FAQ

General Inquiries

General Technologies is open Monday to Friday, 9AM – 5:30PM PST, except for provincial and national statutory holidays in British Columbia, Canada.

Tel: (604) 952-6699
Fax: (604) 952-6690
Toll Free (in Canada and the USA): 1-800-440-5582
Sales and marketing: sales@gtc.ca
Technical Support: techsupport@gtc.ca
General Information: info@gtc.ca
 
Address:
#121 – 7350 72nd Street
Delta, British Columbia
Canada  V4G 1H9
 
Hours of Operation
9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Pacific Time
Closed on provincial and national statutory holidays in British Columbia, Canada.

You can purchase our products either through one of our distributors, or directly from us. To locate the distributor nearest you, please refer to our Distributors page, which provides the information needed to contact/locate them.

If you are unable to find a distributor near you, or if your distributor doesn’t carry what you are looking for, you may contact us by phone (toll free 800-440-5582 in Canada and USA, or 604-952-6699) or email (order@gtc.ca) and we will provide you with a quote.

We recommend purchasing our products through a distributor nearest to your location, so you can get our service and support through them. However, if you prefer, we can ship it directly to you.

If any of our products develops a technical problem or failure within 12 month from the date of your purchase, it is covered under our warranty, and we will repair or replace it at no charge. Please refer to our Warranty page for complete information on our warranty policy.

 If any of our products develops a technical problem or failure within 12 month from the date of your purchase, it is covered under our warranty, and we will repair or replace it at no charge.

Download our full warranty Policy in PDF format: GTC Warranty Policy.pdf

 

    1. Review the GTC Warranty Policy to ensure your tool meets the criteria for a warranty repair/replacement.

    2. Enclose the following information with the tool:
          -the proof of purchase
          -the contact name
          -the contact phone number
          -the return address
          -a detailed description of the problem

    3. Ship the tool with prepaid shipping to:
          General Technologies Corp.
          Attn. Repairs Department
          #121 – 7350 72nd Street
          Delta, British Columbia
          Canada V4G 1H9

    4. NOTE – If shipping from the USA:
          We recommend shipping by prepaid USPS postal parcel. It is more economical and faster than UPS or FedEx because the simpler customs clearance procedures. Please declare it as: “Canadian product returned under warranty” and with a declared value for customs of $ 10.00 or less.

If the warranty period has expired or if the product has been damaged, you may send it back to us for repair, or we can replace it at a discounted price (which may be more economical than paying for the repair cost plus shipping).

Visit our Warranty page for more information on our warranty policy, and our step-by-step procedure on how to claim a warranty.

If one of our products does not meet your expectations, you can do the following in regards to returning the unit for a refund:

1 – If you purchased the unit directly from us, we will fully refund your purchase price upon receiving the unit back, provided it was purchased within the last 12 months and it is in good condition (i.e. not damaged).
2 – If you purchased the unit from one of our distributors, you will have to contact them directly about a refund. As described above, we will refund our distributor upon receiving the unit back, provided it was purchased within the last 12 months from that distributor and it is in good condition (i.e. not damaged).

In all cases, please contact us before sending any product back to us; depending on the situation we may be able to offer faster and less costly alternatives for your warranty claim or general repair needs.Warranty claims and general repair procedure:

1 – Call (1-800-440-5582) or email (techsupport@gtc.ca) technical support before shipping back any product under warranty or for repair.
2 – If shipping from the USA, we strongly recommend shipping the item prepaid USPS postal parcel. It is more economical and faster than UPS or FedEx because of the simpler customs clearance procedures.
3 – If shipping from the USA, write in the envelope or box: “Canadian product returned under warranty” and use a declared value for customs of $20.00 or less.
4 – Write your name and phone number in the envelope, box, or paperwork so we can contact you if we need to.
5 – If the product returned does not qualify for repair or replacement under our warranty policy (e.g. more than 12 months since the date of purchase, damaged by improper use, etc) or the product was returned for a non-warranty repair, we will provide with you with a cost estimate for the repair or replacement of the product, and obtain your approval before proceeding.

All returns for warranty claims or general repair should be sent to:
General Technologies Corp.
#121 – 7350 72nd Street,
Delta, BC V4G 1H9
Canada

If you are unsure about how one of our products works, or if you want to learn more, you can find each products User Manual, Parts & Accessories, Brochure, and other general information on its respective web page listed on our Products page.

If you are experiencing problems with one of our products, you can consult your product’s respective User Manual (all available online on our Products page), which can provide you with more product information and contains a product-specific troubleshooting section. Additionally, we have a compiled list of product questions, listed in the Products section of this FAQ page, which we keep updated with answers for questions we have received from our customers. If you cannot find the solution to your problem in your product’s respective User Manual/User Guide or further below in this FAQ section, please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions or any feedback by emailing us at techsupport@gtc.ca or by telephone at 800-440-5582 (Canada and U.S.A.) or 604-952-6699.

  All of our product User Manuals are available for download on our Products page.

We offer all of our manuals in both English and French, and we are in the process of adding Portuguese and Spanish. If you have further questions about our language availability, do not hesitate to contact us, and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page
Email us: techsupport@gtc.ca
Call: 1-800-440-5582 (toll-free in North America)
or
604-952-6699

Orders and Shipping

  If you would like to learn more about a product, you can find information on it’s specific Product page. If you would like to receive a hard copy of our brochures, simply send us your mailing address at info@gtc.ca or call 800-440-5582 (Canada and U.S.A.) and 1-604-952-6699.

Payment terms are: prepaid by credit card (MasterCard or Visa), PayPal, or bank transfer.

We ship prepaid freight worldwide by UPS, FedEx, DHL, TNT Express and XpressPost or using your own carrier or forwarder.

1 – North America: We offer free ground shipping to any point within the continental U.S.A. and Canada for orders above $500.00. For orders below this amount please contact us for a freight quote, or alternatively we can also ship freight collect using your own carrier or forwarder.
2 – International: We offer free shipping worldwide for orders above $200.00 USD.

 To get a quote for your purchase and shipping, simply contact us with your order details.

You may order from us as many as you need of each part number, without any minimum order requirements.

To locate the distributor nearest you, please refer to our Distributors page, which provides the information needed to contact/locate them. If you are unable to find a distributor near you, or if your distributor doesn’t carry what you are looking for, you may contact us by phone (toll free 800-440-5582 in Canada and USA, or 604-952-6699) or email (order@gtc.ca) and we will provide you with a quote.

LCD: Stands for ‘Liquid Crystal Display’ which refers to a particular type of display technology.
DIS: Can be interpreted as ‘Distributorless Ignition System’ or ‘Direct Ignition System’. In both cases it applies to ignition systems used in four cycle engines only, and in which a pair of spark plug are directly connected to one ignition coil, hence there is no mechanical distributor, and a ‘waste spark’ is generated in the spark plugs during their respective exhaust stroke.
CNP: Stands for “Coil Near Plug”, which refers to ignition systems in which each spark plug has its own ignition coil or module (similar to COP systems), but it is connected to the spark plug by a short high voltage wire (which may or may not be accessible).

Clamp Meters

The CM100 is calibrated before shipping from our factory, but it may need to be re-calibrated from time to time depending on your requirements. If you need to have your CM100 re-calibrated, this procedure can be performed by any properly equipped calibration lab of your preference. Please ask them contact us directly at techsupport@gtc.ca for calibration instructions.

Unfortunately we do not offer a line splitter at this time, but any standard line splitter should work with our CM100.

To measure electrical currents with any accuracy, the clamp has to be completely closed. Clamp meters are calibrated with a closed clamp, otherwise the measurements will vary widely according to the gap, and in some cases it may not be able to measure a current at all.

The CM100 provides an analog output voltage through the positive and negative socket connectors when set to measure current DCA. This output voltage is proportional to the DC + AC components of the current being measured, and has a ratio of 10 mV/A and a 10 KHz bandwidth limit. Note: All measurement errors for the instrument apply to this voltage output as well.

The two most common solutions for when you are not getting current clamp meter readings:

1 – Make sure that there is a current present in the wire or cable being measured,.
2 – When measuring currents, only one conductor should be placed inside the CM100’s jaw. If the current clamp meter jaw is placed on a power extension cable, appliance power cord, etc., the magnetic field from the live wire cancels with the one from the return or ground wire, causing the CM100 to show “0” (please refer to the CM100 User’s Manual)

If you are having problems with your CM100, (e.g. getting stuck in power up self-test mode) you can try the following procedure to reset the CM100:

1 – Open the CM100 and remove both batteries.
2 – Wait 10 to 15 min, and then replace the batteries with new ones.
The above procedure will reset the electronic circuit, and likely solve the issue.

Electronic / Electrical Measurement, Testing and Diagnostics

In order for the CT8002 to detect a voltage (like in any other voltage measuring instrument) it requires a closed circuit (+ to –, or vice versa). In the CT8002 this circuit is established (closed) when a current goes through the tip (+), the internal circuit, the metal barrel of the CT8002, the body of the user, and finally ground. The amount of current flowing through the CT8002 and the user’s body is very small (in the order of a few micro Amperes), and the user’s body acts as a “ground wire” or the negative test lead of a voltage meter. The internal circuit of the CT8002 detects this current, which is used to turn on the buzzer and light indicators.

The FF310 has two modes of operation:
1 – Open circuits: When tracing open circuits the FF310T injects into the circuit (i.e. faulty wire) a current limited, pulsing 5-volt signal, which is the same or less than most vehicles’ normal operating voltage for electronic modules and systems.
2 – Short circuits: When tracing short circuits, the FF310T pulses the power (current) already present in the circuit with a current limiting protection circuit.

The warning in the user’s manual regarding air bags is a precaution to avoid accidental deployment; the pulses used by the FF310 may affect the sensing circuitry and/or sensors of the airbag system.
The FF310 has been on the market for more than 12 years, and with tens of thousands of units in use, we have never received any report or complaint of the FF310 damaging any ECM, automotive module, system, or circuit.
One thing to keep in mind is that the FF310 is designed to be used in circuits up to a maximum of 42 VDC. Consequently, it is internally protected by a surge arrestor which, for safety reasons, will cause an internal fuse to blow if connected to any voltage above the 42 VDC.

There is no easy way to identify an oxygen sensor type by simply looking at it; however, there are a few guidelines you can follow to make the process easier:
1- 95 % of the Oxygen sensors on the market are the Zirconium type.
2- Titanium 1 V sensors (are made to) behave like Zirconium type. The easiest way to identify them is by measuring the signal circuit, because unlike the Zirconium type sensors, in order to work they need to be supplied with power (1 Volt) by the ECM or PCM.
3- Titanium 5 V are rare, and were mainly used in off-road vehicles in the late 80s and early 90’s. The easiest way to identify them is by measuring the signal circuit, because unlike the Zirconium type sensors, in order to work they need to be supplied with power (5 Volt) by the ECM or PCM.
5- Zirconium and Titanium sensors may have 1, 2, 3 or 4 wire connections, while wide band (fuel/Air ratio) sensors have 5 or more connecting wires.The ST05 is designed to work with all types of sensors, and will not get damaged when connected to any type of oxygen sensor (including the heater wires) even if the wrong type of sensor is selected, nor will it damage the sensor it is connected to.

The ST05 can be used for checking wideband or air/fuel ratio sensors. Below is an extract of the ST05 User’s Manual where it describes how to use the ST05 with this type of sensor:4.1.4 Wide Band (Air/Fuel Ratio) dual cell sensors:
These sensors, with the Bosch LSU4 being the most popular one, use two Zirconia cells, one is used as a conventional Zirconium sensor (reference or Nerst cell), and the second is used to ‘pump’ oxygen into the reference cell in order to keep it at or near the stoichiometric output. The PCM measures how much oxygen (current) it needs to pump into the reference cell to keep it at a set output ( approximately 0.45 Volts), and from this calculates the actual mixture in the exhaust. A basic test can be performed on this type of sensor by simply measuring the output signal of the reference (Nerst) cell, and observing that a good sensor should output a signal level which is steady and near stoichiometric (0.45 Volts).

Temperature Measurement

The accuracy of the LTX10 and LTX12 is specified for measurements between 0 to 199.9°C accuracy to be “± 1°C or ± 1.5% + 2°C (whichever is greater)”.
This means that if, for example, the temperature of the object you are measuring is 21°C, a LTX10 or LTX12 displaying any reading within the following values will be performing as specification:
Maximum reading: 21°C + 0.315°C + 2°C = 23.1°C
Minimum reading: 21°C – 0.315°C – 2°C = 18.7°C

However, take into account the following (which applies to all infrared thermometers):
1 – Measurements of temperatures close to ambient (which means that the thermometer, the object being measured, and the surrounding objects, are about the same temperature) are the most difficult to measure accurately, because of the way thermopiles sensors work.
2 – When taking measurements (especially close to ambient temperatures), special care should be taken in that the whole ‘field of view’ of the thermometer is filled with the object under measure.
3 – Rapid changes of the temperature of the thermometer itself will affect the measurement accuracy (e.g. if the thermometer was kept in a cold warehouse, it should be allowed to warm up to room temperature before measurements are made).
4 – The color and texture of the object being measured also impacts the measurement results.

If required, the LTX10 and LTX12 infrared thermometers can be re-calibrated, but to do so requires a specialized pieces of equipment (called a “black body”) which costs about $ 9,000.00+ USD each, a temperature controlled room, other special equipment, and some basic knowledge of thermometry. Therefore, calibration is often better left to be performed by a properly equipped calibration lab.

In normal operating conditions (i.e. when the engine is running about 2000 RPM, and after a few minutes of warm up) the temperature at the inlet of the catalytic converter (but not the catalytic converter itself) should be around 250 to 300 F. The temperature at the outlet, if the catalytic converter is working properly, should be no more than 100 to 150 F higher than the inlet (i.e. 350 to 450 F). Higher outlet temperatures may indicate an engine problem (e.g. mixture too rich) and a lower temperature may indicate a blocked catalytic converter.
At 600 F a catalytic converter will start to glow red, and probably become damaged beyond repair if it reaches higher temperatures. Therefore, the models LTX10 and LTX12 infrared thermometers are capable of measuring temperatures within the normal working range of an automotive catalytic, and well above any reasonable temperature necessary to diagnose them.

Engine Testing and Diagnostics

The TA100 SmarTach+ does not contains any serviceable parts (except for the battery) nor does it require calibration, as the measurements are based on a crystal oscillator that maintains long term stability within its specifications.

The TA100 has a special automatic protection mode, which temporarily shuts down the display (and other internal circuits) in order to avoid damage to its electronics. This protection mode is activated when the TA100 senses an overvoltage (usually applied to the capacitive sensor or flexible probe).

This protection mode is not activated under normal circumstances, but it will activate if the capacitive sensor or flexible probe receives direct discharges (arching) from the ignition system. This may happen if, for example, there are small cracks or damage to the insulation of the spark plug wire, spark plug boot, etc., which cause small sparks (sometimes invisible to the naked eye, except in complete darkness) to jump directly from the center conductor of the spark plug wire to the capacitive sensor or flexible probe. You may test if this is the case by applying two or more layers of electrical insulating tape to the interior of the ‘U’ opening of the capacitive sensor to make up for the loss of insulation of the spark plug wire or replacing the damaged spark plug wire for a new one.

In some 4 cycle engines, the TA100 may read double the actual engine’s RPM, because they use an ignition system which produces a spark during the exhaust cycle, usually called a waste spark. Because of this, the TA100 detects one spark per revolution (as in a 2 cycle engine), instead of the one spark every two revolutions, as in a four cycles engine equipped with a conventional ignition system.

There are two ways to set the TA100 to read the correct RPM:
1 – Set the number of cycles to two; because although you are measuring RPM on a 4 cycle engine, the ignition system behaves as in a 2 cycle engine).
2 – Set the number of cycles to “DIS”; because this is a setting of the TA100 specially designed to deal with ignition systems that have waste spark as described above.

The TA100 is designed to be used with conventional ignition systems (i.e. high voltage spark plug wires), but it may be able to measure RPM, and also provide the user with some kind of spark plug peak voltage reading in some types of Coil on Plug modules. To try this, simply position the capacitive pickup (located at the end of the flexible probe) on top or side of the Coil on Plug module.
For Coil on Plug ignition systems, we have the Model TA500, which measures RPM, spark burn time, and spark plug peak voltage, when used on Coil on Plug ignition systems and other ignition systems.
For more information please visit our TA500 Smartach+COP page.

TA100:
Measures: RPM and spark plug peak voltage
Compatible with: All ignition systems using high voltage spark plug wires (conventional distributor/ignition coil, distributorless or direct ignition, magneto, etc.)
Mostly for use in older cars, motorcycles, marine, and small engines.
TA500:
Measures: RPM, spark plug burn time, and spark plug peak voltage.
Compatible with: All ignition systems using high voltage spark plug wires (conventional distributor/ignition coil, distributorless or direct ignition, magneto, etc.), but specially designed for COP (Coil on Plug) and CnP (Coil near Plug)
For use in all kind of gasoline and CNG engines

 Click here to download the Certificate of Calibration for the TA110. The serial number goes by <yy><mm><dd>; for example, if your serial number is “140102”, it means that the instrument you have has a manufacturing date of January 2nd of 2013, and it is certified to comply with its published specifications until January 2017.

If you are having trouble getting accurate measurements with your TA110, we suggest the following:
1 – Use the reflective tape supplied with the unit; this tape is highly reflective and improves the contrast, allowing the TA110 to measure more accurately.
2 – Although being closer to the target (the rotating part) may seem better, sometimes it is necessary to increase the distance between the TA110 and the device under test. This is because moving the TA110 away reduces background reflections.
3 – Make sure the 9 volt battery is in good condition (it should have 7 V or above), and that the laser pointer is solid and bright.
4 – Try aligning the TA110 with the rotating part, so that the laser beam and the target are as close as possible to a 90 degree angle. In other words, the laser beam should be perpendicular or normal to the rotating part, and the spot should be at the center of the part, otherwise the reflected beam will bounce in a direction other than that of the TA110, resulting in an erroneous reading, or no reading at all.

The TA300 is a dedicated Diesel engine tachometer, which will only work on diesel engines equipped with individual fuel injection lines (i.e. not common rail), as it uses a piezoelectric pickup that clamps onto an individual fuel line, and measures RPM by sensing the high pressure pulses on it.
Contrarily, the TA303 is capable of measuring RPM on any diesel engine, regardless of the type of injection system it uses. The TA500 detects the ripples generated by the engine’s alternator and uses them to measure RPM. Also, because it is independent from the ignition system, it is capable of measuring engine RPM, not only on diesel engines, but on all types of gasoline engines – as long they are equipped with an alternator.

The TA303 works by measuring engine alternator ‘ripple’ frequency; as such, it only works on engines with (active) alternators.
How the TA303 works: During the calibration procedure, it measures the changes in engine speed caused by each cylinder’s compression and expansion strokes at the alternator output, while also measuring the alternator’s ripple frequency. After determining the engine speed and ripple frequency, the TA303 keeps counting the ripples frequency, and use it to calculate the engine speed (RPM).

Unfortunately the piezoelectric clamp sensor used for the TD101 and TA300, if damaged, cannot be repaired and must be replaced; this is due to their construction.
The replacement P/N for the standard piezoelectric sensor, which ships with the TD101 and the TA300, is: TD101DSU6.
There are other sizes available, and you can look at them at the TA300 parts page

The wrong setting on the number of cycles will only affect the RPM readings, not the burn time nor the spark plug peak voltage measurement.

The calibration needs to be performed only once per engine, on any spark plug module. This calibration is only used when measuring COP ignition systems, for calibrating the spark plug voltage readings, and does not affect RPM or spark burn time measurements (which is more meaningful than spark plug peak voltage). If the calibration button is accidentally pressed, it is only necessary to redo the calibration procedure if the user wants to compare spark plug peak voltage measurements between COP ignition modules.
TA500: Diagnostic & Troubleshooting Guide
The TA500 User’s manual has information on how to use the spark burn time, and peak voltage for diagnostics purposes. You may download a copy of the manual from the TA500 product page.

There is only one possible cause for the display to go momentarily blank while performing measurements, which is when the TA500 probe receives a high voltage discharge from the ignition system (i.e. a spark jumps directly from the spark plug wire or ignition module to the TA500’s probe). This may be caused by a damaged spark plug wire, spark plug boot or ignition module insulation (e.g. cracks), or exposed parts of the conductor or connector. Sometimes in bright light, small sparks are very difficult to see, and the TA500 will automatically go into a self-protection mode when this happens.

The display will show “—-” while the TA500 is automatically adjusting to the present signal strength, if the signal is not stable; for example, changing the position of the TA500’s probe too quickly, widely changing spark plug voltages, or if it cannot detect any signal from the ignition system.

Normal ranges for spark plug burn time varies from 1 to 3 ms, and spark plug peak voltage time varies from 8 to 15 kV.

Waste spark and distributor-less ignition systems are measured the same way as ‘normal’ distributor ignition systems, except that you must:
a) Set number of cycles to “DIS” in order to get the correct number of RPM
b) Expect that the positive spark plug will have spark plug peak voltages somewhat lower than the negative one in the pair of spark plug wires connected to the same coil. Negative sparks are the ‘conventional’ mode used in distributor and COP ignition systems.

We recommend that you use ‘burn time’ measurements to diagnose ignition problems. Comparing the burn times of different cylinders is the most effective way to find ignition problems, because different burn times usually indicate different types of sparks.
Burn time is also a more useful measurement than peak voltage, as peak voltage is a less accurate measurement, and is often misleading (because ‘normal’ or ‘high’ voltages can occur with defective ignition systems).

If you are having difficulty getting measurements with the TD101, you can consult our troubleshooting guide located in the TD101 user’s manual. Essentially, the problem may be caused by weak fuel injection pulses in the fuel injection line, in which case there are three possible solutions:
1 – Use the TD101 with a special type of piezoelectric sensor, which instead of having a square opening for fitting to the fuel injection pipe, has a round one that fits more tightly and generates a better signal for the TD101. The downside of this solution is that these types of sensors are each made to fit a specific pipe diameter (see P/N: TD101DS5, TD101DS6, TD101DS7 and TD101DS0 or click here).
2 – Upgrade to the TA300, which has an adjustable threshold and sensitivity level, allowing it to compensate for the differences of pressure in the fuel injection line. However, unlike the TD101, it does not measures RPM or spark plug voltage on gasoline engines.
3 – Upgrade to the TA303 which, instead of using fuel injector lines, pulses to measure RPM. It takes advantage of the ripples generated by the engine’s alternator to measure RPM, and it works with all type of engines regardless of the ignition system (diesel and gasoline). If your primary use is to measure RPM, then the TA303 may be the best solution, as it was made to replace the TA300 and TD101, and avoids all problems associated with fuel injection lines. The downside is that the TA303 (like the TA300) does not measure spark plug voltage in gasoline engines, and only works on engines equipped with an alternator.
For more information visit the TA303 product page.

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