When you take your car to the mechanic, they will typically hook up a machine to your vehicle in order to determine the issues going on. Your car is essentially one giant machine which uses a computer to regulate everything going on internally. This tool uses software that accesses your car’s reporting and computer system which is where all faults and errors are logged. Performing this simple test can tell a mechanic a lot about the condition of your engine and can help to pinpoint areas that require attention.
Why are the benefits of performing a diagnostic?
Well, let’s say you’re driving home on the weekend and you notice that your car’s engine is slightly misfiring. A few moments later you notice that the check engine light has come on. You may already know that your spark plugs need to be replaced, but the typical driver may not know this. These tests are extremely helpful because they allow the mechanics to immediate pull the error log from the computer in your vehicle. This eliminates a lot of the guessing that used to go into the diagnosing car troubles, which in turn saves you time and money. Minor issues can be found and corrected long before they become a big project.
What does this test?
The very first thing we will do is plug the scanner into your OBD-II port. This will produce a report with the computer codes, freeze frame data, computer software version numbers, and critical data and sensor information. There is a lot more to running these tests than just pulling codes because this does not offer all of the information available. Next, we’ll run a verification test. This portion will test that systems like engine vacuum and back pressure, the ignition system, and the emissions systems are functioning properly. Failure in many of these basic systems can often cause the check engine light to display, so addressing it early is critical to resolving the issue. All manufacturers require that circuit and component pinpoint testing be completed in order to make an absolute diagnostic determination. This involved working through wiring diagrams, performing electrical and/or mechanical tests, performing bi-directional control tests, and visual inspections of suspect areas. To see a list of trouble codes for pre-1996 GM vehicles, visit Troublecodes.net. To translate trouble codes from any 1996 or newer vehicle in the United States, visit OBD-Codes.com.
What happens next?
Once we have all of the data from the tests, we will begin researching these issues. We will check Technical Service Bulletins and hotline information to determine whether this has been determined to be a pattern failure, meaning that it is a known issue that regularly occurs on your make and model. This does not eliminate the need for the test, but rather works in tandem with the diagnostic test. If it is a reported issue, there may be more information reported that could be contributing to the problems you’re experiencing. Once we have analyzed these results, we will move onto repairing the vehicle. Repairs could range from replacing parts, rewiring or replacement of important systems, updating the vehicle’s computer, or cleaning parts under the hood.
AAMCO Colorado offers to diagnose your vehicle with a FREE Multi-Point Inspection. We offer the Best Nationwide Warranty, so schedule an appointment at your favorite AAMCO Colorado location today and get your car back in shape!