire vehicle’s wiring diagram could fit on a printed page or two. Those days are long gone!

As you all know, most of the enhancements being made on vehicles today are electronic, which add circuits and networking to the vehicle to make everything work.  So, wiring diagrams are becoming more and more important.

And here’s the thing – with all these emerging technologies coming at us so rapidly, often a vehicle comes into the shop with a symptom that even the most experienced tech has not seen before. That is going to be a reality for a long time and why it’s critical to have access to wiring diagrams that make it quick and easy to find the related component information and arrive at an accurate diagnosis.

Let’s take a step back in time and consider wiring diagrams for the 1970 Impala. The first thing you would notice is that the whole vehicle’s wiring – bumper to bumper — fits on two pages. That includes body, ignition, charging and HVAC. Things were pretty simple back then.

Now let’s compare the 2016 Chevy Impala. There are far too many diagrams to describe here. In fact, there are over 30 sub-systems that make up the vehicle’s complete electrical system. If we look at the engine performance wiring, it now takes eight diagrams to show everything— over 60 components in all. The AC system has four diagrams. The anti-theft has four diagrams as well. The supplemental restraints system has three diagrams.

You get the picture. And without a modern repair information resource, it can be time consuming to navigate these complex diagrams to locate the specific circuit you’re interested in diagnosing.

That is how the wiring diagrams in the ProDemand repair information software from Mitchell 1 can help. The collection of wiring diagrams consists of single images that are grouped together by systems. The software provides continuity across the full set of OEM diagrams by highlighting traces within a system on the vehicle.

Additional features are built in to help technicians find and use the exact wiring diagrams they need for their diagnosis and repair.

Interactivity & Component-level Navigation

Interactive wiring diagrams allow users to navigate via the diagram directly to component information without a secondary lookup. Component names shown in the wiring diagrams are active links that take the user straight to information like component location, connector views and replacement procedures.

In ProDemand, you can find the wiring diagram you need by simply searching for the component. Just enter a component, click search, and instantly arrive at the diagram for the specific component entered as a search term. When you open that diagram the component will be in focus with all the traces already highlighted. If your diagram has multiple pages, you can easily follow the trace as the highlighting extends across all the pages until the circuit reaches its termination.

Think how different this is from how you may have done electrical diagnostics “in the old days” with paper charts. You would have your wiring chart open and trace it to whatever component or circuit you were interested in. Then you would save that page with a bookmark and look elsewhere in the manual for the procedure or information about the component you were diagnosing.

Now this process is completely automated and your software does all the work for you, bringing together the diagram and related components and procedures. Never before have diagrams been so complex – yet so easy to navigate when using the right tools.

ProDemand interactive wiring diagrams link to component information

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You may also like to read:

Then vs. Now: What’s in a diagram?

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