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In-Depth Diagnostic Video from Wells Garage
Now Available on YouTube and WellsVE.com

Fond du Lac, WI, November 15, 2011...The Technical Services team at Wells Vehicle Electronics was recently presented with a confounding diagnostic challenge on a 2001 Dodge Caravan, and the troubleshooting process and ultimate solution have been captured in a fascinating new diagnostic video available on YouTube.

Mark Hicks, technical services manager for Wells, was contacted by a skilled local technician who was struggling to find the cause of unusual misfires, loss of power and intermittent backfires through the throttle body on a 3.8L-equipped Caravan. The owner had replaced the vehicle’s spark plugs approximately six months before the problems arose.

Hicks performed a thorough diagnostic check, including tests of fuel pressure and crank and cam sensor signals. He also scoped both sensors simultaneously to confirm they were in synch and that the timing chain was sound. Visual inspection of the plugs showed carbon tracking and cracking of the ceramic material.

“This was a classic case of a fouled plug and a spark that couldn’t jump the gap,” Hicks explained. “When we replaced the plugs using our normal process, the problem went away.”

The blame, Hicks decided, was the vehicle owner’s excessive use of anti-seize compound on the plug threads. But why would this trigger a backfire through the throttle body? The answer is provided in detail in the video by Wells Senior Project Engineer Mike Dale, who examined and tested the faulty plugs and eventually discovered that the properties of anti-seize compound are incompatible with the characteristics of many of today’s distributorless (DIS) ignition systems.

“Mark and I enjoy these challenges and take them very seriously because they represent time-consuming and potentially expensive problems that are facing our customers on the job,” Dale said. “We believe technicians and parts professionals will learn a lot from this new video in terms of best practices for replacing plugs and diagnosing driveability issues on today’s DIS-equipped vehicles.”

The new Wells Vehicle Electronics video can be accessed through the WellsVE.com website or by entering the search term “Odd misfire” on YouTube.com. The Wells video library includes more than 20 other in-depth diagnostic case studies covering a broad range of common driveability issues, as well a series of vehicle system overview programs developed specifically for automotive parts professionals.

For additional information regarding the Wells Vehicle Electronics brand and product line, please contact your Wells provider or UCI International sales representative, or write to: Marketing, Wells Vehicle Electronics, 26 S. Brooke Street, Fond du Lac, WI 54935.

About Wells Vehicle Electronics

Wells Vehicle Electronics, a brand of UCI International, Inc., is a leading global source of advanced vehicle electronics solutions for original equipment and replacement applications in the automotive, marine, off-highway, industrial and heavy-duty industries. Based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Wells operates advanced manufacturing operations in the U.S. and Mexico as well as a state-of-the-art product distribution facility in Centerville, Iowa. The company’s customers include original equipment manufacturers and affiliated parts/service providers, traditional aftermarket distributors and replacement parts retailers.