May 7

What Does It Take To Do Great Diagnostic Work?

Car Maintenance


Through the time of owning your vehicle, you may experience it running poorly, or a warning lamp may illuminate on your dash saying check engine or ABS.

What Does It Take To Do Great Diagnostic Work?

When one of these concerns occur, a diagnosis will be required to find the cause. While under the manufacturer’s warrantee the manufacturer will pay for the above concerns to be diagnosed and repaired; however once that time has expired, you are responsible to pay the cost of repairs.

Having a trusted shop to properly diagnose and repair your vehicle is critical.

Many of your instrument panel warning lights like the check engine, ABS or air bag lamp all involve very complex electronic and mechanical components. Finding the exact cause for the failure is critical if the repair is to be done properly and for the least cost. Similarly, drivability concerns such as poor engine performance, transmission shifting problems, lack of acceleration, engine misfire or ABS braking problems also involve these complex electronic and mechanical systems.

Due to this complexity, you want to trust your diagnosis and repair to a competent shop. A shop that has high quality scan tools, a lab scope, highly skilled technicians and up to date repair information. While most diagnostics go smoothly, some can become very complex and to find the cause can take every piece of equipment, all the best repair info and the minds of more than one expert technician.

Did you know that many shops and dealerships do not do proper diagnosis?

While dealerships usually have fabulous scan tools, their diagnosis may be limited to scan tool data and then a best guess of the problem based on that data. Dealerships usually pay their technicians a flat rate and this can lead to a quick and possibly incorrect diagnosis.

Some independent shops and some chain/franchise shops (tire stores for example) do not have the proper diagnostic equipment or the skilled technicians on staff. Their diagnosis can be incorrect or lead to unnecessary parts being replaced.

How will you know whether a shop is equipped to diagnose your vehicle properly?

Ask them a few questions: Do you have skilled diagnostic technicians? Do you have proper diagnostic equipment for my make and model? What will diagnosis cost? (Cheap price is probably not a good thing!) Do they guarantee their diagnose and what are they guaranteeing?

Please do know that to properly diagnose a concern may involve several procedures, along with parts replacement to solve the cause of your concern. The actual procedures and time required will be unknown until the process is started. The shop that you deal with needs to inform and educate you of this and communicate clearly with you every step of the way.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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