Source: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems announcement

ELYRIA, Ohio – This installment of the Bendix Tech Tips series provides guidance on troubleshooting and diagnosing advanced safety technologies, from the foundational elements of antilock braking to the components that enable collision mitigation and more.

Start Simple

“Sometimes the first response to an indicated electronics problem within collision mitigation systems may be to start removing and replacing components,” said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions – Controls. “But there are plenty of times when a component isn’t the issue, so we recommend starting by running a diagnostic software tool that shows a system view of what’s on the vehicle that includes key vehicle components as well.”

This assessment can give the technician a quick overview of what’s going on, especially when more than one component shows similar active DTCs, such as J1939 communication errors.

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The technician can also look for frayed wires, corroded connectors, or blown fuses. Additionally, equipment like cameras and radars should be checked to make sure they’re unobstructed by things like road debris, snow, and ice.

In addition, some DTCs are “self-clearing,” Thomas said. “This means that simply by fixing the situation – removing the obstructing debris, for instance – the indicator lights and associated fault codes will be deactivated.” Service data sheets should call out these types of DTCs so the technician can be aware of what kinds of conditions generate them.

If this initial approach for diagnosing comes up empty and it looks like the problem is something a bit deeper, then having the right tools and the know-how to use them is the key to getting trucks back on the road and in good working order as quickly as possible.

It’s All Connected

More than ever, the various systems across a commercial vehicle are intertwined, with multiple electronic control units (ECUs) sharing necessary information over the J1939 network. For example, automated transmissions depend upon information from the engine to operate properly and at their highest efficiency.

“Seemingly everything on these trucks is talking to everything else,” said Brian Screeton, Bendix supervisor – Technical Service Training. “So, the best tip we can give for diagnosing faults in higher-level safety systems like adaptive cruise control is to make sure you’re looking at the entire truck first.”

“If a driver reports an adaptive cruise fault, then a technician might connect their diagnosing tool just to the radar, and there may not be an active fault there, but they wind up going down a rabbit hole and spending time trying to troubleshoot inactive faults, when really it turns out there’s an engine problem driving the whole thing. Faults in one system can be driven by a completely separate system component.”

The remainder of the announcement/tip can be found by clicking HERE.