Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Airbags, Airbags, Airbags Part 2

This is what you get. I purposely cropped the top of this. Above is the VIN number and more modules. The modules have BCE addresses. These addresses correspond to certain modules. I know that 737 is for the RCM. I then print this out and start the PMI process with my IDS.
This is the screen you get. Just follow very carefully the lines and input the characters exactly. Hit the blue checkmark on the lower right and the screen will advance to the next set you need to input. When you input all the characters you will get this.
Next we will check for any codes. Now that the RCM is configured now it can self test the system properly.

The system is operational. I will clear the continuous codes finally. Here again I do passenger seat rezero procedure and check for proper operation.
This is a 2011 Mazda 3 Wagon that the shop correctly diagnosed a bad passenger presence module. They changed the module and related wiring. They still had an airbag lamp on and this code. I am using my Mazda IDS system. This code can be set two different ways. One if the OCS (Occupant Classification System) is not calibrated or loss of communication between the OCS and the RCM. Let's see how we can tell the difference.
I call up some pids on the RCM to help me out. I can plainly see we have no communication faults but we have a calibration fault. To be fair you can also use LFC (Light Flash Codes) to differentiate this as well. I hate reading LFC-blink and it is time to restart. So now I have to do a OCS calibration. This involves using my Mazda IDS and some weights on the passenger seat. The procedure is pretty lengthy and must be done in a controlled manner after the vehicle sets for awhile depending on temperature. After the calibration procedure is complete lets rerun the self test.
System passes and the airbag lamp goes off. Consequently, the B1013 you see I induced when I performed the self test with some weights still on the passenger seat. Note to self have nothing on front passenger seat when doing a self test. Clearing the CMDTC's and we are set.

Airbags, Airbags, Airbags Part 1

I get a fair amount of calls from body shops. Most of the times it is collision related issues such as airbag or wiring issues. I am going to give you three of my most recent. Here is a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The vehicle was in a recent accident. The shop did a nice job putting this vehicle back together. Along the way components in the restraint system were changed-airbags, seatbelts, and the airbag control unit. The shop called me after they changed the items and had a flashing airbag lamp with key on. Starting in approximately 2009 on Hyundai/Kia vehicles the airbag control unit has to be variant coded for it to operate properly. The airbag control unit has to be "programmed" so it knows whether it has side curtain airbags, etc. The flashing lamp tells you that no variant coding has been set.
This can only be done with the proper tooling. It is a one shot deal. Here is the G-scan made by a company called GIT. While this is not the true blue factory tool for Hyundai/Kia (The GDS is the factory) it really comes a close second. In fact it will do everything GDS will do minus programming and fault guided diagnostics. Rumor has it that engineers for Hyundai/Kia have "super" G-scans that will actually program. My G-scan is actually a loaner from my good friend Joey "Bag o donuts" for which I am grateful for. He knows I do a great deal of Hyundai/Kia work and he has a love/hate relationship with this scantool. Mostly hate.
After building the vehicle and the system I want to access we get this screen. I choose Vehicle S/W Management.
This is next screen. I have already called my source to get the correct variant code for this vehicle using the VIN. You have to have a source at the OE level to retrieve these variant codes.
This is the next screen detailing the function and where you should have the ignition key. lets hit ok.

The next screen includes a mini keyboard for inputting the variant code. The tool includes a stylus that helps with this.

After inputting the code this screen just informs you the procedure is complete. I turn the key off for 1 minute or so. Turn the key back on and no more flashing lamp. I perform a WCS (Weight Classification System) rezero procedure with the G-scan and clear all codes. Finally, I check the operation of the passenger weight system for proper operation and do a final scan for codes.
Next up is a 2006 Mercury Milan that was involved in a collision. Again, various components of the restraint system were changed including the Airbag contol module which Ford calls the RCM (Restraint Control Module). Typically, when a Ford module is changed the information from the old module is retrieved using a procedure called PMI (Programmable Module Installation) and then uploaded to the new module. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. Sometimes the module is missing or damged and information cannot be retrieved. Ford has an answer for this called "As Built Data" using the VIN. Here in the above screenshot with my Ford IDS we have a B2477 in the RCM. The RCM is not configured or configured properly. Since I have no module to retrieve data and the vehicle is already together I will use As Built Data to configure this module. I will need the full 17 digit VIN and access to
This is the As Built Data entry screen. I enter the full VIN.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Seven days with eight Porsches in Europe looks how you would expect

We come across a lot of dash-cam videos, and while we may have become desensitized to the highway altercations or raceday crashes, this video left us speechless. Simply titled, "well that was 2012," it is a stunning video, chronicling the journey of a handful of Porsche 911s throughout Europe.

The poster of this video explains on his website that he and seven other 911 owners took to an amazing week-long, 2,000-mile journey through seven European countries. The video was shot from the dash of his modified Porsche 993. The tandem movements of the Porsches through traffic has the feeling of a group of friends skiing or snowboarding together, flying past the novices. Oh yeah, and they get pulled over, more than once.

In describing the impression that the trip left, he confesses, "Within a few days of getting home I found it very hard to get back to normal life." Umm... yeah, we can understand that.

Sometimes becoming too wrapped up in the automotive news cycle, we risk losing sight of the big picture. This video serves as a reminder of why we obsessively cover this industry. It stems from a love of the open road, complemented by car worthy of carving it up. We may not all be able to cross Europe in a Porsche 911, but thankfully for videos like this, we can at least get a taste.

Original Article From:

The 2014 BMW M4 might look this good

Once BMW unveiled its all-new 4 Series coupe, we knew it wouldn't take long for digital renderings of the more powerful M4 version to hit the Internet. F30Post worked with digital artist Wild Speed to create some really great renderings of the upcoming M4, and also compiled a good amount of information based on sources and educated hunches.

While it doesn't take much to imagine what the M4 will look like based on the styling of current M cars and recent spy shots, these renders finally give us something to ogle at until the car finally arrives. New cues include the more aggressive front fascia, bulging hood, carbon roof and bigger wheels and brakes. Wild Speed was also kind enough to show images in a spectrum of shiny colors.

As for the car's details, the article expects the M4 to be lighter, faster and more efficient than the current M3 using a "multi-turbo" inline-six engine producing somewhere around 395 pound-feet of torque. The M3 sedan could go on sale by the middle of 2014, but the M4 coupe isn't expected to hit the scene for another couple years. 

Original Article From:

Jaguar lets first outsiders drive new F-Type

What do you do when you're an automaker with an all-new and brand-defining sports car, one of them with a supercharged V8 cranking out 495 horsepower? You let proven race drivers test them out on track and on the road.

And what do you do if you're Jaguar and you're in that situation? Why, naturally, you make a video of it. That's how we get footage of racers Martin Brundle, Justin Bell and Christian Danner being choppered into the UK's Snetterton track to test the V6-equipped Jaguar F-Type S prototype. Then when they're finished with kerb-lined apexes, they take the V8 S prototype out onto the roads to run it through hedge-lined apexes.

According to one of them, "very fast, very nimble, great engine" is what will soon be headed our way.

Original Article From:

Watch this Rolls-Royce Phantom get grassy knees

Investors value Mercedes-Benz at half of BMW

Bloomberg reports investors have valued Mercedes-Benz at approximately half of what BMW is worth. While BMW has seen its market capitalization jump to 45 billion euros, Daimler currently sits at around 42.2 billion euros. But that number falls to just 25 billion once Daimler's truck business is subtracted from the total. This comes after Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche vowed to retake the luxury sales crown from BMW by doubling sales to nearly 2.6 million vehicles by 2020. Mercedes-Benz lost that title back in 2005, and two years ago, the company had a market capitalization of nearly 15.5 billion euros more than BMW.

 But that was then. Analysts say the market has lost confidence in the leadership at Daimler and believe the company won't be able to gain significant ground on BMW. While Mercedes-Benz has had to postpone profit goals in the face of slack earnings, BMW continues to push forward with a new facility in Brazil, a range of electric vehicles and stout sales. Since 2006, Mercedes-Benz share prices have fallen off by around 10 percent while BMW stock has jumped in value by 89 percent.

Original Article From:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Webbing and Driving

So many people I know wouldn't dream of having a few drinks at a restaurant or bar and then climb behind the wheel of their vehicle. While it's great that they have strong convictions about drinking and driving, I wonder how many of them text while they drive. Studies have shown that people who text and drive are every bit as dangerous on the roads as drunk drivers.

It seems human beings are in a constant quest to show just how stupidly they can behave behind the wheel. As detailed in this report from State Farm, there is a new way drivers are not paying attention to the road and other vehicles: webbing and driving.

Webbing and driving is the clever new name given for when people actually surf the web while they're driving. They might be Facebooking, tweeting, writing up a blog post or just perusing the news online--anything but actively driving their vehicle. As State Farm points out, surfing the web and driving poses at least as much if not more of a distraction than texting and driving. Simply put, it's a really dumb idea!

I cannot tell you how many times I've almost been hit by another car that is driving erratically on the road, to then see that the driver is texting on a phone. In the recent past I was behind someone I could have sworn was extremely drunk. When I passed the car, I saw that the driver had headphones in his ears, which were plugged into an iPad he had balanced on the steering wheel! Literally, the guy was not even looking up from whatever webpage he was on. I don't know how any intelligent person could think it was a good idea to surf the web and drive at the same time!

This isn't a laughing matter, no matter how much I wish it were. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of deaths in the United States, and distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Perhaps it's a good thing that within a short time robot cars will be available to consumers in states like California. I would far and away trust a robot more with paying attention while driving than some idiot reading up on the latest TMZ gossip on his iPad!