Author, Motojournalist, Riding Skills Instructor
|Automotive Electrical Book|
|Motorcycle Electrical Book|
I recently purchased your automotive electrical book and from the bottom of my heart
sir I cannot thank you enough for writing it.
It’s my own fault that I have spent almost 18 years in the automotive repair field
working for a national repair chain that likes to talk about wanting vehicles fixed right
the first time, and how much yearly training they provide for their techs, even though
most techs in the stores haven’t been to more than one training class in ten years.
I have tried to pick up books from time to time and figure it out on my own but I see
now that those books and articles were written for people with who already had an
understanding of electrical systems. I just did not have the time to get to that level
using what was available.
So while I was off for some minor knee surgery I decide to buy a book or two to keep
my brain working while healing and yours was one of them. Tracy, I know I’m “getting
it” when I can come up with my own questions about the subject at hand—in this case
automotive electricity. My grey matter has rarely shown more activity since reading
your book. I have been back to work for two days now and have left other employees
at work staring at me with blank faced after rattling off some new words and using a
jumper wire to power a GM fuel pump circuit. I was able to voltage drop test it at the
fuse box instead of back at the fuel tank saving lots of diagnostic time. I guess all I
had to say in this e-mail is thanks, but wanted to share my experiences with you.
Rob Lauckner (website email)
Testimonials and Reviews
I have always been able to fix electrical problems on cars but sometimes at much
wasted expense and effort. Tracy Martin's book is simply the best book I have ever
read on this subject. It is a "nuts and bolts" book that tells you why and how to test a
certain way. Suddenly automotive electrical systems make sense to me. This book will
save much wasted effort. My father was an electrical engineer and he figured out
electrical problems for me. When he died I had to figure this stuff out for myself and I
wish I had paid more attention. Tracy Martins book is great, not only do I recommend
it ... if Tracy Martin ever writes another one I will buy that too. Fred Rawls (Amazon)
I am a graduate of highly-recognized aircraft maintenance college, and have
achieved above-average grades in electrical/electronic systems courses. However,
during my education we hardly covered "practical" part of our profession as certified
technicians. This book cleared up some of my questions and was definitely better
than any book I've read on electricity.
However, the downside is that the book still spends much space explaining theories
that do not help doing the actual troubleshooting/repair. It could use more
photos/illustrations, as well as comparisons between good units & bad units. Some of
the components covered are also obsolete (point contact ignition system, DC
generator, etc...), only helpful for those who are into vintage vehicles. The book also
has too much advertisement, especially for Fluke products. Fluke multimeters are
indeed the best in the world, and I myself use a Fluke. However, even my entry-level
Fluke was $150 and for most home mechanics, Sears Craftsman DMM's are more
All in all, there is simply no better book than this one. On his next book, I would like to
see more info on imported vehicles, as well as more up-to-date systems such as skid
control, traction control, electronic climate control, navigation, discharge-type
headlight bulbs, LED's, Optitron clusters, and engine-to-transmission data-link
systems. JPN (Amazon)
Review from webbikeworld.com
"So let's just say that he knows motorcycles, he knows how to ride them and he
knows how to fix them. Motorcycle Electrical Systems Troubleshooting and Repair is
a follow-up to Martin's first book, “How to Diagnose and Repair Automotive Electrical
Systems”, also published by Motorbooks International." (read more...)
Cycle News, March 7, 2007
“Martin simplifies the complex language and operations of electrical systems of
motorcycles so that the diagnostics and repairs can be done with ease.”
Yahoo Store Review
"This guide was exactly what I was looking for. I have an 80 sportster that was having
generator problems and nobody would look at it because of the age of the bike.
Tracy's troubleshooting methods walked me right through everything I needed to do. I
was amazed at how easy it was to diagnose the problem." Thanks Tracy. Kris Mayes
Kawasaki Concours Owners (Concourier) Review
"Just when a ham-fisted wire puller like this reviewer fries the insulation off some wire
trying to force too much amperage through too little copper, along comes a brand new
publication explaining in easy-to-understand language how electrical systems work in
motorcycles. I can only wish I had a copy of the book before I made my own mistake.
The best part of the book is that though much of the subject itself applies to all 12 and
6-volt electrical systems everything covered in the book is specific to motorcycles.
Thus, in explaining charging systems, for instance, you won’t find a lot of material
about the alternator on the family SUV, but you will fully understand how a one or
three-piece alternator on a motorcycle operates. Whether you have a “classic” Connie
or a new C14 in mind, this book will be enormously useful." Bob Burns, Editor
Concours Owners Group Newsletter.
Motorcycle Consumer News Review, October 2007
"Tracy's 25 years of experience in the automotive field resonate through the pages of
the book, and give credibility to his explanations and assessments. I'd recommend it
for both the library and the workshop of any enthusiast, and can't voice strongly
enough that the best time to read it is before you need it." LT Snyder (read more...)
Wing World Review, November 2007
"Will this book make the reader an expert? No. What it will do is provide the reader the
essentials necessary to gain diagnostic skill through understanding and practice.
Practice doesn’t make perfect, unless it’s perfect practice. I recommend this book
highly for both the home mechanic and professional technicians." Stu Oltman
City Bike Review, December 2007
"Unless you have several electrical and electronic theory courses and years as a
mechanic under your belt, this book will teach you things you didn't know -- and will
very likely pay for itself not long after you finish reading it." Adam Wade, City Bike
|Want to Improve
Your Riding Skills?
I Read The Book And...
"Can't say I have ever written an author before....BUT after reading HTU Auto Diag
Scanners I felt I had to send you a note on how good this book was! I grew up
rebuilding antique Ford's and Muscle cars in the 70/80's. I work in technology but had
come to the conclussion we can't touch these new cars due to the proprietary nature
of their control systems. I found your history of OBD very interesting. Loved your
techniques for troubleshooting and your overall style of writing is awesome. I
TOTALLY enjoyed reading this book!
I wish I had read it sooner as I bought an Actron Code reader last year after I saw how
the local autoparts store used it to reset a MIL light and troubleshoot a problem with
my girlfriends car. In the end we kept getting random mis-fires in a 98 Jetta. I
replaced everything ignition and gave up when it didn't solve the problem. Ended up
being a plugged cat-converter and you so acurrately describe the symptoms. Didn't
need a code reader to fix this one just a compound meter. I learned a lot from this
book. LONG story short THANKS, great work!" Scott LeWand (received via email)