Engine EGT System and Tachometer System Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting EGT System

An appropriate analyzer is used to test and troubleshoot the aircraft thermocouple system at the first indication of trouble, or during periodic maintenance checks. The test circuits of the analyzer make it possible to isolate the troubles listed below. Following the list is a discussion of each trouble mentioned.
  1. One or more inoperative thermocouples in engine parallel harness 
  2. Engine thermocouples out of calibration 
  3. EGT indicator error 
  4. Resistance of circuit out of tolerance 
  5. Shorts to ground 
  6. Shorts between leads 

One or More Inoperative Thermocouples in Engine Parallel Harness

This error is found in the regular testing of aircraft thermocouples with a hot heater probe and is a broken lead wire in the parallel harness, or a short to ground in the harness. In the latter case, the current from the grounded thermocouple can leak off and never be shown on the indicator. However, this grounded condition can be found by using the insulation resistance check. 

Engine Thermocouples Out of Calibration 

When thermocouples are subjected for a period of time to oxidizing atmospheres, such as encountered in turbine engines, they drift appreciably from their original calibration. On engine parallel harnesses, when individual thermocouples can be removed, these thermocouples can be bench-checked, using one heater probe. The temperature reading obtained from the thermocouples should be within manufacturer’s tolerances. 

EGT Circuit Error 

This error is found by using the EGT and comparing the reading of the aircraft EGT indicator with the analyzer temperature reading. [Figure] The analyzer and aircraft temperature readings are then compared.

aircraft EGT system troubleshooting
EGT analyzer

Resistance of Circuit Out of Tolerance

The engine thermocouple circuit resistance is a very important adjustment since a high-resistance condition gives a low indication on the aircraft EGT indicator. This condition is dangerous, because the engine is operating with excess temperature, but the high resistance makes the indicator read low. It is important to check and correct this condition.

Shorts to Ground/Shorts Between Leads

These errors are found by doing the insulation check using an ohmmeter. Resistance values from zero to 550,000 ohms can be read on the insulation check ohmmeter by selecting the proper range.

Troubleshooting Aircraft Tachometer System

A function of the rpm check is troubleshooting the aircraft tachometer system. The rpm check circuit in the analyzer is used to read engine speed during engine run-up with an accuracy of ±0.1 percent. The connections for the rpm check are the instrument cable and aircraft tachometer system lead to the tachometer indicator. After the connections have been made between the analyzer rpm check circuit and the aircraft tachometer circuit, the two circuits, now classed as one, are a parallel circuit. The engine is then run-up as prescribed in applicable technical instructions. Both systems can be read simultaneously. If the difference between the readings of the aircraft tachometer indicator and the analyzer rpm check circuit exceeds the tolerance prescribed in applicable technical instructions, the engine must be stopped, and the trouble located and corrected.