Citroën new keys


Citroën C3 in for a central locking problem. Car would start but customer couldn’t lock the vehicle with either of their 2 keys.

A quick check of the keys revealed that neither were emitting a signal.


A new key from stock was coded in using specialist equipment, at less than half the price of the dealer.

Mercedes E-class


Into our workshop was this Mercedes which had a fault where intermittently the key wouldn’t turn in the ignition switch, this is a infrared key. Through a series of tests it was found that both keys were faulty and also the EIS(electronic ignition switch).

A new key was priced at £240+vat and the EIS at £425+vat. With the age of the vehicle was not something that was viable. Another option is to change various components on the car relating to security because everything is coded and needs to match, so a 2nd hand EIS unit would not match the engine ECU and also the ESL(electronic steering lock).

We managed to source a complete set of components


These were all fitted, the steering lock is particularly hard to fit as it was in the locked position so is hard to remove.


With the new kit being off an estate car we had to perform adaptions on it so the electronic boot release would work.

Another happy customer saved from perhaps having to scrap the vehicle.


Audi Airbag Light on


This Audi was in our workshop with airbag light on. A quick scan with our autologic showed internal fault in airbag module. We stripped the dashboard down to gain access to the module to check connections at the unit.



Quite a few items have to be removed to access the module.

The wiring was confirmed OK. So using our VAG Airbag tool we are able to reset the hard data within the module saving the customer the expense of a new unit which in this case was over £400.


BMW 3 Series battery drain


This came in with a battery drain amongst other troubles.

The drain wasn’t on any fused circuit, at this point many workshops may have struggled to isolate the fault. Here at Widnes Auto Electrical we have specialist tools and training for such faults and using our thermal imaging camera we could scan the vehicle for any hotspots where current is being drawn and heat generated.


This picture shows the electric ariel after the vehicle being stood overnight still showing 48.8degrees. The camera can see this even when panelling and carpet insulation in in the way.

Radio coding


Mercedes radio in for coding

E90 BMW airbag fault


The airbag light was illuminated, a quick serial scan showed passenger occupancy sensor fault a common issue on these cars. A quick test of the wiring confirmed all OK up to seat.

A lot of people then fit a module that kids the car into thinking someone is sat in the seat and so turns the light off, a cheap but dangerous repair. The purpose of this sensor is not just to see if the seat is occupied but also the weight of the person so if a small child was sat in the seat in the avent of a crash through airbag would not deploy as it can do more harm than good. With this module you lose that function.

Luckily this customer understood the dangers and went with a correct fix. The customer sourced there own sensor which we tested first as fitting is quite fiddly as it sits in the seat underneath the cushioning


With the seat refitted and all codes cleared car was fixed

2007 Mini


Recovered to us this Mini was a non runner. The recovery guy said it was a fault with the key. The steering lock would not engage and the ignition wouldn’t switch on.


There were faults in various modules alot relating to traction control.

Knowing these systems we accessed the module and read live data


As you can see on this data the 2nd to last reading says the vehicle is moving. This is the reason the steering lock won’t engage.

The information from the traction control unit goes to the CAS unit behind the dash. Reading live data the 4 wheel sensors were ok. So knowing this system we know an open circuit can cause a false reading like this. With accurate wiring diagrams we were able to trace the correct wires and find a damaged wire in the loom.


You can see green residue on the grey wirer where the copper core has oxidised and broke. A simple fix and the car is up and running again.

Only if your experts in the complex electronic systems on vehicles can you work out a fault like this.

Thermal imaging for discharge


This porsche boxster came in with a battery drain, something that can be very tricky to find but with our new thermal camera the drain was found quickly.

As seen here the radio/satnav unit was found to be faulty although to the naked eye it looked OK



Audi A5


Came from another garage with heaterblower trouble.

It was quickly found that the motor itself was open circuit. Most garages would then just fit a motor and send customer on there way. But here we have specialist tools and training to check the whole system in case of other faults.

To check the signals from the control panel you need an osiliscope that can detect wave patterns as the signals are on Canbus nowadays and would be undetectable using a multimeter.

Through experience we know that when the motors go on these they can overload the control module causing that to fail prematurely. Again something we can check, saving the customer the inconvenience of future work and time off the road.


Vauxhall 1.3cdti

Came in as a non runner. A quick check of fuses found a blown one.

Car would start but has a misfire. Tests to find the source of the misfire includes compression test, pulse to injectors and current draw of injectors.

Tests found 1 injector not being switched. Trace wiring from injector to controlling ecu found water ingress in ecu



Luckily for the customer we were able to repair this for him as a new one is over £800