Troubleshooting electrical issues

kendelrio

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
933
267
63
Location
Alexandria, La
All-
I work offshore with robots and one of the things I teach is electrical troubleshooting.

With my new guys I've noticed a lot of times they tend to either overthink the issue or are so intimidated by the system their brain freezes up.

My advice to them (and it helps on MVs too) is to not look at the entire machine. That tends to be overwhelming. Focus in the trouble area and:

1. Find the commonalities. If more than one component isn't working or is malfunctioning, trace the system to the part in common. For instance: if **none** of your lights are working, odds are the lights aren't bad, you would follow the "signal source" and check the switch (is it working) the batteries (are they dead) etc, which leads to my next piece of advice.

2. Work "E" to "H". Most of my guys think that means Electrical to Hydraulic, when in reality I mean work "Easy" to "Hard". Why jump into changing a wiring harness when the issue may be something as simple as a corroded connector?

Some people tend to replace things until the problem goes away. I don't have that kind of budget, and I also like to know WHY a component failed in addition to what component failed. If its design, I try to find a better design. If it's maintenance or use related, I'll try to figure out the proper maintance or procedure for use.

1. Commonalities
2. E to H

Best of luck and may you never have to troubleshoot!
 

Mullaney

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
1,242
1,516
113
Location
Charlotte NC
All-
I work offshore with robots and one of the things I teach is electrical troubleshooting.

With my new guys I've noticed a lot of times they tend to either overthink the issue or are so intimidated by the system their brain freezes up.

My advice to them (and it helps on MVs too) is to not look at the entire machine. That tends to be overwhelming. Focus in the trouble area and:

1. Find the commonalities. If more than one component isn't working or is malfunctioning, trace the system to the part in common. For instance: if **none** of your lights are working, odds are the lights aren't bad, you would follow the "signal source" and check the switch (is it working) the batteries (are they dead) etc, which leads to my next piece of advice.

2. Work "E" to "H". Most of my guys think that means Electrical to Hydraulic, when in reality I mean work "Easy" to "Hard". Why jump into changing a wiring harness when the issue may be something as simple as a corroded connector?

Some people tend to replace things until the problem goes away. I don't have that kind of budget, and I also like to know WHY a component failed in addition to what component failed. If its design, I try to find a better design. If it's maintenance or use related, I'll try to figure out the proper maintance or procedure for use.

1. Commonalities
2. E to H

Best of luck and may you never have to troubleshoot!

Sounds to me like you also know about the KISS Keep It Simple Stupid moniker...
It is strange how people can freeze up on the size of a problem.

NICE information to share with the group kendelrio !

Tim
 

NDT

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
8,417
1,147
113
Location
Camp Wood/LC, TX
Good advice. Had to chuckle a little about your example of "all lights not working", with our trucks it happens a lot that the alternator voltage regulator fails with very high voltage and blows out all light bulbs leading to very confused techs.
 

antennaclimber

Moderator
Moderator
Steel Soldiers Supporter
1,164
238
63
Location
State College, PA
Great information Ken,

Trying to find people that can take a logical step by step evaluation on troubleshooting is difficult. The process of elimination seems to be a lost art. More times than not, it is something simple. ON/OFF switches seem to really confuse some people.

Many people are relying on a computer to tell them whats wrong. My friend has car dealers asking him to come and fix engines in new cars that are not running right (missing). "The computer says it's fine, no error codes." So he has to teach the service techs on how to diagnose it the old school way.

It's Rocket Surgery to them, basics to us Old Guys.
 
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website like our supporting vendors. Their ads help keep Steel Soldiers going. Please consider disabling your ad blockers for the site. Thanks!

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks