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Case Studies

QuickCheck: The Circuit Performance Analyzer

Solution to fast-changing vehicle electronic diagnostics

A scan tool tells a vehicle mechanic when the output from an Electronic Control Module (ECM) is faulty. One solution can be to replace the ECM – but it can fail again if the failure was somewhere else: shorted wiring, open wiring, high current draw, poor ground or a faulty component.

ECMs too can lose their diagnostic capabilities when damaged by a component that is downstream. Locating the fault can be even more time consuming and expensive – and not always reliable — if a mechanic pulls the ECM, opens the technical manuals, and by using a VOM, starts back-probing and connecting pins and re-wiring to locate the problem.

Enter the QuickCheck™ — a profitable solution from troubleshooting ECM output circuit problems. The device checks solenoids, relays, idle air and speed controls, power (chassis) and sensor ground wires.


MTSI designed the QuickCheck™ On-Car ECM Circuit Performance Analyzer as an easy-to-use diagnostic tool enabling a mechanic to quickly actuate and measures ECM output loads – and automatically identifying shorted, partially shorted, or open ECM circuits.

Printed circuit connector cards automatically customize the QuickCheck™ tester to the ECM without requiring a cumbersome and time consuming “breakout box.” A low-cost, vehicle-specific adapter card also replaces the ECM in the vehicle harness and connects the circuits to the QuickCheck™ analyzer. Press a button, twist a knob, and a mechanic can quickly actuate and precisely measure the ECM output circuits. A mechanic can pinpoint a faulty circuit in minutes, without guesswork, wasted time, or repeat ECM failures.

Positive identification of shorted or open ECM loads can easily be done in minimal time. This is important when troubleshooting many ECM systems because a shorted solenoid can disable the ECM’s diagnostic capability, rendering a Scan Tool useless.

QuickCheck™ also enables a mechanic to bypass a vehicle’s on-board computer and diagnose:

    • drivability problems
    • no-start
    • no trouble codes
    • intermittent problems

In addition, the tool can identify each component’s typical output function, normal current range, and ECM connector pinout information for each ECM service number and system type. QuickCheck™ can generate an electrical stream of pulses to mechanically move a relay or solenoid to produce a repeatable sound signature to prove mechanical activation or find a faulty part.

The QuickCheck™ tester also tests for mechanical solenoid function by electrically generating a “stream of pulses” which should invoke mechanical movement producing a repeatable and audible “sound signature.” For example, the “sound signature” of a non-properly working (stuck) fuel injector can be compared to the “sound signature” of a properly operating injector. All ECM power and ground wiring is also tested by the QuickCheck™ tester.

The bar graph display on the analyzer offers automatic indication of faulty power and sensor ground wires to the ECM.

Lastly, the tester electrically actuates coils by either supplying battery power to activate a solenoid wired to ground, or by sinking current to ground for a solenoid wired to power. Precise measurement and digital display of actual coil actuation current is performed either way.

If a shorted component is tested, a “SHORT” light pops on, and the QuickCheck™ automatically sets the maximum current to a safe level, preventing further damage.

Mechanics can quickly and easily expand their diagnostic power to troubleshoot faulty component operation with confidence.