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How to Diagnose and Repair Automotive Electrical Systems (Motorbooks Workshop) Paperback – November 10, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Motorbooks Workshop
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Motorbooks; First edition (November 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760320993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760320990
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 8.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tracy Martin writes for Motorcycle Consumer News, RoadBike, Friction Zone, PowerSports, and Dealer News magazines. He is the author of six books, including the Motorbooks titles How to Diagnose and Repair Automotive Electrical Systems (2005), Motorcycle Electrical Systems: Troubleshooting and Repair (2007), How to Tune and Modify Motorcycle Engine Management Systems (2012), and How to Troubleshoot, Repair, and Modify Motorcycle Electrical Systems (2014). Tracy lives in Baltimore, Maryland.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
41
4 star
17
3 star
11
2 star
0
1 star
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See all 69 customer reviews
This book is easy to read and understand.
Fullthrottle17
I feel more will get whats needed from this book than most auto electrical books out there.
Randy Garrity
Tracy Martin's book is simply the best book I have ever read on this subject.
Fred Rawls

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 135 people found the following review helpful By JPN850R on November 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is indeed the best automotive electrical systems book out there, as almost all other books waste the entire book on theories that hardly apply to actual hands-on diagnosis.

I am a graduate of highly-recognized aircraft maintenance college, and have achieved above-average grades in electrical/electronic systems courses. However, during my education we hardly covered "practical" part of our profession as certified technicians. This book cleared up some of my questions and was definitely better than any book I've read on electricity.

However, the downside is that the book still spends much space explaining theories that do not help doing the actual troubleshooting/repair. It could use more photos/illustrations, as well as comparisons between good units & bad units. Some of the components covered are also obsolete (point contact ignition system, DC generator, etc...), only helpful for those who are into vintage vehicles. The book also has too much advertisement, especially for Fluke products. Fluke multimeters are indeed the best in the world, and I myself use a Fluke. However, even my entry-level Fluke was $150 and for most home mechanics, Sears Craftsman DMM's are more than sufficient.

All in all, there is simply no better book than this one. On his next book, I would like to see more info on imported vehicles, as well as more up-to-date systems such as skid control, traction control, electronic climate control, navigation, discharge-type headlight bulbs, LED's, Optitron clusters, and engine-to-transmission data-link systems.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Fred Rawls on January 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have always been able to fix electrical problems on cars but sometimes at much wasted expense and effort. Tracy Martin's book is simply the best book I have ever read on this subject. It is a "nuts and bolts" book that tells you why and how to test a certain way. Suddenly automotive electrical systems make sense to me. This book will save much wasted effort. My father was an electrical engineer and he figured out electrical problems for me. When he died I had to figure this stuff out for myself and I wish I had paid more attention. Tracy Martins book is great, not only do I recommend it ... if Tracy Martin ever writes another one I will buy that too. Fred Rawls
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Zina Deretsky on November 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm your average "Tim The Tool Man" type -- stuff like fixing cars & bikes comes naturally to me, and I'm even pretty good at fabrication stuff like welding, but when it comes to electricity, I scratch my head, grunt, and hope nothing catches fire.

Tracy Martin's book actually makes a lot of sense to me, and each chapter builds on previous chapters, which is a big help to me. He doesn't assume you know a lot about electricity, but he doesn't speak down either -- just clear and accessable language. I really like how there aren't a bunch of crazy-looking engineering schematics & symbols, instead, he uses really straighforward illustrations. Good photos too.

Everyone from a DIY type to a professional mechanic can learn something from this book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Big Red on November 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Wow! I never thought I could learn car electrical repair from one book - but I did! This book is great. Easy to understand & easy to locate information. Very user friendly & laid out well. Good tests for your car, and helps you test your car yourself. Now I don't feel like such an idiot when an electrical malfunction occurs in my car - a good guide & resource! Highly recommend!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ron Hays on September 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a former ASE technician at 2 different dealership shops, I found this book a great refresher course. I've changed vocations, and had "lost track" (read: senior moments!) of some of these fundamentals. As a few others have stated, much of the material in this book was written about older vehicles, However, the principals are still the same when it comes to electrical troubleshooting, just the greater amount of electronics involved in todays cars make it easier in some respects (OBDII Scanners, etc) and more confusing for the shear amount of circuits on modern cars and trucks. I would recommend this book to anyone from wet behind the ears starting out, to someone like myself who has become outdated and a bit rusty. Martin makes this an easy read, and doesn't drone on with enough technobabble to put you to sleep. Well done
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By tech mech on November 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
I normally wouldn't attempt much on an electrical system, but this book took out a great deal of the mystery about how to figure out problems. This was a great find for me. VERY user friendly format and not overwhelming like other books I've looked at. Thanks to the author!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kent L. on December 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book in order to gain a basic understanding of automotive electrical systems and I was not disappointed. I consider it to be a starting point in my understanding of how to diagnose automotive electrical systems. The author does a fairly good job of providing a usable overview of basic concepts of electricity, the various electrical systems and components, and the tools used to diagnose electrical problems. The book could have used a few more diagrams and images when describing some components, but all in all I think it is a good book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By carnut on November 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have always had trouble getting my head wrapped around electricity. I am good at taking things apart and getting them back together on cars but electrical stuff always gives me problems. I read just chapters 1 & 2 in the auto electrical book and was surprised at how easy the explanation was of how electicity worked. I have tried some of the tests for the alternator in my car and truck and they really worked. It is a good book for back yard mechanics to work on cars. Glad I bought it.
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