Found a way to very accurately diagnose our cars - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Found a way to very accurately diagnose our cars

So, I just figured out a way to take all of the guesswork and trial and error out of fixing any car with OBDII and would like to share it with the community. After we get this going members of the community will never undergo unnecessary repairs again. Explanation:

I'm a PhD student in political science, which entails a great deal more statistics and calculus than one would think. We use fancy statistical software which with the proper training is capable of making incredible inferences about complex questions about human interaction. Using the same methods to make inferences about mechanics is very, very straightfoward. My diagnostic saves data in excel format, which I imported into Stata. What I found in 30 seconds would have normally have taken a professional a decent little bit of looking at outputs in real time (if they actually went so far to do so, which I have never heard of a mechanic doing)

The implication is that by logging data and subjecting it to processes similar to those used in the social sciences there is no longer a reliance of guessing what vague DTCs could mean and then eyeballing real time outputs. It is possible to hold factors constant (such as driving conditions or region of the world) which takes all of the guesswork out of diagnosis. By comparing a logs on cars operating properly with that of one that is running rough or making a sound, within a minute we can say "this is exactly what is different, this is what it is causing". Further, with a database of what members' solutions were we can go one step further and say "this is the fix".

(edit) When I originally posted this it was just a fun little side project, but in the past few hours some colleagues convinced me to pursue a patent on a system a little more advanced, so I have changed the post accordingly. However, if anybody would like me to do this for them it pretty straightforward so I am more than happy to do so for free and get back to you on the results. Benzworld has helped me out so much, it would be pretty s***y of me not to pay that forward. All that is necessary is to save the log in some sort of excel or csv format. If we can convince somebody else with the same engine to do the same I can accurately pinpoint what is happening.

Bill

The Teutonic Plauge
2003 S500
69,000 miles

Last edited by crunk04gtp; 03-28-2013 at 12:24 PM. Reason: concept changed, had to walk back a few things
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 11:42 AM
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After 17 years old Nick D'Aloisio cashed about $30,000,000 for his software you never know when new genius is born
So what exactly you propose? Hand comparison of data chart, or software doing it automatically?
I can tell you can get rich if you have logical software by selling it to Ford truck owners. I researched the subject and the 6 liter diesel, being over-sophisticated engine has no monitoring system. Too often clogged oil cooler leads to coolant boiling and with company drivers not pulling over, toasting the engine.
I would think making a software that would compare coolant and oil temperatures and trigger the alarm when the difference goes above set point should not be a big deal for knowledgeable programmer, but hundreds if not thousands of $16,000 engines are getting lost because nobody come with one.
I have OBDWiz that can hold the sensor data for few minutes, but would have to find the way how to memorize them.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, the idea has evolved a little bit within the past couple hours and I realized I'm in a position to monetize it. I use statistical analysis to look at relevant parameters. THe end idea would be a great deal more sophisticated than what you proposed but a similar idea. With my current position my colleagues and I are in a fairly rare situation to leverage our training and put in the elbow grease to make it happen so a full explanation wouldn't be totally shooting myself in the foot. At the same time as I'm now planning on patenting it I would rather not give away the "secret sauce". However, as I included in an edit above, I am still more than happy to assist others in diagnosing their vehicles for free.

So, the way I'm using to log the data is with Torque on my android phone. It saves it in csv format and can go for a whatever period of time. The whole setup is less than thirty dollars. IIRC, Autotap did this as well. However, I'm worried I'm not catching all of the output. I am only registering data for 3 of 8 o2 sensors yet no o2 sensor DTC is being thrown. I think carsoft is the solution.

Bill

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 01:49 PM
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Carsoft does not hold a candle to MB's Xentry software on the MB SDS computers.

If you can not get into the propriety MB data streams on the modern cars then it would be no more valuable than a $20 eBay scan tool.

I love the entrepreneurial spirit you are showing so I hope I am missing something in your idea. Maybe it is the "secret sauce" which I applaud for keeping under wraps at this point.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 03:07 PM
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If I got the idea, it is about analyzing the sensors charts without going deep into car computer?
While torque app works only with androids, my $20 ELM scanner with OBDWiz does that on my laptop.
I am way better with bolts, than with keyboards, so I took a picture of my laptop screen with diagram on it. Time to dig for electronic save option. ..
This is for example chart of my Powerstroke charging
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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There was a thread on the 220 forum where someone figured out how to get carsoft to access all of the parameters. The only problem was that they were not able to do it simultaneously. IIRC, the issue is that most OBDII adapters only read data off a few pins but SDS uses like 9 or 10 of the 16 pins. I believe you have to read the data off one pin and then switch to the next for a different system (got my 220 about a week ago and my last Benz was a 126, so this is fairly new to me).

Yes, the secret sauce is key. It's not that I think anyone here would steal my idea but posting it to the internet in general before speaking to a patent attorney is unwise. To be honest, it's taken me 7 months of 60+ hour weeks studying statistics to get a handle on how this works. It might have been impossible to adequately explain the proofs in non-nerd terms anyhow.

@ Kajtek, actually the charts will be an output. It's the raw data that is necessary. When I attempted to diagnose my p0171 this morning I used about 50,000 observations.

Bill

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 07:22 PM
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So this is like comparing DNA. If 1000 DNA samples are similar and one is off, then you find where something may be wrong by finding a unique gene the others do not have.

Gonna be a lot of work, but its an interesting concept.

P0171, guessing lean bank one. I have that one memorized.

There are a TON of parameters. I use to program Fords using Advantage pro Racer software. Its AMAZING the amount of live data that can be read on a laptop while driving and making changes on the fly to see output. I miss those days!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 12:13 PM
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project still on?

crunk04gtp
Are you still working on the project? if you are I have a couple of questions on the data you need. Please PM ME if your still working on it.
Thanks,

TOMCLARK
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