Lexus with DPF issues

This vehicle came from another garage with engine management light on.  The fault code related to exhaust temp sensor issues.

The customer had not long purchased the vehicle and didn’t know the history of it.

On examination it was found that the DPF pressure sensor had been bypassed with a emulator to kid the car into thinking all was well with the exhaust and emmisions. We removed the bypass module and put it back to standard, whereupon the fault codes changed to DPF pressure issues.

The most common reason to fit an emulator would be because the cost of repair . If the filter needed replacement the costs would be in the 100’s of pounds.

We advised this customer on a correct repair which involved removing the DPF and cleaning it out professionally and then do a regeneration on the system, but on removal of the filterit can be seen that a hole had been drilled through the centre of the filter to allow the exhaust gases to escape

There was no choice but to replace the filter for the customer.

Clever Reasons Why You Should Consider Getting A Dashcam

Are you looking forward to safeguarding your vehicle as well as your journeys? You can consider your desire as fulfilled because the most recent innovation which is a high-quality dash cam is just what you need. The initial footage ever recorded on a Dash-cam was in 1969 in Australia by a lady who was totally unaware she had discovered something which would be extremely important.

When making a decision to have a Dash-cam you may wonder why you should be spending additional money for the device or even be concerned about whether a single Dash-cam will be suitable for your needs. The choice is entirely yours because a single device would be logical but many are using additional devices to cover multiple viewpoints. For starters, you can consider having a dashboard Dash-cam because of the following reasons.

A Dash-cam offers you cover when driving especially against any challenges you may encounter. Insurance companies are demanding evidence of any incidents you may be involved in and footage from a Dash-cam is an appropriate solution.

Recording questionable driving to hand over to the police or even upload it to social media sites such as YouTube if you prefer.

Safeguarding your car in car parks. You do not have the freedom to believe everyone driving a vehicle is just as courteous as you are especially when parking or manoeuvring. Having a permanently installed hidden Dashcam will give you all the evidence you need to safeguard yourself.

It is a perfect tool which can act as evidence against vandalism regardless of whether it is your vehicle which is being vandalised or you are witnessing other vehicles facing similar encounters.

Car spotting. This is the perfect fit for you to get up to 4K car footage of all types including the Ferrari speeding past you or the latest Phantom 2018. A Dash-cam will capture all the footage leaving you ready to upload it to your Instagram or YouTube account.

Documenting your travels. You have a record in your possession which can be uploaded to your website or blog from the Dash-cam are simply maintain a record of your travels. You have an opportunity to capture the unknown because the footage you get is great and can always be uploaded to social media websites.

Recording business meetings. The sound option within the Dash-cam proves beneficial in such cases because you can transcribe the audio of your meeting at your leisure. It will even capture some light bulb moments if you come across them. Use your Dash-cam to watch for pets by safeguarding your own and everyone else’s from theft, injury and misadventure.

A Dash-cam is a perfect tool to capture a shot of nature such as a swooping owl or even recording your birdwatcher’s, The list of things you can do with a Dash-cam are endless and therefore you are suggested to have one installed in your car without further delay.

When would you allow a Robot To Drive Your Car?

The Future of Artificial Intelligence Artificial intelligence is certainly the future of the transport industry but questions remain about who will be present to take the onus of responsibility if things began to go haywire.

Less than a decade ago drivers around the world wouldn’t have believed that things like automatic park assist or automated headlights would be here today.  These mechanical innovations along with numerous others have made it easier and safer for driving while removing the stress of this task at the same time.

The second stage of automotive innovations does not simply involve mechanical improvements. The time has now arrived to witness cars with brains of their own. Dramatic leaps have of late been made in artificial intelligence [AI] and you simply need to scan the headlines to find numerous examples of artificial intelligence in practice.

Things have changed by a large extent and every stakeholder or technocrat in the automotive industry is looking forward for a way to capitalise on artificial intelligence. IBM has collaborated with General Motors and Google Waymo may be just months away from inviting passengers to use the first driver-less ride-hailing service in the world.

Things are not just going to stop with driver-less cars. They are certainly receiving plenty of attention but it is just one of the many uses of AI in the car industry. If you are looking for more information about how artificial intelligence will be used this article will be taking a closer look at the AI automotive industry trends to understand the factors that are fuelling this explosive market.

Self Driving Cars

It is estimated that by the end of next year approximately 10 million autonomous cars will be on the roads. Quite a few models of these cars have already been introduced with various features.  Self-driving cars fall into two categories which are semi-autonomous and fully autonomous. Fully autonomous vehicles can move from point A to point B without any intervention being needed from the driver. On the other hand, a semi-autonomous car is a vehicle with features which allow it to accelerate, steer the course of the car, and brake with minimum or no interactions from the driver.

A note of caution… In 2016 we witnessed the highest number of fatalities on British roads in the last five years. It is estimated that with congested roads and long commutes self-driving cars could potentially help to make the roads safer. Research conducted by KPMG discloses that fewer deaths will be recorded between the years 2014 and 2030.

Cameras, software and sensors are now making it possible for cars to absorb data around them for learning and responding appropriately. From 2009 the self-driving car from Google, Waymo has allegedly absorbed information of up to 300 years of driving experience.  Before this technology is introduced to mainstream customers with the promise of safer roads and stress-free driving there is a need for costs to be reduced and regulations to be clarified. Additionally, further testing is certain to reveal safety concerns which are unique to this fresh technology.

Having a super artificial intelligence brain in your car may sound comforting but if failures are noticed because of poor quality mechanical centres then artificial intelligence will not receive the information it needs to prevent accidents. One needs to understand how many precautions will be needed and how frequently should checks like MOT be conducted on these technologies before they are fully introduced into the market.

Autonomous Trucks

Estimates have been provided by the Road Haulage Association there is a shortfall of 60,000 drivers which is increasing annually because of an ageing population along with the recruitment limitations being imposed by Brexit. It is under these conditions that the information about autonomous trucks which could soon be on the roads be welcomed by companies in the business and drivers who are presently overworked and turning away from work.

A fully autonomous truck with 18 wheels was tested in America recently. The truck was not entirely driver-less but it could maintain consistent speeds, a safe distance from other vehicles, remain in the selected Lane and slow down or stop according to traffic and road conditions.  This option not only allows drivers to optimise their time on the roads but also handles logistical tasks like scheduling and rerouting. It also improves safety and communication via connectivity and integration.

Uber’s self-driving truck underwent a 120-mile journey in 2016 to deliver 50,000 beers. In the UK self-driving platoons are undergoing testing with the expectation that when they are implemented they will ultimately reduce emissions of carbon dioxide while improving efficiency.


Analysts within the industry are estimating that by 2020 approximately 250 million cars will be connected opening up the entire world of connectivity capabilities both for manufacturers and drivers.  The connectivity to cloud-based platforms will enable drivers to:

  • Locate fuel stations and make payments for their purchases without leaving their vehicle.
  • Receive reminders for buying groceries and essentials when they are close to relevant shops.
  • Order food in advance when approaching restaurants.\’0aUse their vehicles as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Carry out searches with smartphone apps and voice commands and also send and receive emails.
  • Alert parents if their children are exceeding speed limits are straying outside a specified radius by implementing curfews and geo-fencing.
  • Apply premium features which will be made easier with the help of software updates.
  • Provide haulage companies with the ability to diagnose issues without assistance from the driver to visit the dealership or garage.
  • Report usage of fuel and efficiency to transfer the data to the manufacturer for allowing designers to make further improvements.
  • Automatically collect tolls.
  • Smart sensors to identify medical emergencies like an unconscious driver.
  • Provide insurance companies with the ability to track the habits of drivers for adjusting premiums accordingly.

The potential benefits mentioned above also have a few risks associated. We are all aware of how our PCs are susceptible to viruses, hacking and malware. Under the circumstances, the implications of high-tech cars must also be considered.  These developments are definitely promising to revolutionise the automotive industry. However, there is the small matter of understanding when humans should be controlling the vehicle or when they should defer to artificial intelligence for both efficiency and safety. Artificial intelligence won’t tire itself but could definitely make us complacent with the driving technologies like cruise control and automatic braking. The debate on this subject is ongoing.

Stop/Start batteries

Volvo into our workshop with stop/start fault.

The vehicle has several monitors in place that check the condition of the battery to makes sure if the vehicle stops it will start again.

This vehicle had stop/ start warnings on dash, Even though it started fine. Testing the battery it failed the tests, so a replacement was sourced.

These are special batteries that charge differently than lead acid and as the battery gets older the vehicle charges it differently.

So when you replace the battery you have to tell the car the battery has changed or the car may damage the new battery.

With the correct equipment we can make sure your battery is ready for winter.


Renault Trafic non runner

Towed to us as non runner and the immo light on dashboard stays on all the time.

Firstly plugging in a diagnostic tool gave us no faults but it did fail to communicate with several modules.

All the modules communicate on the canbus network, with specialist equipment we can look at these and see how they are. Below is what we saw on this vehicle and below that what we should see

So we know now that the canbus network is at fault, but where is the difficult part, it could be a faulty component dragging signal down or wiring.

The first thing we did is disconnect as many components as we could on the cambus lines like airbag, radio, cluster, ABS to see if it was a component fault, in this case fault remained. After removing one of the plugs from the ECU the signal did clean up but we still couldn’t communicate with various modules.

Tracing the wiring from this plug through the engine bay we discovered shorted wiring in the loom.

Once wiring was repaired we had comms with most modules apart from engine ECU. A check was made of all the powers and grounds to the ECU all were ok.

So the short on the wiring has caused damage within the ECU.

A new ECU was not a viable option due to cost so a 2nd hand one was sourced and we have the tooling to Virginise the replacement unit and code to the vehicle.

Another Renault saved from the scrap yard!!


2010 Citroen C4 non runner

This arrived at our workshop from another garage who suspected ECU fault but were not confident 100 percent.

We checked the wiring to the ECU as there was no comms with this unit and confirmed it as faulty.

We removed the unit from the car,

And stripped down to see if any fault was obvious.

We had different options then for the customer, brand new which was very expensive. Send it away to be fixed, which would still be expensive and take a week to do or fit 2nd hand unit which would need the software changing as it would be already programmed for the original vehicle.

To do this you have to strip down the ECU and get access to the circuit board inside. Then the relevant chip has to be removed and read and the coding  altered so that it works on the new car.

Here at Widnes Auto Electrical we have the equipment and software to do this. Saving the customer time and money

Vehicle Radio Decoding Widnes

Vehicle Radio Decoding Widnes – All/most vehicle radios come with anti-theft prevention software built into them. These pieces of software deny the use of the car’s radio if the software thinks it has been maliciously tampered with. Although in many cases the software prevents the radio from working even if the battery has been disconnected from the car or if another piece of work has been done to the care involving its electronics.

When this happens and nobody has maliciously tampered with it, it can be very annoying. To overcome this issue, you would need to locate the serial number of your vehicle (usually found on the bottom chassis of the car) or in any documentation that you got when you purchased your car. This code would then be entered into our database and the correct 4 digit pin would appear, once this has been entered into your radio, your car radio will be working again.


Although this is a very simple procedure, a lot of mechanics and companies try to milk as much money from you by saying you need to buy a number of different things. Here at Widnes Autoelectrics, we will tell you what you need to do/ what we need to do straight, with no hidden extras. If you have a problem with your vehicles electronics and you don’t know what to do or you don’t have the time to fix them, then you may want to get into contact with us to see what we can do for you and how much for.


If you are interested in our Vehicle Radio Decoding Widnes or you would like some more information on our other services, then please don’t hesitate to get into contact with us and a member of our friendly team will be in touch with you as soon as they can.

Ford Focus instrument cluster

Ford Focus 2009 with various electrical issues. Using our experience with Ford cars and accurate wiring information it was diagnosed as a fault in the instrument cluster. Normally a replacement cluster may be required but here at Widnes Auto Electrical  we have the equipment and skills to repair these, saving the customer a big expense.

Here is the cluster stripped down and under the microscope ready for repair.

What to consider when purchasing your new car?

Are you buying a new car this summer?

Buying a new car is a very exciting time. Lots of things to consider.  Do you buy new?  Do you save a little money and buy one a few years old?  Are you looking for a bargain with thousands and thousands of miles on the clock?   We will usually spend time looking at a number of different cars thinking about how we will feel and look in our new motor.  Whilst this a fun part of the process, it is also the part we can also get carried away with and focus to much on.   Instead, we really ought to focus on the electrical and mechanical issues that surround and used vehicle purchase.  As a result of this lack of focus many buyers may end up with a car that has these very issues that they simply are not aware of.

So what are your best steps to take to ensure you buy the right vehicle?

Get a mechanical check done.

It’s really important to check in advance whether or not your car is roadworthy and worth the price.   It’s always a good idea to have a mechanic look over the vehicle to see if there are any obvious faults that will cost you down the line.  Even if a car is sold with a warranty, it’s still a pain down the line to have to send your car away when it could have been fixed in advance of your purchase.

Check the car electrics.

Going beyond looking at whether your lights work or not is a really important thing to do.  With many cars having more and more electrical components and sophisticated on board computers controlling the vehicle, as quick trip to your local auto electrician could save you a lot of money in the long run.  Checking the car electrics with the latest diagnostic equipment can either reveal a multitude of problems, or put your mind at rest that you are buying the right car at the right price.  It’s always good to check as it will definitely save you money in the long run.

Take the car for a test drive.

Testing driving the car is not just about how you will look and feel driving the motor. Driving round the block is the perfect time to listen out for any rattles and creaks and see how it generally handles on the road.  If all goes will and you have made the necessary electrical and mechanical checks from your local garage or professional mechanic, then you’re good to go.

Remember, taking time to make these checks really will save you money and time in the long run.  If in doubt feel free to give we call here at Widnes Auto Electrical and we will be happy to guide you


Here’s a simple top ten list to consider:

1. Determine a range of cost.

2. Always test drive the car.

3. Research the vehicle.

4. Consider the Cars Best Suited for You.

5. Review the Vehicle History Report.

6. Request a Pre-purchase Inspection. 

7. Take a Look at Some of the Reviews.

8. Do Not Hesitate To Negotiate.

9. Validate Ownership.

10. Complete the Transaction.

Mercedes A-class Airbag trouble

2013 Mercedes came in with airbag light illuminated,  a quick code read showed a fault with passenger side occupancy sensor. This sensor detects when someone is sat in the passenger seat and also their weight. This sensor is very important because if the weight of the occupant is small it will not activate airbag in a crash situation as it could kill the child.

Many owners with this fault may decide to fit an emulator to kid the car because it’s a cheaper alternative to a correct fix. This is dangerous because it tells the car that someone is sat in the seat and the weight of that person is an adult so the airbag will go off whoever is sat there.

This customer decided to fix correctly which requires the seat to be removed and the upholstery to be stripped.

With the new part fitted and coded in, the fault light extinguished. Job done!