The Trainer #32: How To Read An Automotive Block Wiring Diagram

The Trainer #32: How To Read An Automotive Block Wiring Diagram

As we've shared with you over the years, there are three areas you need (at a minimum) to be assured of success when tackling an electrical diagnosis. The first is a solid understanding of electrical fundamentals. You need to be comfortable in your knowledge of what voltage, resistance and current are and the relationship between them. We covered those as the main topic of a Trainer video we posted back in May of this year.

Second "must have" is competence in a variety of electrical testing techniques, starting with the understanding of what your digital multimeter (DMM) can and can't do. You should know how to perform a static resistance test, static voltage test, dynamic current tests, and absolutely be confident in your ability to perform and understand a voltage drop test. We've covered these topics and more in videos and archived webinars that you'll find in the AutoPro Workshop and on our YouTube channel.

Third on the list is the ability to read and understand a wiring schematic and/or wiring diagram. These are more than just the electrical road map that tells you what components are a part of the circuit you are troubleshooting. They are also instrumental in helping you understand how the circuit works and vital to organizing your diagnostic strategy.

In the September 2013 edition of the Trainer, we'll focus on the third. We'll show you how to identify the circuit elements (source, load, control(s), circuit protection and path) and, based on that information, how to decide on what type of tests you'll need to perform. Then we'll walk you through a simple circuit diagnosis and show you how to put all this "theory" to use!

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