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The recent topic about the automatic headlight light sensor on the Seraph era cars is what triggers this post. And while it's not exactly non-technical, it's very broad in that it covers IETIS for both the SZ era and Seraph-Arnage era cars.

One of the first things one should know about using IETIS (Integrated Electronic Technical Information System - the software that replaced all of the former hard copy manuals, TSDs, etc.) is that it is very much worth your time to take a look at the PUBLICATION INDEX link that shows up first thing when IETIS opens. This really gives you a much greater appreciation of the data contained in IETIS as well as a general idea of where you may wish to focus your searching if several different potential chapters might apply in relation to what you're looking for.

The second thing one must know is that IETIS does NOT use "fuzzy search" when you tell it what you're searching for. It comes from an era before that technology became common. I'll use an example taken directly from my searching last night. Here in the USA, you will frequently see the phrase "rearview mirror," where "rearview" is a single word. I'm far more used to that than "rear view mirror." Well, in the Seraph-Arnage IETIS, if you search on "rearview" or "rearview mirror" you get one, count it, one result in the parts manual section, where the part description is "REARVIEW MIRROR (DONNELLY)." But, if you search on "rear view" the search results indicate 293 occurrences in 152 documents or "rear view mirror" [I didn't use the actual quotation marks in the search box] you get 289 occurrences in 150 documents. So, as you can see, there are times when playing with exactly how you phrase your search makes a huge difference. There are also plenty of examples of "two nations separated by a common language" goings-on when it comes to searching. If you search for wrench, there are 23 occurrences in 21 documents, but if you search for spanner, there are 86 occurrences in 61 documents. Knowing the terminology of "Crewe English" as far as object names can be critical when it comes to finding what you're looking for.

Now, on to how one sometimes has to take an indirect route to find exactly what one is looking for. I'll again use the example of trying to find that automatic headlight light sensor. If you use the full word "automatic" in the search you will get nothing back. If you use the word "auto," but also with "headlights," you will get nothing. It must be "auto headlamps." But I didn't even get there via that direct an approach. I first searched on "rearview mirror" and looked at the one and only result from the parts manual, which didn't get me anywhere. Then I backed off to "mirror" then decided to go with looking at the entry for Electrical Circuits 1998 Silver Seraph. This led to entries for rear view mirror, note the two word "rear view" designation, one for RHD and one for LHD, so I went with the LHD entry. This opens the electrical wiring diagram for the rear view mirror, but even in that there is no entry in the parts list there for what I know we're looking for, but there is one for C0255, electrochromic rear view mirror, with the latter entry being a link. That link takes you to the page for component location diagrams, of which I chose the first, e980128 (and I very well may have had to look at the other two, but didn't in this case). You look at that diagram and, plain as day, there is a part shown as C0256 in the position that had been mentioned, but there's STILL no table associated with that diagram that tells you what it is. Well, back to the search function using C0256, and in the list of returned results is an entry, C0256 Auto headlamps light sensor. Then I click through on that item, which brings me to another component location diagram list, and I choose the first, e980128 [note, the same one from before], which absolutely confirms that "that thing" on the rearview mirror stalk is the auto headlamps light sensor.

You will not have to go on an adventure quite this extensive every time you use IETIS, and after you've been using it a while you definitely get better at remembering what Crewe called certain things and you get to them more quickly. But, what is outlined above is not at all atypical of what you sometimes have to do to eventually drill down to the exact information you're looking for. It's not always there "on a silver platter" unless you were already to know exactly what a given thing happens to be called, and often you won't. But you can very often find it by using stepwise refinement in your searches, first going for "the general area" where the item is found, looking at the component location diagrams, and then perhaps needing to keep looking at more parts and component location diagrams.

There are those who think that the above is insanely complicated compared to using the workshop manuals. Well, as someone who has been using the workshop manuals for the SY cars for years, and particularly when the versions available were not searchable, I can tell you it's not. Crewe had a nasty habit of putting information in chapters or TSDs where I doubt that most of us would ever, in a million years, have initially thought to look. An example of this in the SY era documentation is that the most detailed information about the carbs and automatic choke system, as well as the distributor and ignition system are in Chapter U - Emission Control System. This is not the place I'd intuitively go looking for this sort of information, and it took me forever to find it when I was initially trying to do so. You do find things much more quickly with a couple of "overly broad" searches in IETIS, adding or changing search terms as your search continues, than you might otherwise either with hard copy or even searchable electronic copy that is not the entire documentation set for the car.

In any case, I hope the above gives some sense of the approach one can take to finding information in IETIS when you're not precisely sure exactly what something is called and/or what part of the documentation has the exact answer you're seeking.
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