Buick Encore Owners & Service Manuals

Buick Encore: Diagnostic Information and Procedures

STRATEGY BASED DIAGNOSIS

The goal of Strategy Based Diagnosis is to provide guidance when you create a plan of action for each specific diagnostic situation. Following a similar plan for each diagnostic situation, you will achieve maximum efficiency when you diagnose and repair vehicles. Although each of the Strategy Based Diagnosis boxes is numbered, you are not required to complete every box in order to successfully diagnose a customer concern.

The first step of your diagnostic process should always be Understand and Verify the Customer's Concern. The final step of your diagnostic process should be Repair and verify the Fix. Refer to the following chart for the correct Strategy Based Diagnosis.

Fig. 1: Strategy Based Diagnosis Flow Chart
Fig. 1: Strategy Based Diagnosis Flow Chart

  1. Understand and Verify the Customer's Concern: The first part of this step is to obtain as much information as possible from the customer. Are there aftermarket accessories on the vehicle? When does the condition occur? Where does the condition occur? How long does the condition last? How often does the condition occur? In order to verify the concern, the technician should be familiar with the normal operation of the system and refer to the owner or service manual for any information needed.
  2. Vehicle Operating as Designed: This condition exists when the vehicle is found to operate normally. The condition described by the customer may be normal. Compare with another like vehicle that is operating normally under the same conditions described by the customer. Explain your findings and the operation of the system to the customer. If the customer is dissatisfied submit a Field Product Report.
  3. Preliminary Checks: Conduct a thorough visual inspection. Review the service history. Detect unusual sounds or odors. Gather diagnostic trouble code (DTC) information in order to achieve an effective repair.
  4. Perform Published Diagnostic System Check- Vehicle: The Diagnostic System Check - Vehicle verifies the proper operation of the system. This will lead the technician in an organized approach to diagnostics and identify what category of diagnostic to perform.
  5. Check for related Bulletins, Recalls and Preliminary Information (PI).
  6. Diagnostic categories:

 

  1. Current DTC: Follow the designated DTC diagnostic in order to make an effective repair. Refer to Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) List - Vehicle.
  2. Symptom - No DTC: Select the appropriate symptom diagnostic. Follow the diagnostic steps or suggestions in order to complete the repair. Refer to Symptoms - Vehicle.
  3. No Published Diagnostics: Analyze the Concern. Develop a plan for the diagnostics. The service manual schematics will help you to see system power, ground, input, and output circuits. You can also identify splices and other areas where multiple circuits are tied together. Look at component locations to see if components, connectors or harnesses may be exposed to extreme temperature, moisture, or corrosives (road salt, battery acid, oil or other fluids). Utilize the wiring diagrams, system description and operation, and system circuit description.
  4. Intermittent/History DTC: An intermittent condition is one that does not occur continuously, may be difficult to duplicate, and will only occur when certain conditions are met. Generally, an intermittent is caused by faulty electrical connections and wiring, malfunctioning components, electromagnetic/radio frequency interference, driving conditions, or aftermarket equipment. The following approaches/tools may prove to be beneficial in locating and repairing an intermittent condition or history DTC.
  • Combining technicians knowledge with the available service information.
  • Evaluate the symptoms and conditions described by the customer on the Customer Concern Verification Sheets .
  • Follow the suggestions on Testing for Intermittent Conditions and Poor Connections .
  • Use the available scan tool, digital multi-meter, or J-42598-B vehicle data recorder with data capturing capabilities.
  1. Isolate the Root Cause then Repair and Verify Fix: After isolating the root cause, make the repairs and validate for the correct operation by performing the Diagnostic Repair Verification. Verifying that the DTC or symptom has been corrected may involve road testing the vehicle.
  2.  Re-examine the Concern: If a technician cannot successfully find or isolate the concern, a re-evaluation is necessary. Re-verify the concern. The concern could be an intermittent or normal condition.

DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURE INSTRUCTIONS

The following is an overview of instructions for all 16 categories which may be included in a diagnostic procedure.

Diagnostic Instructions

A link to the Diagnostic System Check - Vehicle is provided here. This procedure should be performed prior to performing other diagnostic procedures, as this prevents misdiagnosis where there are integrated system dependencies.

A link to the Strategy Based Diagnosis is provided here. This provides an overview on how a technician should diagnose a vehicle.

A link to the Diagnostic Procedure Instructions is provided here. This information is an overview of instructions for all 16 categories which may be included in a diagnostic procedure.

DTC Descriptor

Describes what DTCs are diagnosed in this procedure. The DTC number, with Symptom Description when applicable, and descriptor are written out.

Diagnostic Fault Information

The diagnostic Fault Information table identifies each circuit that makes up an electrical subsystem and the associated circuit faults. DTCs and symptoms are listed in the table for all circuit fault modes. This information can be used to diagnose an electrical fault, or as a quick visual aid showing how the different symptoms and DTCs apply for the subsystem being diagnosed.

Even though all the DTCs and symptoms are shown in this table it does not mean they will all be diagnosed in the same procedure.

An example table from an engine coolant temperature (ECT) procedure:

Diagnostic Fault Information

Typical Scan Tool Data

The Typical Scan Tool Data table identifies a scan tool data parameter and its value in reference to potential circuit faults.

An example table from an ECT procedure:

ECT Sensor Temperature - PCM

ECT Sensor Temperature - PCM

Circuit/System Description

Circuit/System Description identifies how a circuit/system normally functions.

Conditions for Running the DTC

Conditions for Running the DTC, identifies what conditions must be present to allow the diagnostic to run.

Conditions for Setting the DTC

Conditions for Setting the DTC, identifies the condition(s) that must be present in order to fail the diagnostic and when to set the DTC.

Action Taken When the DTC Sets

Actions Taken When the DTC sets, identifies the default actions taken when a control module sets a DTC.

Conditions for Clearing the DTC

Conditions for Clearing the DTC, identifies the conditions that must be met in order to clear the DTC.

Diagnostic Aids

Diagnostic Aids are suggestions which explain other methods to diagnose the condition. It also provides unique information about the system used to assist the technician in finding and repairing a vehicle condition.

Reference Information

Reference Information includes links providing additional information for the diagnostic procedure.

For example:

  • Schematic Reference
  • Connector End View Reference
  • Description and Operation
  • Electrical Information Reference
  • DTC Type Reference
  • Scan Tool Reference
  • Special Tools Required

Circuit/System Verification

The diagnostic format does not force a technician to any of the 3 diagnostic categories (Circuit/System Verification, Circuit/System Testing and Component Testing). However, performing the Circuit/System Verification category first, aids in determining if a vehicle condition is current. Some diagnostic categories may state that another category must be performed first when there are testing dependencies.

This category also serves to route the technician to other diagnostic procedures which should be performed first; for example, a DTC with a higher priority.

NOTE: Any diagnostic step that asks if a DTC is set is referring to a Set, Current, Present, Active DTC status. This does not include any other DTC status. For example History, Not Run, Passed and Failed.

Circuit/System Verification is a non-intrusive procedure outlining how to verify that a system or a portion of a system is functioning correctly. During the verification process, the vehicle is kept intact and tested as a complete system. This verification is used to assist the technician in determining whether a condition is current or intermittent. When a condition is determined to be intermittent, a technician can use the link in Electrical Information Reference: Testing for Intermittent Conditions and Poor Connections for additional testing information.

The technician should be able to identify if the fault is occurring on the input circuit - signal or on the output circuit - control when applicable. The technician will need to decide from the verification results if the system is working correctly or if further diagnosis needs to be performed in either Circuit/System Testing and/or Component Testing.

To assist the technician in identifying a common part a component code is used. These codes are not translated so they will always be the same even though the part name may have slight variance. The component codes will always be the same once assigned to a unique part name and will be found on the schematics and in the diagnostic procedure categories Circuit/System Verification, Circuit/System Testing, and Component Testing categories.

Component Codes

The component codes used on the schematics will have the base code with an extension to identify location or quantity. For example the ABS wheel speed sensors are identified on the schematic with a base code (B5) and a location extension (LF, RF, LR, and RR) as seen below:

  • B5LF Wheel Speed Sensor (WSS)-Left Front
  • B5RF Wheel Speed Sensor (WSS)-Right Front
  • B5LR Wheel Speed Sensor (WSS)-Left Rear
  • B5RR Wheel Speed Sensor (WSS)-Right Rear

B5 is the base code for the wheel speed sensor and the LF, RF, LR, and RR indicate the on vehicle location.

The diagnostic procedures will use the base code (B5) for a wheel speed sensor but may or may not use the extension identifying location (LF, RF, LR, and RR). Example: Ignition OFF, disconnect the harness connector at the appropriate B5 wheel speed sensor. This is done so the diagnostic procedure can be common for all four wheel speed sensors and not have to take into account part location or quantity.

Where the diagnostic states "the appropriate" it is up to the technician to identify which component is being diagnosed by the symptom stated on the RO (drivers door lock is inoperative) or by the DTC descriptor (DTC C0585 04: Left Rear Actuator Circuit Open).

Circuit/System Testing

The diagnostic format does not force a technician to any of the 3 diagnostic categories (Circuit/System Verification, Circuit/System Testing and Component Testing). However, beginning with the Circuit/System Verification category aids in determining if a vehicle condition is current. Some diagnostic categories may state that another category must be performed first when there are testing dependencies.

Circuit/System Testing is a step by step, positive-flow, testing sequence which allows the technician to perform each test step, in sequence, until a fault is detected. If the result of a numbered test step is achieved, the normal flow is to proceed to the next numbered test step (indicated by the down pass arrow). If the result of a numbered test step is NOT achieved, the right repair arrow bullet below the failed test will identify what actions need to take place.

Intrusive diagnostics are performed to locate the system fault. System harness connections are disconnected from the module or component to test individual circuit functions. The module or component will be used to assist in verifying the circuit function. When a test does not pass, the repair steps (right arrow) will indicate what circuit faults to test for example, short to voltage, short to ground or open/high resistance.

When testing for individual circuit faults, the technician is expected to include terminal inspections such as connection surfaces and terminal tension at both the harness and component/module. Additionally, a technician can use the links in Electrical Information Reference: Testing for Intermittent Conditions and Poor Connections , or Circuit Testing for additional information.

The control modules and components will also be diagnosed during these test steps. A retest of a control module or component should always be performed before replacement. For example, re-connect all components and modules and retest the system to verify the condition still exists before replacing modules or components.

Component Testing

The diagnostic format does not force a technician to any of the 3 diagnostic categories (Circuit/System Verification, Circuit/System Testing and Component Testing). However, beginning with the Circuit/System Verification category aids in determining if a vehicle condition is current. Some diagnostic categories may state that another category must be performed first when there are testing dependencies.

Component Testing can offer static and/or dynamic component tests. These tests can be used to verify if a component is operating correctly to avoid unnecessary replacement.

Testing modules in this category will not be offered. In most cases, the module is used to verify the harness circuits in the Circuit/System Testing category and a retest of the module should always be performed before replacement.

Repair Instructions

Repair Instructions provides a link to Diagnostic Repair Verification. This link describes how to verify the vehicle is repaired.

All links to Repair or Replacement procedures are located here.

Repair Verification

Repair Verification describes how to verify the vehicle is repaired when additional instructions are needed beyond what is in Diagnostic Repair Verification.

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