Technical newsletter

EureTechFlash aims to demystify new technologies and make them transparent, to stimulate You as a professional repairer to keep pace with technology.


The improvement in the equipment and spectacular technological evolution of automobiles that has taken place in recent years has resulted in a considerable increase in the diagnostic tasks in repair shops.
These days, the diagnosis of a large percentage of malfunctions inevitably involves the use of self-diagnostic tools that communicate with the vehicle’s different electronic control units to consult the malfunction memories, the data generated by the sensors, the calculated parameters, and the output signals supplied to the different actuators. The handling of these tools is crucial in many cases to distinguish between mechanical and electrical malfunctions, and is essential to adjust certain components after replacement, either due to changes in the design of the components, resetting of adjustment values due to ageing, or simply to set the initial parameters to conform to manufacturing tolerances.

The evolution of international emissions standards for automobiles has resulted in different technical solutions in the area of the standardization of communication protocols between vehicles and diagnostic machines (EOBD diagnostics). They also set out the obligations required of manufacturers to facilitate comprehensive maintenance and repair of their vehicles, with complete freedom of choice of service for the end client, in conformity with legislation to protect against monopolies and promote free competition.

Pass-Thru diagnosis is the result of the latter. This system was initially conceived to allow manufacturers to facilitate verification and monitoring work on anti-pollution systems installed on their models, and to provide third parties with the information and means necessary to maintain and repair those systems.
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Connectivity Systems

Connectivity is the capability of a device to exchange data autonomously with a personal computer or another electronic device. In the car sector, it is a reality that is revolutionising and evolving in such a way that it not only provides a service to the user, but it is providing the vehicle with a certain capability to function autonomously. The importance of these systems is such that the sales strategy of new models will be focused on these features.
It will grow from 10% of those models placed on the market in 2014
to a forecast of 75% in 2020.
Manufacturers now incorporate a WiFi connection in vehicles that provides a connection service through the vehicle to all those people who need it, whether for work reasons or simply to access the Internet for leisure. This connection provides other advantages such as the potential for remote fault diagnostics, roadside assistance with information in real-time on traffic and road conditions, availability of free parking spaces, location of the vehicle in case of theft, and even the price of fuel in the nearest petrol stations. The system also allows the maintenance state of the vehicle to be monitored and to alert the driver in advance of the need for servicing.
Connectivity as safety equipment is currently one of the aspects most studied by manufacturers. The use of personal devices through systems integrated into the vehicle reduces the risk of accident due to visual or physical distraction of the driver. The connection of the vehicle to telephone devices also allows emergency calls to be made in the event of an accident with the possibility of geolocation.
Current infotainment systems are able to replicate the smartphone or tablet interface on the vehicle device with the aid of specifi c apps. This allows it to be operated on the vehicle display, and to transmit or play external multimedia content through a Bluetooth connection or auxiliary inputs and cable.
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Engine Downsizing Technology

Downsizing refers to the concept of miniaturisation and optimisation of the performance of an engine to give it similar or superior characteristics to that of engines of a larger cubic capacity. Moreover, this technique re-duces the pollutant emission levels to the atmosphere and fuel consump-tion is improved.
Over recent years, practically all manufacturers have started to use down-sizing technology. Through engineering, the thermal effi ciency of internal combustion engines has been improved to such an extent that they can be designed with a much smaller size while maintaining, or even exceeding, the performance of much larger engines.
By combining a reduction in the number of cylinders and/or the cylinder capacity, with the addition of various systems such as direct fuel injection, forced induction, variable valve timing, variable valve lift, variable intake, intelligent heat management, etc., brands are capable of building high-power engines, the majority of which are no larger than 1600 cm³ and have less than four cylinders.
Even though downsizing is focused on petrol engines, it has also been applied to diesels, with the emergence of what are called modular archi-tectures; smaller petrol and diesel engines with similar characteristics are built on the same base and share a large number of elements, thus reduc-ing the cost and reliability problems the manufacturers have experienced.
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Hybrid Technology

The purpose of combining an internal combustion engine with an electric motor is to achieve increased effi ciency, since the electrical system can accumulate the energy generated by braking in the form of electricity and store it in a battery.
While in vehicles with combustion engines, this energy is lost in the form of heat generated by the friction between the brake pads and discs, in addition to the heat generated by the friction in the moving parts of the combustion engine when it holds back the vehicle during deceleration.
The electrical energy generated by braking and accumulated in the bat-tery will be used to provide traction force during acceleration.
This operating strategy results in clear energy savings, especially when driving conditions require multiple deceleration and acceleration (driving in heavy traffi c, between traffi c lights, roundabouts, etc.). However, it is no longer benefi cial at constant speeds in scenarios driving on fl at roads with no changes of elevation.
On the other hand, the increase in fuel prices, pollution levels, and new protocols for episodes of high contamination in large cities, which ban vehicles that pollute the most from driving in the centre of the city, have prompted many drivers to lean towards the purchase of vehicles that are more environmentally sustainable.
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Electrical Vehicle

There have been a number of technological advances in the automotive sector over the years, but there is no doubt that the introduction of the electric vehicle was one of the most signifi cant.
The fi rst generations of electric vehicles date back to 1839, with Robert Anderson the manufacturer. Electrical energy was stored in non-recharge-able batteries. With the invention of rechargeable batteries in 1880, electri-cal vehicles began to be mass produced before combustion vehicles.
In 1899 the speed record was broken by an electric vehicle called “La Ja-mais Contente” (English: “The Never Satisfi ed”), which reached the speed of 105 km/h thanks to the NiFe batteries of Thomas Edison. At the peak, 90 % of sales were electric cars.
Nevertheless, production of these vehicles stopped as they had relatively low ranges and performance. On the other hand, combustion vehicles were evolving more rapidly, mainly as a consequence of aircraft engine development.
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