REPLACE OR REPAIR?
It all started with simple ignition modules, closely followed by the enigmatic ECM
Since then, the OEMs have taken electronic control to the extreme. Modern vehicles commonly feature a slew of complex, electronic modules controlling the driveline, braking/stability systems, security systems, climate control – there’s even controllers working the wipers (auto rain detect) and automatic headlight levelling.
As we all know, these control modules are prone to failure – with correct diagnosis and rectification anything but straightforward.
Injectronics launched in 1984 and says it has become the industry leader in the remanufacturing and repair of automotive electronic modules. It states the service is not only cost effective, it is also fast and worry free thanks to its 12-month warranty, making it the most viable option for many workshops.
Why new modules need programming
Control module programming is and will surely be the topic of conversation for the next decade or so, as many more electronic modules require specific programming. They are programed with unique, VIN-specific data relating to the vehicle’s individual engine, transmission, driveline, safety, security, instrumentation, infotainment and comfort systems.
Brand new modules have none of this information and require programming, often completed by an OEM diagnostic tool using a process called PassThru Programming. And it gets worse. When a new module is introduced to a vehicle, if the components it operates, along with the other modules it links to do not all communicate correctly, completely new issues can emerge within seemingly unrelated systems.
Plug ‘n’ Play convenience
Few shops have the specialist diagnostic equipment to carry out the necessary reprograming. After replacing a faulty module, the vehicle still has to go to the dealer on the back of a truck. So, Injectronics asks, is replacing a control module the only option?
In most cases, Injectronics says it is able to repair electronic control modules, without losing any VIN-specific or functional programming data and return it ready for re-installation. It explains this means there is little to no additional programing required, no need for specialised programing equipment, no need to download software from the internet and no need to send the customer’s vehicle off to the dealership.
When repair is not possible, Injectronics says it can typically ‘Clone’ the original VIN-specific data and move it across to the replacement module.
The age problem
As vehicles get to the age where new, replacement modules are no longer available – or the dealer no longer caters to a vehicle, the ability to make these repairs and maintain original programming is vital – otherwise the vehicle essentially becomes a throw-away proposition.
This was a prime motivation for Injectronics to heavily invest in developing the specialised equipment and expertise necessary to assess, repair and reprogram a myriad of automotive electronic modules.
Injectronics states that it utilises its very own designed and built Virtual Automotive Simulator (VAS). With this sophisticated computerised testing station, there is no probing of wiring looms or circuit boards, rather the VAS is able to run and verify a module’s every function. Which in turn enables repair technicians to quickly and confidently identify any operational faults, plus ensure the completed repair is ready to plug and play.
Intermittent faults are the worst
With its VAS machine, Injectronics states it is able to repeatedly cycle a suspect module to induce the intermittent fault to reveal itself. It is also not uncommon for intermittent faults to only occur under certain temperature conditions. The engineers place modules in Hot and Cold conditions, while using the Virtual Automotive Simulator, to replicate both real-world operating conditions but also extreme temperatures.
800 and counting
Currently Injectronics lists over 800 different electronic control modules with an identified and proven repair procedure. As impressive as this number is, Injectronics says it is particularly proud of its ‘First Unit’ department which is constantly evaluating, decrypting and problem-solving new units to add to Injectronics’ database, which is why Injectronics encourages enquiries regarding units not listed on the website.
The diagnosis dilemma
Injectronics says that yes, the recent passing of the Australian Data Sharing Legislation is going to prompt more opportunity for independent repairers and the replacement of new electronic control modules. It states that diagnostic and reprogramming equipment will still be required – along with specialised, in-depth training to complete the tasks. It encourages you to keep in mind that Injectronics provides a dedicated technical support hotline to discuss issues and asses the best direction for repair – a service which is offered for free to customers.
Both light and heavy
It is not all about passenger vehicles for Injectronics. The widespread use of electronic control modules in heavy vehicles (trucks) and plant equipment has made servicing this industry a major area of growth and resource allocation for the company.
With its strong focus on research, development and innovation, combined with its extensive experience – Injectronics says it is the perfect workshop partner, stating that it can take the headache out of dealing with the myriad of unfathomable electronic control modules fitted to modern vehicles.
Visit www.injectronics.com.au for a full listing of services, or to book a repair and speak with the technical team call 1300 308 060.