The Different Types of Ignition Systems

Gasoline-fueled piston engines require an ignition source to set off the explosion that converts the chemical potential energy of the air-fuel mixture into thermal energy which the engine can convert into mechanical energy. Each type of ignition source has advantages and disadvantages (which we’ll get to soon), but all have the same basic objective, which is to efficiently set off a quick explosion that burns all the fuel in the cylinder. There are four ignition systems commonly used in 4-stroke, 2-stroke, and rotary engines, along with an oddball only used in small 2-strokes.

Engine Compression Diagnostics Article Roundup

How to Do An Engine Compression Test by Staff Writer A brief comparison of dry compression, wet compression, and leak-down tests. Read Article at Autozone Dynamic Duo by Mark Warren How to use a current clamp and oscilloscope combination to check cranking compression and the starter motor. Read Article at Motor Magazine Lab Scopes and …

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Fuel Injection Diagnostics Article Roundup

  Fuel Injector Circuit Waveforms by Andrew Markel This article explains the basics of a solenoid injector’s voltage and current waveforms. Read Article at Tomorrows Technician Testing Piezoelectric Injectors by Joe Clark A look at some methods of testing piezoelectric injectors, both on-engine and off-engine. Read Article at Diagnosing and Servicing Gasoline Direct Injection …

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Spark Ignition Diagnostics Article Roundup

Secondary Ignition: The Art Of Spark by Scott Weaver This article describes the components of a conventional distributor ignition system, and how they produce a spark. Scott also shows what a (secondary coil) ignition waveform looks like, and describes its different parts. Read Article at Tomorrow’s Technician Maintaining Engine Spark by Mac Vandenbrink An explanation …

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Types of Corrosion Found on Cars, Trucks, and Boats

Corrosion is an unfortunate and inevitable effect that attacks most metals. There are a few common causes of corrosion, and you’ve probably encountered all of them, even though you might not have recognized or identified them at the time. Understanding what’s going it can help you detect and prevent it in the future. This post goes through the most common causes of corrosion, the factors which speed it up, how you can slow it down, and what you should do about preventing it.

Testing Oxygen Sensors

There are a few different tests for oxygen sensors (also known as lambda sensors), some of which can be run without dedicated tools. The most effective tests tend to be done under normal operating conditions, on a sensor installed on an engine system, though there are some tests which can be done off-vehicle.

How to Test Glow Plugs

Glow plugs are installed on many diesel engines to help with cold starts. They usually fail because of corrosion, overheating, mechanical damage, or metal fatigue, and their failure can cause a variety of problems. The easiest way to test a glow plug is by using a clamp-meter, though digital multimeters can also do the job, and glow-plug testers also work.