These test leads saved me!!

Benjamin Diagnostician Tennessee Posted   Latest   Edited  
Tech Tip
2010 Nissan Maxima 3.5L (VQ35)

If you do not own this test lead set from AES Wave, then you need to add it to the top of your list of “need to buy tools.” I ran into a unique issue this week. I was called to a Transmission shop to look this 2010 Nissan Maxima for a step motor fault (P1777). 

When I arrived something seemed eerily familiar. I quizzed the owner about the car and found I had already looked at this vehicle when it was at another shop a few months prior. Originally, the vehicle had had a used transmission installed at the first shop, and I had not yet purchased this test lead set. I was called out to look at the P1777 fault. Everything tested correctly and I told the shop there was likely an issue with the used CVT trans that was installed. I recommended he send it to a transmission shop as I know very little about how the internals of a transmission work. Especially CVT transmissions.

Here we are in the present. I was pretty sure I had looked at this car before. I told the transmission shop I thought I had seen it before. After they told me the story I knew it was the same car. The transmission shop had replaced the used transmission with a new Transmission, but the step motor fault remained. I suspected a bad TCM, but I wanted to dig a little deeper. I remembered something wrong from the first time I ohm tested the stepper motors, but I couldn’t remember what. I decided to start from scratch. Sure enough two of the step motor circuits measured at the TCM had infinite resistance. This couldn’t be right. I assumed the used transmission had issues. Now there is a new transmission with the same fault. Time to dig deeper.

I then disconnected the CVT connector and got my AES Wave test lead kit to check the circuit again. This is when I had my Eurika moment. There was an entire row of pins that had virtually no resistance when performing a drag test using the test terminals in the kit!! It was beyond obvious!! I removed the pins from the CVT connector one at a time and worked everything back into shape and the vehicle was back on the road. With no more faults.

This kit made it obvious what the problem was and saved me hours of wasted time and headaches. The circuit would have tested fine using a resistance test, carried a load, and nothing was visibly wrong with the terminals. If you don’t yet have this test lead kit, buy it!!!! It will save you like it did me!! 


Mario Diagnostician
Mario Default

Great write up! I just bought this new updated kit and couldn't be more pleased. It's truly invaluable for me. Great to see a prefect example of it shining!

Default Ð Awarded
Bill Owner/Technician
Bill Default

Ben is this a paid commercial or a tech tip....

Default Ð Awarded
Albin Diagnostician
Albin Default

I have had that set of test leads for a few years, and it is by far one of the best investments in test leads I have ever made. The pin fit function is the best part of the whole deal.

Default Ð Awarded
Marlin Technician
Marlin Default

Essential kit. Thinking about how much time I have wasted because of not having that kit is about sickening. Argh!

Default Ð Awarded
Tom Owner/Technician
Tom Default

I doe like my kit .

Default Ð Awarded
Thomas Owner/Technician
New York
Thomas Default

I have this kit as well, and I agree, very handy!

Default Ð Awarded
Jerome Owner/Technician
Jerome Default

Great test kit, works great with homemade load simulators (head lamp with 4mm banana jacks,or tail light with banana jacks) Also great to use with Prowerprobe. The back probe that comes in the kit is ultra slim, new kit also has updated wire peirce tool.

Default Ð Awarded
Xavier Owner/Technician
New York
Xavier Default

This is definitely a great test lead kit. I was at TST yesterday and was talking with one of the sales reps from AES Wave about the new kit. I have the old kit and it has come in handy more times then I ever thought it would. Apparently the new kit has different color wires for each style of terminal and either black or red connectors for if it's make it female. It would make it easy to pick the

Default Ð Awarded
Rick Technician
Rick Default

I know I'm a little late here but I just wanted to say thanks. Just got the kit and it's nice, really nice!

Default Ð Awarded