Home Automotive Reference Automotive Reference (general) Hack Mechanic Guide to European Automotive Electrical Systems

Rennlist.com book review - July 29, 2016

Depending on when your car was originally built, the electrical system could be fairly simple, controlling basic functions like the ignition, lights, radio, and gauges. Or it could be extremely complex on a more contemporary model, where the system controls anything and everything - power windows, electric locks, power seats with heating, cooling and massage functions, navigation, bluetooth, active spoilers, emissions systems, and the list goes on and on. However, no matter what the vintage of the vehicle is, when any of these components stop working, it can be frustrating to the driver, and difficult to diagnose. "Why did it happen? It was working last time I drove the car," is an oft-heard phrase on Rennlist, and many other enthusiast forums.

For those inclined to learn, or attempt to tackle some of these maladies by themselves, a good starting point might be The Hack Mechanic Guide to European Automotive Electrical Systems by Rob Siegel (and the Bentley Publishers Technical Team). The author may be more familiar to the BMW community - not that there is anything wrong with that - for his longstanding monthly column in the BMW CCA?s Roundel magazine, "The Hack Mechanic." But he has also owned other European marques too, including a G-series Porsche 911. And when things go south - and with a fleet of about a dozen cars, something is bound to eventually - Siegel sets to work himself.

Logically laid out, this book begins with the basics, and works its way to more complicated areas - starting with electricity and "how it actually works," then moving into more advanced areas such as switches and relays, adding new circuits, ignition, reading wiring diagrams, modules, buses and digital data, the dreaded OBD-II, and often inscrutable sensors. The how and why of basic electrical principles are explained clearly throughout, and Siegel shows you how to test them. You don’t have to feel intimidated - Siegel conveys the sometimes unfathomable world of electrical systems into easier-to-understand language (note I said "easier," not "easy") with practical real world scenarios, analogies, and a plethora of sidebars, drawings, photographs, and diagrams to back up the text.

Whether you’re an occasional home mechanic, experienced professional, or just want a better understanding of problems when speaking to a technician, this book should prove to be an invaluable resource that will help you save wasted effort, and make sense of electrical systems.

Our friends at Bentley Publishers have kindly offered a promotion for Rennlist readers. For a limited-time only, get 25% off The Hack Mechanic Guide to European Automotive Electrical Systems book by Rob Siegel. If you add Rob’s very entertaining Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic to your shopping cart, you can get 25% off that book as well!

Just use the promo code RennlistElectric and click HERE!

Rennlist.com book review screenshot - July 29, 2016
Article from and courtesy of http://rennlist.com/articles/hack-mechanic-guide-european-automotive-electrical-systems/