Vehicle diagnostics is an integral part of car maintenance. With some drivers having no clue what the different mechanical issues are, asking a certified mechanic for help is the best decision in car maintenance.
In some cases, certain brands have unique features that require special attention. If this is the case, you need someone specifically trained in handling it. For example, if you’re driving a newer Audi model, only a certified Audi auto service center may be capable of diagnosing your vehicle.
Have more questions? Read on to learn the answers to some of the most common questions people ask about car diagnostic testing.
What happens during car diagnostic testing?
Car diagnostic testing, as the name implies, is a way to diagnose problems in a vehicle that may not be immediately obvious to the driver. It usually begins after a mechanic hooks up your vehicle to a machine that would automatically scan it for issues.
Your automobile is essentially a big machine that is internally regulated by a computer. With the help of an auto scan tool, a licensed mechanic would be able to see what has been going on inside the car by accessing the reports generated by its computer system. This includes any errors or faults that may be symptoms of an underlying mechanical issue.
After the diagnostic testing is through, the mechanic will then make recommendations on what to do with the components that showed abnormalities and problems.
How can I tell if my car needs testing?
Owning a car goes beyond just knowing how to drive it – it also entails being conscious about any potential problem that may arise. This means you must constantly be on the lookout for any sign of mechanical issues.
Most of the signs that point to the need to have your vehicle tested are quite noticeable. The first and most obvious one is when the “check engine” light turns on. Sudden loss of engine power is also an indicator that something is up.
However, other signs may be more difficult to identify, such as decreased vehicle performance, higher gas consumption, and the production of oil patches on the road. Because they are easy to miss, it is recommended that car owners have their vehicle tested periodically even if they don’t think that anything is wrong.
How often should I bring my car for diagnostic testing?
Speaking of having your vehicle checked regularly, you don’t have to wait for the “check engine” light to go on or the engine to die out before bringing your car to the mechanic. You can listen for any strange and loud noises that come from it. In some cases, you might even “feel” that something is off while you’re driving.
Of course, you don’t have to wait for something to go wrong before bringing your automobile to the shop. After all, car diagnostic testing is all about preventing mechanical issues from occurring.
Most mechanics recommend taking your vehicle for a diagnostic check at least once every year. Doing so will help uncover problems – no matter how small – even if there’s no indication of it at all.
Also, diagnostic testing can help you make the right decision if you’re planning to buy a used car. Although many certified pre-owned vehicles have already undergone inspection, you can still have it tested by a mechanic you trust to ensure that you’re getting a good deal.
What can I get from getting my car tested?
Essentially, car diagnostic testing will give you a headstart in dealing with issues with your vehicle before they become worse. Some of the problems that testing can uncover are transmission issues, problems with the gas or oil tanks, and abnormalities in the exhaust system, among others.
Diagnostic testing can also tell you other details about your vehicle, such as:
- Ignition timing
- Any buildup in the combustion engine
- The condition and performance of the fuel injector, like whether the ignition coils are working fine
- The level of engine RPM
- Air and coolant temperature
- Position of crankshaft and camshaft
- The throttle opening
Knowing all these ahead of car trouble is extremely helpful for technicians in solving issues because it eliminates the guesswork that usually comes with diagnosing vehicle problems. It can also help you save money by dealing with minor issues before they become expensive to repair.
How can I pick a reliable car service center for diagnostic testing?
Another common concern most car owners have about diagnostic testing is choosing who to entrust the task to. When it comes to car check-ups and repairs, you should only go with reputable car service centers and mechanics. Having a wide variety of services offered is also a huge plus.
You should also ask for your friends’ recommendations and read reviews from past clients. After you do, seek out potential candidates and inquire whether they have proper certifications and licenses to perform diagnostic testing in your area. This will help ensure that the mechanic you allow to work on your car can conduct car repairs and maintenance work that is up to par with industry standards.
It would also help to ask about warranties offered by a service center. This can protect you from any mechanical issues that may arise after repair or maintenance work is done.
Diagnostics Can Be Preventive
Your vehicle doesn’t need to be broken before you get it tested. Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to your car, so make sure you heed the ideal schedule of car care and maintenance services to avoid costly repairs later.
Ahmad Ramadan is a Managing Partner at Deutsche Technik Service Center, Dubai’s first and largest VW, Audi, Mercedes, Bentley, Porsche, & Lamborghini vehicle specialist and performance tuner. DT has also built an illustrious portfolio in classic car repair, maintenance, and restoration, as well as body work (accident repair, painting, and denting). DT Service Centre offers a full range of services: mechanical repairs, maintenance, servicing, etc.