Automotive Newsletter

January 2015

Case Study: Celica brings Scope and Scan Tool together


This month Steve Smith demonstrates how PicoScope fits within the diagnostic jigsaw when resolving seemingly complex issues.

The analogy of a jigsaw fits well if we look at the essential pieces required for a successful diagnosis.

  • The relevant Scan Tool
  • Accurate technical information
  • Experience gained as a direct result of training
  • PicoScope

The vehicle in question is a 2001 Toyota Celica 1.8 190 PS utilising variable valve timing and lift. The complaint from the customer was poor idling, heavy fuel consumption, lack of power, periodic cutting out on over run and the all-important engine warning light was illuminated.

As always the customer interview is vital, and in this case revealed that extensive engine work had been carried out including a cylinder head replacement due to severe overheating.

At this point it is very easy to jump to conclusions and assume "doom and gloom" when a customer arrives having experienced numerous attempted repairs after a major engine overhaul. However, by maintaining a methodical approach throughout the diagnostic procedure we can present our customer with not just a bill, but a working vehicle and the evidence and data trail that supports the necessary rectification.

A basic inspection revealed the tell-tale signs of intrusion about the engine to include, a new cylinder head, VVT oil control valve, coolant temperature sensor, catalyst, pre-catalyst O2 sensor accompanied with a punctured and misrouted wiring harness that resembled a pin cushion! A brief road test confirmed the customer's complaint but also revealed the engine to sound fine with no knocks or rattles, or smoke from the exhaust and both coolant temperature and pressure to be correct. Note: The exhaust fumes did emit the sulphur odor associated with over fuelling or a catalyst working overtime! (it is essential to establish the engine condition before spending the customer's money).

You can continue reading the Toyota Celica case study online...

Pico Technology's Automotive Year: 2014

2014 was quite a busy year for Pico; below is a quick overview of our year:

February 2014 wps600 hydraulic pressure transducer image In February of 2014 we launched our WPS600 Hydraulic Pressure Transducer. A 0-600 bar high accuracy tool for accurate measurement analysis and diagnosis of automotive and industrial hydraulic systems.
When price, performance and versatility matter, there is nothing that compares to the WPS600 Pressure Transducer.
March 2014 In March of 2014 we made a small update to the WPS500X Pressure Transducer kits to include the TA156 M12 compression hose in place of the TA105 M16 Ford Triton Hose.
Not sure why you would need a WPS500? Why not read an online Case Study by Steve Smith, showing just how useful the WPS500 really is.
April 2014 30 A large jaw current clamp In April of 2014 we released the 30 A large jaw current clamp. A precision current clamp allowing you to measure from 5 mA up to 30 A without cutting, disconnecting or stripping the wire. It is ideal for measuring the currents in sensors and actuators across most modern passenger and commercial vehicles.
May 2014 In May of 2014 we released the PicoDiagnostics NVH Kit, the cost-effective answer to the many NVH problems facing technicians today.
June 2014 coloured breakout leads June 2014 saw the arrival of our 5 m (16 feet) versions of the standard premium test leads. Color-coded so the color of the lead in the engine bay matches the default color of the on-screen waveform, the leads are fully screened along their whole length for minimum noise pick-up.
Please visit our website for more information: Test lead accessory page.
July 2014 picoscope automotive waveform library If there was ever a feature of PicoScope Automotive 6 that was worth shouting about, it arrived in our stable release of software in July of 2014. Located under the File menu theAutomotive Waveform Library enables users to search a global database of waveforms that have been uploaded by other PicoScope users from around the world. With numerousSearch Options allowing you to locate a relevant waveform for a specific manufacturer or model, or even a specific engine code.
For more detail and guidance of the Waveform Library, please see Steve Smith's Waveform Library Browser thread on our Automotive forum for more information.
August 2014 picoscope pressure transducer adaptors On the 1st August 2014 we updated the way in which you can connect your WPS500X to your vehicle. Our accessories list now includes a simple universal hose, with a selection of adaptors. This change also affected the contents of our WPS500X kit. We removed the M14, M10, and M12 compression hoses, and replaced them with the standard WPS500X compression hose, M10 short adaptor, the M12 deep reach adaptor, and both the short and deep reach M14 adaptors.
You can see our latest Pressure Sensors, Transducers and accessories on our website.
September 2014 picoscope automotive oscilloscope September 2014 saw the release of our new hardware, the PicoScope 4425 and 4225 scopes. Sampling at up to 400 million samples per second, and 250 million sample memory your investment is protected for many years to come. With an improved input range of +/- 200 V the new scopes are able to handle increasing injector voltages without the need for attenuators. The floating inputs and ConnectDetect(TM) complete a set of improvements that have been enthusiastically received by our customers.
You can view further information and pricing of the newAutomotive PicoScopes on our website.
October 2014 maxi fuse extension breakout The new TA206 Maxi Fuse extension lead was released in October of 2014. It offers a simple way to measure the current drawn in a Maxi Fuse protected circuit, saving you valuable time.


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


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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