Automotive Newsletter

November 2011

PicoDiagnostics — New Features


Since late 2006 PicoDiagnostics has been a useful tool for many PicoScope Automotive customers. PicoDiagnostics is a collection of easy to use applications where the power of the PC is used to display the diagnostic results in a clear, easy to understand report. PicoDiagnostics covers basic tests such as Cylinder Balance, Compression Tests, and Battery Tests. There have been some large updates lately to our PicoDiagnostics software. Along with supporting 20 languages, we also wanted to let you know:

  • The cylinder balance test now runs continously so you can observe changes over time. This helps find intermittent misfires / power loss and can also be used as a quick way to identify which cylinder is which. Disconnect an injector for a few seconds and one of the bars in the graph will drop away.
  • A new misfire counter function has been added. Again this runs continously so you can leave the engine running for long periods and it will record the number of misfires against each cylinder.
  • A new Wizard helps setup the test and a “signal strength” meter shows when you are getting reliable data.

The PicoDiagnostics software is paired with the PicoScope Automotive software. Both can be downloaded from our website. .

New Case Study: BMW E46 318i


The vehicle had been driven through a flooded area, and water had entered the block via the air intake. The car cut out with the engine flooded with water. The cold water entered the hot cylinder block, and caused it to crack due to thermal shock. The engine had been replaced, but could not be started. The vehicle was towed to our garage, but we soon discovered that no diagnostic scan could be performed due to no communication to the modules…

Read “BMW E46 318i” by Andy Cape to see how Andy discovered the problem.

Competition Result! Was it you?!


Last month you may recall the PicoScope 4223 competition! We had over 500 entrants to the competition, and one lucky winner has now been chosen at random! Congratulations go out to Craig Van Batenburg. The scope, with its 2 channels, 80 MS/s sampling rate, 20 MHz bandwidth, and voltage ranges from +/-50 mV to +/-100 V, will be on its way to you soon! Congratulations once again!

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
14/15 December 2011
Weybridge, London, England

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 a real find. This YouTube video “PicoScope: Common Functions Tip Clip” contains lots of helpful advice, hints, and tips on using PicoScope.

Matt Dixon from Southern Illinois University Carbondale has put together a great presentation on the different types of coil on plug ignition (COP).

Brian from Autonerdz has put together this clever Interactive PicoScope Automotive screen. Hover around the image to see explanations, examples and even brief animations of the controls available within PicoScope Automotive. The interactive screen also includes links to tutorial videos, however to access these you will need to be a registered user on the Autonerdz forums, and hold Autonerdz, or Picogroup membership. Autonerdz membership is included with each Autonerdz kit (no renewal required), or an annual subscription is also available.

Our full collection of 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)

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