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4.6 out of 5 stars
How to Diagnose and Repair Automotive Electrical Systems (Motorbooks Workshop)
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2011
This automotive electrical diagnostic and repair book is the best on the market. How electric works is explained in a clear and easy to understand manner that even the most clueless person will be able to comprehend. Better still the entire 'voltage drop' testing procedure with a multimeter is fully explained with the aid of diagrams giving precise information on where to put the probes and what to expect from the meters readings. If you are unsure on how to use a multimeter, this book will help you beyond any doubt. There are nine chapters in total - 1) Ohms Law 2) Voltage Drop Testing 3) Electronic Testing Tools 4) Storage Battery 5) Charging and Starting Systems 6) Ignition Systems 7) Fuel Injection Systems 8) Wiring Diagrams 9) Troubleshooting Electrical Systems. Each chapter goes into detail and offers easy to follow advice. All types of ignition systems are covered from the old style points and condensor system to the distributorless systems fitted in modern cars. In reality the book seems to lean more towards modern cars than the older car, but don't let that put you off. The author gives a lot of advice on how to minimize damage occuring during testing, like for example, electronic ignition systems and ECU computers. If reading a wiring diagram leaves you cold, this book will help no end in clearing up confusion that often descends whilst trying to understand a wiring diagram. Simply put, you really can't go wrong with this book! This book will not tell you how to solder or cover thing like overdrive units, but it will aid you greatly in being able to diagnose and repair ant electrical problem and offer invaluable advise on how to test systems with a multimeter. The power probe 3 or similar devices are not covered in chapter 3 or indeed anywhere within this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2013
This is another excellent volume by Tracy Martin. It should really be studied before reading 'How to use Automotive Diagnostic Scanners'. I have been repairing electrical faults in the course of my hobby as what Mr Martin would describe as a 'shade tree mechanic' for many years. Whilst I have always got there in the end, the time I would have saved if I had bought this volume years ago, would be considerable. The book begins with basic theory, followed by voltage drop testing. A chapter on recommended tools includes information of how to make some really clever test items yourself. Chapters follow with a more detailed information on testing systems including the battery, starting and charging, ignition and fuel injection. The last chapter includes some test questions and answers. This will always be a useful reference book, unless perhaps you are an auto-electrician by occupation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2013
Tracy Martin has written a book which explains the physics involved in automotive electrical systems, but at a level a non-academic like me could follow and understand. I used the book with a number of pieces of testing equipment and soon found that I could carry out the tests properly and understand the results. I learned an awful lot of new skills quickly. Thank you, Mr. Martin.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2011
This book was bought as a birthday present for a friend who was converting a camper van
We couldn,t find a "dummies" book for this subject so decided this was the next best thing.
It is a nicely presented book but when we examined it we found maybe a bit too technical for your average Joe in the street.
Overall though worth the money just expect to have to use a bit more of the grey matter to understand it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2014
There are too many mistakes and omissions to make it useful. It could be possibly rated as dangerous. It seems to be only for oldish American cars as well. The drawing of a supposedly 12v battery for example had the cells wired in parrallel thus it would produce only 2 volts. electron flow was reverse drawn. Basic errors that devalued the whole book and drew into question the accuracy of the rest of the content. I found it not much use to me but there are a few good bits that help the thought processes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2013
Hi, brought this book as I'm building a kit car. I had an electrical fault and couldn't work it out. A few evenings reading and understanding a few basic principals and I had the problem solved.
If you have a good understanding of electrics then this may not be for you but with a limited 'average joe' knowledge this is defiantly a worth while investment.
Lots of good examples and easy to follow text.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
i found the book to be very imformative but the only problem that i found with it was it tended to lean to the U.S.A. cars but the basics are the same and there for i was able to get the understand of the electrics
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2013
A technical work, not to be confused with a work of art. Extremely well written for the working class, and even better ilustrated. It more than paid for itself in less than a week. well packed and delivered in record time, all on the standard free post. Well done again all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2013
A very helpful and comprehensively written book. It is easy to use even by a non-professional person. Has very well-presented wiring diagrams.
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on 19 July 2012
I bought this book knowing very little about electricity other than how to wire up a domestic plug. Having studied the book, especially the first four chapters, I am now confident enough to tackle the more complex issues with car electrics. I now have a good understanding of what's going on, why fuses blow, how to check for shorts, how to diagnose a starter and alternator, and how to perform voltage drop testing on both sides of a circuit and many other things I didn't know before regarding ignition and fuel systems.

I've read a few reviews so far that point to the author referencing mostly American vehicles, and in some cases, older vehicles! .. The same sensors are still used in modern vehicles to this day (in the UK)!! So don't let this sway you from buying this great resource. The 2nd chapter on voltage drop testing is worth the price of the book alone ... Highly recommended!
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