Automotive Newsletter

August 2012

Own the Best for Less: Automotive Starter Kits

This month we want to highlight our new Automotive Starter Kits. The automotive starter kits are available in both 2–channel and 4–channel varieties.

The 2–Channel Starter Kit gives you the lowest possible cost entry into PicoScope ownership. The kit comes complete with a basic set of leads and clips to allow you to perform many common tasks including testing most sensors, relative compression and cylinder balance tests. Over time accessories such as current clamps and ignition probes can be added to expand its uses and convert a starter kit into a standard kit.

The 4–Channel Starter Kit contains the same four–channel oscilloscope featured in the standard and advanced kits. To keep costs down it is supplied with a basic set of leads and clips to allow you to perform many common tasks including testing most sensors, actuators, relative compression and cylinder balance tests. Again over time accessories such as current clamps and ignition probes can be added to expand its uses and convert into a standard or advanced kit.

To find out more see our “Which Diagnostics Kit is Right for Me?” webpage.

Case Study: VW Golf 1.9 TDI (ALH) 2001 — Running Issues

This month the case study comes from our forum.

Robski (Rob Smith), from Doncaster, South Yorkshire was passed a VW Golf after the previous repairer had spent a week or so head scratching and internet searching.

“My first action was to plug in the VAG–COM Diagnostic System (VCDS) to pull any diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). There was one:

17656/P1248/004680 - Start of Injection Timing Regulation: Control Deviation.

Looking at the measured value blocks (MVB) group 004, I noticed that the actual injection pump timing was too far advanced in relation to spec, with the coolant temp at +85 °C I switched to basic settings on the TDI timing checker but it was that far advanced it would not plot on the graph. At this point I suspected the N108 commencement of injection (COI) solenoid was stuck advanced.”

View the rest of the case study on our website.

Case Study Competition, Rules and Guidance

The case study competitions will now be run every two months as follows:

  • October 2012 Competition: entries must be received between Sept 1st and October 12th; winner will be announced in October 2012 newsletter.
  • December 2012 Competition: entries must be received between October 13th and December 14th; winner will be announced in December 2012 newsletter.
  • February 2013 Competition: entries must be received between December 15th and February 15th; winner will be announced in February 2013 newsletter.

Further dates will be added to the forum and included in the newsletter as required. We will choose one winner in each competition, who will receive £200 credit for automotive equipment bought direct from us. There is no cash alternative. We may choose to publish additional case studies from other sources. These will not be part of the competition and so will not carry the competition heading.

Entry is the same as before: navigate to the Case Studies section of our forum and tell us about your investigations and stories when using our products. To improve your chances of being chosen, your submission should have a clear explanation of the task, and include photos and PicoScope screen captures.

Don’t feel your investigations aren’t good enough, put them on the forum… you never know!!

Beta Product Testing

Do you regularly work with noise and vibration issues? We are developing a new NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) kit that will allow you to analyze this type of problem. As part of the design process, we are offering you the opportunity to own an NVH kit at a special price in return for your feedback.

NVH is the study of unwanted mechanical movements and sounds generated by a vehicle. The PicoDiagnostics NVH software can analyze vibrations and help to diagnose NVH problems.

This is an exciting opportunity to help influence an exciting new product, and enjoy some visibility and recognition for your expertise.

There is a limited supply of units available for beta testing, so to put yourself forward, please send an email to us to register your interest. We cannot guarantee all who apply will get the opportunity to take part in the beta testing of our exciting new product, but we will do our best to reply to any emails we receive.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

Please see our events page for the latest information about forthcoming exhibitions, courses and other events.

Training Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss the Professional Diagnostics Ltd Engine Management Diagnostics course. This two-day course introduces the basic working principles of engine management systems, component testing and system diagnostics using oscilloscopes. The course is split between class–based theory sessions and practical demonstrations in a workshop using the Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit. The course runs several times a year around the UK, and the following dates are currently available:

Direct PicoScope Diagnostics Course (Weekend)
15/16 September 2012
Bedford, England

Places are limited, so please call 07881 555385 to reserve your place, or visit for more information.

Autonerdz, a Pico distributor based in North America, delivers PicoScope Oscilloscope Training both at their headquarters located in Olympia WA, and online.The following date is currently available:

PicoScope Hands On Class
7 September 2012
4715 Fir Tree Rd SE, Olympia, WA, USA 98501 (Autonerdz Training Center)

For further information, or to register, call Autonerdz on 877-628-4899 (Toll Free USA and Canada) or via email.

Diagnostic Solutions, a Pico distributor based in Ireland, delivers PicoScope Oscilloscope Training in Dublin. Please email for further information.

Please contact your local distributor for information on training events outside the UK.

Is it Time to Inspire Technology with Your Automotive Passion?

Do you use technology yet dream of developing it? At Pico Technology you can do just that. You’ll feel valued, appreciated and what’s more you’ll be able to see directly how your efforts make a difference to our customers.

Currently we are looking for the below positions to join our talented team of C# and C++ software engineers:

  • Development Engineer — C++ / C# Software Engineer (Automotive diagnostics and testing)
  • Development Engineer — Graduate opportunities
  • Electronics Technician
  • Software Build Engineer

Find details of the above positions, and an online application form at You will also find our C# / C++ Software Engineers Technical Test online: it could be your first step to an inspiring software design career… so why not have a go? Once you have completed the test simply send us your source code together with your CV when you apply.


Please visit Pico Exhibitions for the latest list of exhibitions and trade shows that Pico and its representatives will be attending.

We're hiring!

Thanks to our continuing success and growth Pico are always seeking talented people to join our company.

Please visit to see our current vacancies. We look forward to hearing from you!

Software releases

Our latest software releases are available as free downloads. To check which release you are using, start the software and select Help > About.

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Contact details

Pico Technology, James House, Colmworth Business Park, St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, PE19 8YP, England
Tel.: 01480 396395 (+44 1480 396395)
Fax: 01480 396296 (+44 1480 396296)

Pico Technology North America Inc.
320 N Glenwood Blvd.
TX 75702
United States
Tel:+1 800 591 2796 (Toll Free)
Fax:+1 620 272 0981

Web technical support:
Twitter: picotech
Facebook: Pico-Technology