Have you ever tried to repair a car without instructions? Or, worse yet, tried to repair an international car without the right tools?
Repairing a car can be difficult without the right tools. Attempting to repair an international car is more challenging. But with the right specialty tools, repairing any European car is enjoyable.
If you’re a mechanic or enthusiast looking for Fiat specialty tools, you’ve come to the right place. Read on and learn why the right tools make a difference.
Fiat Specialty Tools
When looking to maintain or restore Fiats, the best place to start is with a diagnostic kit. The Hella Gutmann Mega Macs PC is a specialty tool that turns your PC into a diagnostics station. The software works on laptops and tablets, and best of all, it reads Fiat data.
The specialty tool is ideal for anyone wanting to conduct a professional diagnostic. It also works on Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche, Saab, Volkswagen, and several other European cars.
Car manufacturers know their cars best and the required tools to repair them easily. Many companies have built their own tools. While others have outsourced the manufacturing of those tools according to their specifications.
The outsourced tools are made based on actual parts provided by the original equipment manufacturer. That guarantees that the tools work perfectly with the parts. This also empowers the companies to create any specialty tools that make the repair job easier for any given car.
Read the Codes
Buying a Fiat diagnostic tool doesn’t tell you how to fix the problem. It only provides a trouble code, or several, to kickstart your diagnostic efforts. For instance, when your engine light turns on, data flows to the computer.
You need a code reader to determine what the sensors are informing you of. In brief, the check engine light indicates that a sensor in your engine, exhaust, or transmission has an issue. Then again, it could be a bad sensor or a wiring issue.
You won’t know the area to work on until you read the code or codes.
OBD-I vs. OBD-II
Cars produced with computerized controls before 1996 use OBD-I. Since few cars shared a common language, these cars require concrete diagnostic equipment—cars produced after 1996 use OBD-II, a standardized system.
For instance, let’s say your car data gives you a P029F code. This is a generic code that all makes and models use. The reading means the fuel trim in cylinder 2 reached its minimum control limit.
The P029F is the same code for a Fiat, Ford, or many other cars. The P1118 code for a Fiat refers to the diesel pressure control. But for a Ford, it refers to a manifold absolute temperature circuit with low input.
Breakdown the Code
The first digit is one of the following:
- P (powertrain)
- B (body)
- C (chassis)
- N (network)
The second digit tells you if the OBD-II code is manufacturer exclusive (1) or generic (0).
The third digit pinpoints the system as follows:
- 1 (fuel and air metering)
- 2 (fuel and air injector circuit)
- 3 (ignition)
- 4 (auxiliary emission control)
- 5 (vehicle speed and idle control systems)
- 7, 8, or 9 (transmission)
- A, B or C (hybrid propulsion).
The fourth digit represents a specific description of the problem. These are numbered sequentially starting at “00”.
There are thousands of OBD-II codes. This makes owning the right specialty diagnostic tool valuable.
Plugging in the Diagnostic Tool
OBD-I systems did not follow any location protocols. The connector was placed wherever someone felt it would be convenient based on the car’s make and model. Some were placed under the dashboard, near a fuse block, or in the engine compartment.
The OBD-I connectors were also a variety of sizes and shapes.
The OBD-II connectors were located under the dashboard to the left of the steering column. While the connector in some cars was further back than others, the general area was more consistent than the OBD-I. However, there are a few located behind a panel or covered with a plug.
The connector was configured with two rows of eight pins. The actual shape of the connector was diagramed in the owner’s manual.
Using a Code Reader
With the car off, the connector is carefully fitted into its slot. This is a snug fit that should not be forced, as the pins might break. Once secure, the ignition key is turned on to power the code reader.
A simple device will receive the high-level codes. A professional diagnostic system will take the process to the next level. The system might require more information like the VIN, type of engine, or other detail-producing information.
A full diagnostic system will read the codes and give you the option to read the other data. Some systems will even provide you troubleshooting procedures.
For instance, a simple code reader gives you a P0401. You look it up and learn that there is a fault in one of the oxygen sensor heater circuits. A full diagnostic system clarifies that the malfunction is in bank one sensor two.
At this point, you determine that the problem is either a malfunctioning heater element or a wiring issue. So, you check the heater element’s resistance, and if it is not within specs, then replacing the oxygen sensor should fix the issue.
If it is within specs, you check the wiring. If you didn’t find a problem with the wiring, you would continue in your standard troubleshooting manner.
Simplify with the Best
The bottom line is that buying specialty Fiat tools gives you an edge over quality issues and reduces your efforts. The key is knowing how to find Fiat tools. One of the best sources has been around since 1959.
Contact us at Baum Tools Unlimited, Inc. to learn more about the Fiat mechanic tools we stock. Our goal is to simplify your workload with the right tools that get the job done. Also, check out our blog to learn more about working on Fiats.