Automotive Newsletter

July 2008

Newsletter July 2008

This month we have a very interesting case study for you, written by a real PicoScope user who has kindly offered to share his diagnostic knowledge.

Audi S2 (B3 Engine) Intermittent and Progressive Failure to Start

The car arrives on the back of a tow truck, with a report from the owner that after running faultlessly for some four months after a new distributor had been fitted, one morning, for no obvious reason, the car would not start. Follow the story of how this case was solved using a Pico oscilloscope, by Arnot Franses.

Read “Audi S2 (B3 Engine) Intermittent and Progressive Failure to Start” by Arnot Franses

Technical Information and Tips

Here is a quick tip for those of you who are using PicoScope 6.

Are you aware that the software can be used in demo mode?

We all know what it’s like: never enough time in the day to learn all the new features of a piece of equipment. Well, good news: with Picoscope 6 you can run the software in demo mode away from the workshop and without a vehicle. If you run the software without a scope connected it will prompt you to run in demo mode. Then you select the four-channel (3423 model) or two-channel (3223 model) scope, and the software will load and appear as normal. The only difference is the button to the far right of all the channel selection controls, which lets you simulate several automotive components. Picoscope defaults to injector voltage on channel A, so if you use the Automotive menu, select “Multi-point injector (Voltage)” and then run the scope as normal, you will see a simulated injector trace. You can then try all the trigger functions mentioned in the previous newsletters.


Here’s a summary of the latest technical resources that you can find, free of charge, on our website.

  • Library of waveforms captured using the Automotive Diagnostics Kit
  • 10 engine management tutorials
  • 12 Real-Life Diagnostics stories from professional motor mechanic Nick Hibberd
  • PicoScope Automotive Oscilloscope Guide. Almost one hour long, this video guide contains everything from what an oscilloscope is and why you need one, to how to run simple tests and take measurements. Request a free CD

Engine Management Diagnostics Courses

If you own, or are thinking of buying, a Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kit, you mustn’t miss ourEngine Management Diagnostics course. This provides expert training on the fundamentals of engine management diagnostics, together with plenty of hands-on experience with our kit. The course is run several times a year around the UK.

These courses are popular, so book your course now!

Training Courses This Month

Engine Management Diagnostics using PicoScope

Kingston College, Kingston upon Thames, London
8-9 July 2008

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 theory sessions and practical demonstrations in a workshop using the Pico Automotive Diagnostic Kit on engine rigs.

Forthcoming Exhibitions and Training Dates

Visit the exhibitions page at for full details of upcoming exhibitions and training dates.

Employment Opportunities

Due to our continuing growth, we have vacancies for the following positions:

  • Development Engineer - Analogue Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Hardware
  • Development Engineer - Windows Desktop Application Software

We look forward to hearing from you if you want to be part of a growing company at the leading edge of test equipment design.


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)

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