ParkAvenue 1997-1999

Tools & Equipment

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Electrical Tools



Specific to:

Buick LeSabre 1986-1999

Buick Park Avenue 1996-1999

Oldsmobile 88 1992-1999

Oldsmobile Delta 88 1986-1988

Oldsmobile LSS 1996-1999

Pontiac Bonneville 1987-1999

The most commonly required electrical diagnostic tool is the digital multimeter, allowing voltage, ohmage (resistance) and amperage to be read by one instrument. The multimeter must be a high-impedance unit, with 10 megohms of impedance in the voltmeter. This type of meter will not place an additional load on the circuit it is testing; this is extremely important in low voltage circuits. The multimeter must be of high quality in all respects. It should be handled carefully and protected from impact or damage. Replace batteries frequently in the unit.



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Fig. A quality digital multimeter is an extremely useful piece of diagnostic equipment to have in your tool box

Other necessary tools include an unpowered test light, a quality tachometer with an inductive (clip-on) pick up, and the proper tools for releasing GM's Metri-Pack, Weather Pack and Micro-Pack terminals as necessary. The Micro-Pack connectors are used at the ECM electrical connector. A vacuum pump/gauge may also be required for checking sensors, solenoids and valves.

Scan Tools



Specific to:

Buick LeSabre 1986-1999

Buick Park Avenue 1996-1999

Oldsmobile 88 1992-1999

Oldsmobile Delta 88 1986-1988

Oldsmobile LSS 1996-1999

Pontiac Bonneville 1987-1999

On most early models, the stored codes may be read with only the use of a small jumper wire, however the use of a hand-held scan tool such as GM's TECH-1® or equivalent is recommended. On some 1994 vehicles (equipped with a 16-pin Data Link Connector), and all 1995-99 models, an OBD-II compliant scan tool must be used. There are many manufacturers of these tools; a purchaser must be certain that the tool is proper for the intended use. If you own a scan type tool, it probably came with comprehensive instructions on proper use. Be sure to follow the instructions that came with your unit if they differ from what is given here; this is a general guide with useful information included.



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Fig. A TECH 1®, or equivalent scan tool is recommended for reading trouble codes



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Fig. Inexpensive scan tools, such as this Auto Xray®, are available to interface with your General Motors vehicle

The scan tool allows any stored codes to be read from the ECM or PCM memory. The tool also allows the operator to view the data being sent to the computer control module while the engine is running. This ability has obvious diagnostic advantages; the use of the scan tool is frequently required for component testing. The scan tool makes collecting information easier; the data must be correctly interpreted by an operator familiar with the system.

An example of the usefulness of the scan tool may be seen in the case of a temperature sensor which has changed its electrical characteristics. The ECM is reacting to an apparently warmer engine (causing a driveability problem), but the sensor's voltage has not changed enough to set a fault code. Connecting the scan tool, the voltage signal being sent to the ECM may be viewed; comparison to normal values or a known good vehicle reveals the problem quickly.

 
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