Designed to support and enhance the aftermarket experience of its customers through the dealer network, the Toyota Centre of Technical Excellence (TCOTE), based at the Toyota South Africa Motors’ Sandton head office, is the most advanced facility of its kind in Africa.
South Africa is the only country to establish designated Toyota Repair Support dealerships (14 in total) to reinforce the role played by head office-based technical staff in providing assistance to dealerships – as opposed to one national hub. In line with Toyota’s continuous improvement philosophy – kaizen – this centre is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built to assist the regional dealer network with diagnostic challenges in particular, including remote diagnostics.
The latter is not exclusive to the 14 Toyota Repair Support dealerships and open to the more than 200 dealerships within the Toyota and Lexus family. Repair support technicians attend regular training seminars, ensuring the maintenance of high diagnostic standards; the centre also conducts and supervises vehicle quality evaluations. The technology employed at TCOTE encompasses the many facets of vehicle maintenance and research.
The core focus include Crash Data Recovery or CDR, Radial Force Variation, Remote Diagnosis including Pico-Scope Analysis, Injector Analysis and Dynomometer Measurement.
Crash Data Recovery
TSAM uses sophisticated Crash Data Retrieval tools to obtain recorded data from a car’s electronics during a collision. The Crash Data Retrieval or CDR tool, can provide valuable, unbiased information, when reconstructing exactly what happened. The CDR is connected to the car’s electronic system, from which it continuously records driver inputs and the performance of all electronic components.
Radial Force Variation
TCOTE makes use of the world’s fastest Radial Force Variation (RFV) Machine, a dynamic wheel analyser. It can simulate real road conditions courtesy of the roller and the employment of lasers to detect any tyre and wheel deformations, as well as wheel deflection.
The rapid advance of technology in control systems, presents complex diagnostic challenges when a fault occurs. An On-Board Diagnostic or OBD scan tool is essential for modern car maintenance.
A “fault code” can indicate a specific area for further functional tests, but rarely isolates the specific root cause of a vehicle fault. Over 150 guided tests – ranging from simple ignition and injector tests, to more complex electronic circuitry testing – are integrated into the latest software, enabling the Pico Automotive Diagnostics Kits to test virtually all electrical and electronic components and circuits in any modern vehicle.
Electronic fuel injector operation is critical to the smooth running of both petrol and diesel engines, affecting performance, fuel economy and emission outputs. Even the slightest irregularity in the fuel-spray pattern can have a negative effect on engine components and/or performance.
A dynamometer measures this power. Engines generate power and deliver it to the transmission/transaxle, whereby it transfers the power to the differential, which powers the drive-shafts, which in turn are coupled to the wheels. When being transferred, power is absorbed in the process, delivering substantially less power to where it matters most: the wheels. All motor manufacturers specify engine power on the engine flywheel.