TideLog Archive for the “Motoring” Category

In wacky tech news headlines this week, John Deere, a General Motors company, and the world’s largest manufacturer of tractors and farm equipment, has said that farmers don’t “own” their tractors, because of ECU code. Sure, we pay for their vehicles. But we don’t own them. Not according to their corporate lawyers, anyway. In a particularly astounding display of corporate delusion, John Deere told the Copyright Office that farmers don’t own their tractors. Because computer code snakes through the DNA of modern tractors, farmers receive “an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.” It’s John Deere’s tractor, folks. You’re just driving it.

Several manufacturers recently submitted similar comments to the Copyright Office under an inquiry into the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. DMCA is a vast 1998 copyright law that (among other things) governs the blurry line between software and hardware. The Copyright Office, after reading the comments and holding a hearing, will decide in July which high-tech devices we can modify, hack, and repair—and decide whether John Deere’s twisted vision of ownership will become a reality.

Seeing as all modern CANBus vehicles, not just tractors, have computer code running through their Controller Area Network (CAN) control units, for things like the traction control, stability control, ABS, fuel injection, and throttle control (drive-by-wire) systems, this latest news sends shivers through me, as I regularly modify ECU fuel maps on buses and cars, to a professional standard.

Like the license terms for Windows and many software packages, you don’t own the software, but you own the computer it runs on, that should apply here by default, it’s stupid greedy corporations getting attention to themselves, again. Be realistic, how many farmers are going to modify the ECU code in their tractor, or even care that it’s there? It’s unheard of. They’re running a business, not practising hacking. I’ve never heard of a vehicle owner modifying fuel maps or control unit code, as it requires specialist tools, not to mention knowledge, to do, so John Deere are just being stupid, and I love General Motors, driving Vauxhall cars in life, they’re cracking motors.

It makes sense to John Deere: The company argues that allowing people to alter the software—even for the purpose of repair—would “make it possible for pirates, third-party developers, and less innovative competitors to free-ride off the creativity, unique expression and ingenuity of vehicle software.” The pièce de résistance in John Deere’s argument: permitting owners to root around in a tractor’s programming might lead to pirating music through a vehicle’s entertainment system. Because copyright-marauding farmers are very busy and need to multitask by simultaneously copying Taylor Swift’s 1989 and harvesting corn? (I’m guessing, because John Deere’s lawyers never explained why anyone would pirate music on a tractor, only that it could happen.)

Haha, but what about SAFETY, John? The modifying of vehicle code by an amateur can lead to DEATH, and ACCIDENTS. Hasn’t really bothered anyone till now, though, has it, Deere? CANBus has been around since the 80’s, too, you don’t see, “Man causes pileup and mass death by modifying car software!” in the headlines? Nope! Seeing as most electronic devices like TV’s, microwaves, phones, and even remote controls have software in them, this could open up a massive debate, as you are still classed as owning those.

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Hyundai Atoz 2002

Back in 2000 I worked as a mechanic and panel beater for Shaw St Garage in Bolton, until 2006. We did a lot of contract work for the local Bolton Car Centre, including their Hyundai and Suzuki dealers. I worked on many Hyundai vehicles such as the Accent, Atoz, Terracan SUV, the Elantra, and Suzuki cars like the Swift, Jimny, Ignis and the Carry van. I carried out all sorts of work to them, including crash repair, service & maintenance, overhauls and MOT’s.

I notice on the internet there’s people still looking for the Atoz service manual. The Atoz was sold as many different names in different countries, such as the Atoz, Atos, Prime, and the Santro in Pakistan and India. I have the ISO file for the 2002 Atoz, the first and original generation before the first facelift in 2003. I still have my subscription to Hyundai’s service manual portal, the Atoz is no longer listed in any of its names, so I’ll post this rare gem here on TideLog. They were a cute little car, quite nippy for a 1.2 litre front wheel drive! I used this CD on my diagnostic laptop that had all my workshop stuff on, it worked well bearing in mind I’m a professional mechanic. DIY’ers might not understand some of it, but leave comments and I’ll try to help.

This manual is not in the form of a PDF file, instead it’s a software interface, follow this procedure for installation.

1. Download the ISO file by clicking HERE, then mount it (using WinCDEmu or any other virtual CD software) or write it on a CD.
2. Run the file in your CD “X:\esis\ShopManual\Setup\setup.exe” where X is replaced by whatever letter your CD/DVD drive is.
3. Complete the installation procedure. During installation it will give error messages to keep newer files. Say YES (keep newer files). On Windows 7 or Vista you may get some DLL and OCX register errors, it doesn’t seem to affect it, so you can safely ignore them.
4. A “ShopManual” icon with the Hyundai H logo will appear in your Start Menu, click it to run the application! You will need the ISO mounted, or the disc inserted, every time you want to run it.

It works fine with Windows XP, Vista and 7, possibly Win 8 too. You’ll notice in the menu upon running it that it has references to other Hyundai cars, these don’t work, just the Atoz. The CD is not modified, just the way Hyundai distributed it. Anyone reading this need any help servicing their Atoz, leave a comment, I miss working on these cute little cars!

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The Sprinter contains a Sentry Key Immobilizer System (SKIS) which has three main components:

1. A transponder circuit in each key fob, with lock/unlock buttons and integral battery.

2. A transponder ring antenna.

3. A Sentry Key Remote Entry Module (SKREEM) which is wired to the van’s high speed CAN (Controller Area Network) where it can talk to the Engine Electronic Control Unit (EECU or ECU).

The system communicates with the Sentry Key Remote Entry Module (SKREEM), using the transponder chip located within the Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) fob. Ignition keys are supplied with the van when it is shipped from the factory. The SKREEM module is located inside the instrument cluster housing, just under the cluster housing cover, at the back of the cluster unit itself.

The transponder ring is plugged into the SKREEM module, where its wire runs from the instrument cluster up to where the ring itself is slotted over the ignition barrel. It is a wireless radio antenna.

Each Sentry Key has a unique transponder identifcation code permanently programmed into it by the manufacturer. Likewise, the Sentry Key Remote Entry Module (SKREEM) has a unique “Secret Key” code programmed into it from the factory too. When a Sentry Key is programmed into the memory of the SKREEM, the SKREEM stores the
transponder identification code from the Sentry Key, and the Sentry Key learns the Secret Key code from the SKREEM. Once the Sentry Key learns the Secret Key code of the SKREEM, it is also permanently programmed into the transponder’s memory.

The Sentry Key’s transponder is within the range of the SKREEM’s transponder ring when it is inserted into the ignition lock cylinder. When the ignition switch is turned to the ON position, the SKREEM communicates with the Sentry Key via a radio frequency (RF) signal. The SKREEM determines if a valid key is present based on the information it receives from the Sentry Key. If a valid key is detected, a message is sent to the Engine Control Unit (ECU) via the Controller Area Network (CAN) data bus and the vehicle is allowed to start or continue running. If an invalid key is received by the ECU or no status at all is communicated, the engine will stall after two (2) seconds of running because the ECU cuts power to the glow plugs and fuel injectors. The indicator light on the key fob will be flashing at this point.

The Sentry Key’s transponder can not be repaired. If it is faulty or damaged, it must be replaced. Common communication problems include:
a. Two transponder keys too close together.
b. Speed Pass too close to transponder key.
c. Solid indicator in the instrument cluster indicating there is a system failure.
d. Loss of ECM communication on the CAN bus, either due to interference or faulty control unit.
e. Failed transponder ring circuit.

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I hate it when I hear people say, “My fan belt’s gone”. The name “fan belt” is a bit of a misfit nowadays because the belt drives much more than just a fan. Also, more engines use electric fans, rather than belt driven (viscous) fans. It is frequently called an accessory belt. The fan belt runs around a pulley attached to the flywheel and powers accessory pumps and motors such as:

  1. Water pump
  2. Air conditioner compressor
  3. Air system compressor (buses/trucks only)
  4. Alternator
  5. Power brakes
  6. Power steering pump.

Some vehicles have one large serpentine belt that drives all of the accessory motors and pumps. Others divide the work more evenly by employing the use of two belts.

In this industry, we call them either:

  • Accessory belts,
  • Auxiliary belts,
  • Poly Belts, Poly V or N belts (depending on the shape of its route)


  • Just engine drive belts!

I got sick of Matsuki Transport’s technicians calling them that, I took them into a meeting and told them to stop it! And all our buses do have the fans driven by belt!

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Following on from my last post, something came to mind. This is something I encounter on a regular basis when I fix cars etc for friends. People assume the alternators in an engine charge the batteries. They DON’T. They are designed to only replace what the electrical system takes from the battery (only while the engine is running). They WON’T CHARGE a battery, only keep it at a constant level.

I had to go help my friend Mitsumi a few months ago, her battery died on her Corolla, and she couldn’t get to work. I jumpstarted her, and she said, “It’ll charge up while I’m driving, I should be OK.” I had to gently correct her, and lend her my battery charger!

An alternator is a dynamo, and that is a motor. An electric motor generates current when driven manually. The power a dynamo produces is limited by the number of winds on the coil inside. Like the Primary (input) and Secondary (output) windings of a transformer. Increasing the Secondary winding increases the output. A dynamo is designed to keep the battery at the same level as it was before the engine was started, but it will drop on engine start, as the ignition system is HT (High Tension), and the dynamo won’t run at optimum until the engine actually starts, so anything lost before this is never really replaced.

This is why you shouldn’t crank your engine for too long, typically 10 – 15 seconds, if it won’t start, you’ll stress and damage the battery because of the high voltage ignition system. This is also why any headlights or interior lights dim on startup, the ignition system steals power. Engine pre-glow (on diesel engines) uses power, too, before the engine starts.


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