Plugged into the network

Another new contributor for Aftermarket in 2022 is Ryan Colley, who is looking at how it’s not just what you know, it’s also who you know

Published:  01 March, 2022

My name is Ryan Colley, and I am the owner of a small diagnostic specialist independent garage based in Taunton, Somerset called Elite Automotive Diagnostics. I have been published by American magazine Motor Age and more recently been published by Tom Denton in his latest edition to his training literature Advanced Automotive Fault Diagnosis, with other mentions in other titles.

Over three years ago now, I went off on my own to set up a garage which specializes in diagnostics and all aspects of vehicle electronics including programming and coding. Over the years, a lot has happened which I would like to go into brief detail here.
Over two years ago now I found myself browsing through social media. I was attempting to learn more about the trade, along with further testing techniques to better myself. I stumbled across Brandon Steckler, who I found to be teaching some very specialist skills via a private social media group.
He was inviting everyone in this group to diagnose an engine fault without any major dismantling. The trick was they had to figure it out using the oscilloscope captures he had gained by connecting a pressure transducer to the engine via the spark plug hole and a pressure pulse sensor fitted into the intake, exhaust, and crankcase.
Sounds crazy right? I thought so too. It was not until I continued to follow the thread that I found out he diagnosed this vehicle correctly. Astounded by these testing methods, I reached out to Brandon via social media, who I must mention lives in the USA thus showcasing the power of social media and the facilities now at our fingertips. I asked him for help as I had an Audi A4 V6 in my own workshop which had obvious engine mechanical issues, but the fault was exceedingly difficult to pinpoint.
I explained the scenario, and he told me how to go about testing the vehicle and which information he would need to help me. I obtained the oscilloscope captures using the same equipment he advised in his previous social media thread (pressure transducer and delta pressure sensor) and we both got to analyzing them to diagnose this engine mechanical fault without dismantling it. He told me exactly where my issues lay, and more importantly informed me this vehicle was repairable even though it had little-to-no compression on three of its six cylinders. After I removed and stripped this vehicle down, which took over 15 hours as the engine needed to be removed to confirm our suspicions, I confirmed exactly what Brandon told me to look for. This component was then replaced and subsequently the vehicle was repaired restoring compression to all cylinders.

Techniques and skills
This was the start of a great relationship between myself and Brandon. I was so amazed at the techniques and skills I had acquired from the aforementioned troublesome Audi I thought to myself “everyone needs to learn these skills.” Therefore, I reached out again to Brandon and invited him to tour the UK to carry out his pressure analysis course. To make this happen, I needed a huge help from the automotive community, so I reached out to individuals within the automotive field including Steve Scott of SDN Network. He said he would help me bring Brandon to the UK for this debut tour. With the backing of some of the most crucial key players in the automotive industry we set about to marketing this tour. The response we received was outstanding and it was clear to see this type of testing technique was about to become immensely popular.
We agreed we would run three different venues throughout the UK to give everyone the opportunity to attend. We started off in the South-West at the prestigious Technical Topics automotive training centre, headed up by James Dillon. The attendees were ecstatic about the opportunity to learn these skills from possibly the best in the industry concerning pressure analysis. No training centre to date had held any course like this, making this an extremely popular course to attend. We sold out all three venues. From there we ventured north to ADS Preston, the home of David and Frank Massey. We then finally closed the tour at the Bosch training centre in Glasgow. The reviews we received were phenomenal, with some attendees saying, “this is the best automotive training I have been on.”

Fast forward to a year later and I started another company called Elite Diagnostic Solutions which specialized in providing technicians and garages with specialist diagnostic tooling, which was not easily available. The first company whose products we started to distribute their was DITEX. Six months after this Steve Scott mentioned to me there was an automotive training course that should not be missed in the USA called Super Saturday. This prestigious event was hosting some of America’s most knowledgeable automotive trainers all in one place. We agreed we both needed to attend. Steve reached out to other technicians within his SDN Network asking if anyone wanted to come and join us on this adventure. In total, 10 other people joined us on this opportunity of a lifetime.
Upon arrival we met our good friend Brandon, who picked us up from the airport and took us all to our hotels in what I could only describe as a real family bus. This thing was huge, poor Brandon looked out of place driving it as he could barely see over the steering wheel. We all attended the event, and it was a huge success. This is where I met prestigious company owner Jorge Menchu, owner, and Director of AESWave.
AESWave is a training and diagnostics tool company, therefore we spoke in detail about the possibility of becoming a UK distributor for their products in which Jorge and his team agreed. Therefore, we are now UK distributors for AESWave, DITEX and more recently ATS (Automotive Test Solutions) products.
A few months later and there was so much demand to bring Brandon back over to the UK to carry out his pressure analysis course. Those who attended his last course were now using the techniques, and others wanted to learn and develop themselves. So again, I reached out to Brandon and asked him to come and do another tour of the UK. However, this time we also included both Northern Ireland and Ireland. As before, all venues sold out with incredibly happy delegates.
We are currently planning another training course. This will be presented by two of America’s top instructors, Brian Culotta and Brin Kline of Trained By Techs.
For more information about this up and coming event please visit:

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