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Discussion Starter #1
What is everyone's opinion of Auto-Enginuity?

I think it is a pretty decent product but recently contacted them on the Power Balance (Cylinder Contribution) test. If you look at the IDS, when the RPM increases/decreases, the zero doesn't change where as the AE tool doesn't use the RPM reading as zero and therefore if you perform the test sitting still and then take a drive, or even simply revving the engine, the whole graph goes through the roof and you can't see the graph on the screen.

I also know that the Ford IDS would simply remain constant. I assume the IDS uses the RPM as zero, before each reading of the cylinder firing, and therefore the graph remains stable.

Unfortunately, after I indicated I thought that it would be a great improvement to the tool, the response from AE was

"The test is what it is and from conversations with the engineer, it will not be changed, sorry."

Not what I would call a customer centric response at all... I can normally take some functional issues with decent customer service and respect so this seems a bet poor to me...

Having said that, the tool is affordable and does provide some decent tools. Is there something else out there that does the job and is affordable as well?

thanks,
 

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The cylinder contribution test is meant to be done at idle speed. It's a percentage difference in RPM at each cylinder firing, and that goes to basically zero as engine rpm increases.

I think that Ford's test is the same.

You can do the same thing by displaying PERDELS on each cylinder. As soon as you come off idle, they all go to zero.

It's just the nature of the test.

Not sure why you'd want to graph that. Even if it was a zero based rpm, it would become meaningless at higher rpms.
 

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I am happy with my AE and I found customer service to be very helpful.

His name was Beevo. He went the extra mile.

I can’t speak for other similar products but I use the AE on an old Panasonic Toughbook I have and it allows me to record metrics and then ask the guys here what it all means.

😉
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Not to be argumentative, as your input "KLHANSEN" has always been good, but when I see DieselTechRon perform a test and explain why its done, I'm going to trust it. Also, the IDS is not the same. The IDS will remain stable, at zero, when increasing RPMs. The IDS also has the added benefit of being able to stop the Engine Computer from compensating (adjusting fuel up/down and injection timing) for a poor performing cylinder.

See attached Screen shot of DTR performing the Power Balance test under higher RPMs:

Ultimately, it isn't the tool I'm not pleased with but rather the response. Having been in software development for over 30 years, its never a good response to simply tell a customer "It is what it is and it's not going to change" < paraphrasing... a little.

The AE Tech also indicated that to test at higher RPMs, you should start the test when you get to the RPMs you want to test at. So I think it is a beneficial test.

Again, not trying to trash the tool, as it is very good at a fraction of the cost of the IDS, just the response from the developer.
 

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I watched that same video by Dieseltech Ron and was impressed with that diagnostic capability of the IDS tool. Can't do it with AE and apparently won't be able to....
 

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That's definitely a different test than the cylinder contribution test, either by AE or IDS.

I agree that the response you got was not the best, but there are limitations on what AE can do.
 

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Personally, I would rather have a Customer Service Rep be blunt and honest with me than to offer insincere apologies about how difficult of an experience their product has caused and make some empty promise of they greatly appreciate your suggestion.

But AE does not really have a CS Dept do they? I thought they just had Techs answer the phone to help customers with their product.
 

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I think you can actually talk with the president of AE. At least you could a few years back.
I used and older version that had a serial port interface, and when that computer died, I asked them what version would work with Windows 10 and a USB port. They pointed me at a later version, and actually called me to offer a USB interface for the cost of postage. What I had worked with a USB-serial port adapter I bought online, so didn't take them up on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You mistake being polite with being dishonest... You can be polite and still be honest. Again, having been in development for 30+ years, I have had to tell many customers I would not be making changes to the software. But I did it in a manner which didn't put them off... and this is customers that spent millions on the system and not hundreds. Maybe being polite isn't the norm for you, but is certainly is for me, and I'd rather deal with people who are.

There is not question of the suggestion being beneficial, the question is more to the point of it being beneficial enough that the customers would appreciate the added functionality and is it a selling point. Selling point meaning will it help a person make a decision to purchase the AE over the IDS...

IDS is about 800.00 (you can get the full bundle with a Toughbook computer for 3500.00
AE, with Ford Bundle, is about 400.00 and can handle many different Manufacturers...

Given that, the test I am wanting to run, is probably not beneficial enough to demand the added development cost. I get that... and that should be the response that is given, not some rude, or blunt as you call it, response. IMHO.

They do have a technical support department, at least that is what the signature is on the email.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
KLHansen, what do you mean its a different test? What is a different test?
 

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The only test mentioned in the Service Manual for the 7.3L is the Cylinder Contribution Test, and it can only run at idle. If you touch the accelerator pedal, it will abort.
I've never seen mention of the power balance test you referred to.


You can display PERDELS with AE, but as I mentioned above, that becomes useless above idle as the percentage deceleration becomes undetectable.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ahh... I think the Cylinder Contribution test is synonymous with the Power Balance Test in that it graphs the "contribution" of each cylinder to the overall RPM. Some will be positive other negative but the delta between the cylinders should be negligible.

The IDS provides a superior test in that it can control the computers attempt to balance out the cylinders by removing the adjustments to timing and fuel quantity... How much superior??? I don't know... The Ford Diesel Technicians use it so it has to have some value...

For me? Maybe not.

It's the same test just slightly different capabilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Maybe being polite is not the norm for me? It sounds like you got your feelings hurt because he did not care about your 30+ years of multi-million dollar software development.

When you post on a forum, you are asking for opinions. I gave you mine. AE is a great product and they went the extra mile.
LOL...

here I am expecting people to be polite to each other.. some day I'll learn... NAH! I'll always expect people to be polite until they prove themselves to be otherwise, call me an optimist.

Thanks ArcticDriver… Your opinion of the product and sharing your positive experience with the customer/technical support was helpful... I do appreciate it.
 

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Ahh... I think the Cylinder Contribution test is synonymous with the Power Balance Test in that it graphs the "contribution" of each cylinder to the overall RPM. Some will be positive other negative but the delta between the cylinders should be negligible.
The CCT that AE runs is built into the PCM, AE just initiates it. It doesn't graph anything, just sits there with the engine idling for a couple minutes, then either spits out a code for cylinders that are outside it's preset range, or tells you "test successful".
The only way that AE can graph anything is to set it up to record PERDELS for each cylinder. Then you have to export the recording to Excel to be able to display the data as a graph. Once you do that, you could manipulate it however you want, but it's kind of a PITA to go thru all those steps. I usually just display PERDELS and look at the changing numbers to see where they peak for each cylinder.

The IDS does sound like it has more flexibility.
 
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