Automotive electrical systems are too
often a mystery, as much for the
experienced professional as the
weekend do-it-yourself mechanic.
However, they simply don’t have to be—
the mass of wires under a dash and
beneath the hood of a car or truck, need
no longer be feared by everyone except
the most elite technicians. The popular
book, “How To Diagnose and Repair
Automotive Electrical Systems,” by Tracy
Martin, explains the principles behind
automotive electrical systems and
provides an in-depth, but simple-to-
understand description of how each
major system and its components
This helpful how-to book also combines
an easy- to-use, at-a-glance format, with
simple, everyday language so that
electrical concepts, usually
overwhelming and boring in a typical
textbook format, become effortless,
enjoyable, and easy to follow. The book
also provides uncomplicated, practical instruction on how to diagnose and repair common, but
rarely understood, automotive electrical malfunctions. In addition, the book is packed with lots
of large full-color diagrams and photos for extra visual reinforcement of ideas and concepts.
From basic electrical theories like Ohm’s Law to easy deciphering and reading of complex-
looking wiring diagrams and applied practice on sample electrical scenarios, author and ASE
(Automotive Service Excellence) Certified Master Technician, Tracy Martin, provides a
refreshingly welcome guided tour of automotive electrical systems.
This invaluable guide also details the various tools, such as digital multimeters, test lights and
logic probes, used to evaluate and troubleshoot a vehicle’s electrical system, as well as
sharing handy tips to help banish costly electrical gremlins. Charging systems, including those
found in the three big U.S. manufacturers’ vehicles, Ford, GM, and Chrysler, are covered in
detail, as are ignition and computer systems. Plus, a chapter on wiring diagrams teaches, in
simple sequential steps, how to actually read one, without mystery or frustration, and provides
several helpful and entertaining wiring diagram exercises as well. All chapters feature
practical, everyday examples of common electrical problems encountered and how to find,
diagnose and repair the real problem right the first time.
Finally, thanks to Tracy Martin’s innovative book, with its unique approach, easy-reading style
and simple-to-understand format, vehicle owners and repair technicians never need get lost
in the dark again with only a faulty electrical signal or ridiculously confusing wiring diagram as
a guide. The knowledge contained in “How To Diagnose and Repair Automotive Electrical
Systems” is simply the best tool available for the job of understanding electrical systems and
diagnosing electronic and electrical-related problems in any vehicle.
Chapter 1 – Ohms Law
The “Hot-Rod” version of Ohms law is explained in easy-to-understand language.
Colored diagrams illustrate how to apply electrical theory to the real-world of electrical
testing to your car or light truck.
Chapter 2 – Voltage Drop Testing
The concept of voltage drop testing is explained using colored diagrams and concrete
examples of typical problems found on automobiles. Voltage drop testing is not
understood even by some professional technicians. Using a step-by-step process makes
learning the fundamental electrical diagnostic process easy.
Chapter 3 – Electronic Testing Tools
From test lights to digital multimeters, electronic test tools are discussed. Features and
benefits of logic probes, short finders, ignition coil testers and lab scopes are explained.
Chapter 4 – Storage Battery
How a battery works without too much “chemistry” makes it easy to understand how to
test and maintain 12 or 6-volt storage batteries. Different types of battery designs are
discussed. Information on battery charging as well as generic battery testing is included.
Chapter 5 – Starting & Charging Systems
Charging system basics are explained including voltage regulation for generators and
alternators. Generic charging system tests as well as specific General Motors, Ford
Motor Company and Chrysler are included. Generator polarizing and testing are
discussed as well.
Chapter 6 – Ignition Systems
From points and condenser to modern electronic ignition systems, this chapter explains
how they work and how to test ignition system components. Distributorless ignition
systems are explained and generic tests are included. Hall effect switches, AC pick-up
coils and optical distributors are explained. Specific ignition “Tap Tests” for General
Motors, Ford and Chrysler are explained. High-voltage secondary ignition tests are
included as well.
Chapter 7 – Electronic Fuel Injection Systems
An overview of how electronic fuel injection operates is covered in this chapter. In
addition, generic computer sensor testing, open/closed loop feedback systems concepts
are all discussed.
Chapter 8 – Wiring Diagrams
This chapter covers how to actually “read” a wiring diagram. By using a building block
method of instruction, the reader will learn how to analyze wiring diagrams and use this
knowledge to diagnose common electrical problems. Examples of automotive wiring
diagrams are included as well as practical exercises.
Chapter 9 – Trouble Shooting Electrical Systems
A logical approach is outlined for trouble shooting common electrical system problems.
Real-world examples are used to illustrate how the process of diagnosis works. How to
find electrical opens, shorts, and crossover circuits is discussed.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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