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PRESS RELEASE - October 27, 2020


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Picoscope BNC Plus LEDS

Today Pico Technology launches the new PicoScope 4425A Electric Vehicle (EV) kit. Designed to cover all vehicle types and powertrains, it provides workshops with a future proof system that handles vehicles incorporating high-voltage batteries and motor systems. 

More.....[PDF Press Release]

Full product details page...

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PicoScope 7 Automotive

now supports 30 languages!


This latest version of the PicoScope 7 beta has many new features, including PicoDiagnostics, 30 languages and Full graph mode. Steve has written more about all the individual features and how to use them in this forum post.



You can download the latest version here!


CAN Test Box

can test box


Continuing with our mission to make vehicle diagnostics easier and faster…the new CAN Test Box gives you easy access to the 16 pins of the diagnostic connector that is fitted to all modern vehicles. Depending on the configuration of the vehicle, this may allow you to check power, ground and CAN Bus signal quality. With the test leads supplied you can connect your PicoScope lab scope to the CAN Test Box to monitor signals such as the CAN High and Low. More.....

Attention all
Automotive Scope Users

Pico Automotive Scope software now sports a new Waveform Library browser.
Must own PicoScope to view.
See details here


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BMW 318i Not Starting
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By Andy Cape, Cape Auto Diagnostics, Cape Town   

The vehicle

  • 2000 BMW E46 318i
  • BMS46 Engine Control
  • Engine Code M43TU

The problem

The vehicle had been driven through a flooded area, and water had entered the block via the air intake. The car cut out with the engine flooded with water. The cold water entered the hot cylinder block, and caused it to crack due to thermal shock. The engine had been replaced, but could not be started. The vehicle was towed to our garage, but we soon discovered that no diagnostic scan could be performed due to no communication to the modules.

The investigation

After a thorough investigation of the relevant fuses, checking supply voltages, ground (earth) signals, immobilizer signals, and the primary ignition voltage, we discovered that:

  • The primary ignition was being supplied with 12 V, but the ECU was not triggering the coils, which resulted in no spark being produced.
  • The relevant fuses were intact.
  • The immobilizer signal was available as soon as the ignition key was turned and therefore was not at fault (see Figure 1).
  • The Crankshaft Sensor did not deliver a valid signal. The power supply for the sensor was only 500 mV once the car was started. (see Figures 2 and 3).
figure 1

Figure 1: A good signal from the immobiliser to the ECU

figure 2

Figure 2: Blue = Crank shaft sensor, Red = Hall sensor supply (should be 12 V)

figure 3

Figure 3: The crank shaft signals zoomed

The solution

We checked the wiring of the crank shaft sensor and could not find any faults. The sensor itself had been replaced by the client already. We did notice that without the sensor connected - there was no sufficient power supply to the sensor from the ECU. This led us to believe the ECU must be faulty.

The result

We opened the ECU and found the proof. The power connector was destroyed by extreme overload (see Figure 4). We were confused as to why the fuses did not trip to protect the ECU.

figure 4

Figure 4: ECU with damanged power connector

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