Automotive Newsletter

December 2011

New Product: WPS500X Transducer Kit


The long awaited WPS500X kit is finally here! The kit is due for release in January 2012, and consists of:

  • 1 x WPS500X Pressure transducer
  • 1 x BNC to BNC insulated Cable (5 m)
  • 1 x Compression hose (14 mm)
  • 1 x Compression hose (10 mm)
  • 1 x Compression hose (Ford Triton)
  • 1 x Fuel hose, large Schraeder
  • 1 x Fuel hose, small Schraeder
  • 1 x Vacuum hose
  • 1 x Bleed hose
  • 1 x Exhaust adaptor
  • 1 x Universal vacuum adaptor
  • 1 x Carry case
  • 1 x USB cable
  • 1 x User’s manual

The price of the kit (PP836) is £655 ($1080/€790). The kit is based on the award winning WPS500X transducer, and comes with all the accessories required to allow you to carry out accurate measurements such as compression tests and fuel pressure (petrol/gasoline) tests, amongst others.

New Case Study: Honda Passport


The customer reported that when driving the vehicle it felt like a ‘kangaroo‘. The vehicle ran unstable and very erratic. There was no EML (Engine Management Light) on, however a scan tool was connected to the vehicle to see if there was any data or pending codes stored to give a quick idea what could be causing the problem. As we guessed by no EML there was nothing. We decided to road test the vehicle and get an idea of the customer complaint. The engine started fine, a quick blip of the throttle revealed that the engine would throttle without restriction…

Read “Honda Passport” to see how Lee and Richard solved the problem.

Forum Question!

Here we have a a question from our forum which we feel is probably out there on many lips. It even received two responses from forum experts Autonerdz (Tom Roberts), and our very own Lee Hearnden…

Q. What are the advantages of a 4 channel scope over a 2 channel one? Just wondering exactly what you can do with a four channel that you can’t do with a two channel?

Answer 1: To be fair it depends on you as a person and how you work. My honest answer based upon my usage is 4 channels is the way to go. If you think of a customer who brings a car in for lack of power, let’s say a Common Rail Diesel engine with no fault codes present, where do you go? Well you could connect the scope as follows:

  • Channel A: Digital MAF
  • Channel B: Fuel Rail Pressure
  • Channel C: Boost Pressure Sensor
  • Channel D: IMV Valve

In one simple wide open throttle (WOT) test you get a picture of the Intake/Fuel system which potentially allows you to see all the parameters which could cause loss of power in one hit. Now we know these may not be the issue all the time, but its a quick way of seeing what’s going on. With 2 channels you would probably want to run a combination of multiple tests which takes longer and potentially making the job last longer then it needs to. In reference to our customers, most customers who purchase a 2–Channel Scope always come back for the 4–Channel model and by doing this costs a lot more long term, so if you can budget the 4423 or one of the 4 Channel kits then this really is the way to go.

Answer 2: Let’s say you wanted to check the sync on a Ford electronic distributorless ignition System (EDIS) cam sensor. Maybe there was recent work done and now there is a hesitation with no codes. You know that this can be a result of the cam sensor being installed 180 degrees out of phase. You also know that the powertrain control module (PCM) will not know there is a problem and the cam and crank relationship will be identical to one installed correctly. So…with a third channel you can simply observe the secondary with the cam and crank to immediately know where the engine is in the cycle. Sure you can get it done with two channels but more steps are needed. Almost without exception, customers that get a two channel later wish they had the four channel when they discover the possibilities.

Feeling convinced? View our available automotive kits

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
23/24 February 2012
Exeter, 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
6th January 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.


Best of the Web

Here we have another video by Motor Age. This video, titled “Scoping Out Drivability: The Trainer video series (Nov 2011)” is presented by Peter Meier. The subject this month is quite simply to show just how much information you can capture, using a digital storage oscilloscope (DSO).

Diagnosing drivability problems on today’s cars presents several challenges to technicians. Many engine designs are unforgiving of even minor flaws, and are quick to let their driver’s know they aren’t happy by displaying various signs of poor running, poor performance, and the turning on of the engine management light. Finding these minor discrepancies takes a trained eye, a little patience, and the right equipment. One such piece of equipment is the DSO. This modern version of the old big–box engine analyzers many of us grew up with is capable of much more than simply tracing secondary ignition patterns. With the addition of a few accessories, it becomes a powerful and time saving tool that can help you find those minor discrepancies when other diagnostic techniques will not. Join technical editor Pete Meier as he shares some of those techniques in this month’s edition of “The Trainer”.

View the video

Omar Trinidad from Southern Illinois University Carbondale put together a great presentation on Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI).

Our very own collection of informative videos can be found in our automotive library.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Events

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


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)

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