What is Car / Vehicle Diagnostics?
Car Diagnostics is – in very simple terms – one of the main methods by which a car or vehicle is assessed to determine any issues or problems that it may have. If you (as a person) were feeling quite unwell, you would likely go to the doctor, who would diagnose your condition, and treat you accordingly. Think of diagnostics as the same thing – but for your car!
Today, modern cars use a range of on-board computer systems to control all aspects of your car from your engines’ management system to your windscreen wipers and indicators – and everything in between. Any issues or problems that occur are then logged by these systems.
How Diagnostics works in practice
Your car or vehicle’s computer system is connected to our computer network and a full scan is carried out on all systems using specialized diagnostic software (hence the name). Any issues recorded by your vehicles’ on-board computers are then reported to our computers, and a full system report is generated.
This rapidly generates a very accurate and specific health check report on all of your vehicles’ key systems. This information is very useful as it very quickly identifies problem areas, speeding the repair process, and thereby lowering the cost.
A diagnostics report will typically highlight issues in any of the following areas:
- Engine Management
- Car Transmission
- Fuel Injector Performance
- Ignition / Timing Problems
- Air & Coolant Temperatures
- Emission Systems
- Traction Control
- Engine Oil / Filter
- Petrol Tanks
- Exhaust Systems
- Firing of ignition coils
- Engine RPM levels
- DPF issues
- Air Bags
- ABS Brakes
- Windscreen wipers
- Electric Windows
- Climate Control
- Warning Lights on Dashboard check
Car / Vehicle Diagnostic systems are also the method by which your car will receive important software updates, and can also be used to programme / re-programme keys and locks. One of the often overlooked benefits of diagnostics is that a diagnostic report can highlight small issues which if left unchecked can turn into big expensive issues. This is why it’s recommended that all cars undergo a thorough diagnostic test at least once a year.
There are some problems that can be avoided. Do not ignore a warning light on your dash. If a light comes on, just make a call and drop in to ensure it is not urgent, often it can be just a reset needed but a warning light means warning. Remember when a warning light is on your warning system will not detect additional problems.
Diagnostics has made fixing seemingly unsolvable issues with cars a much quicker process. In recent times, we’ve had cars in our garage with real problems caused by seemingly unlikely faults. Here’s just two examples:
- A Nissan Primera 2.2 Diesel was loosing 90% of engine power due to a faulty brake light switch. Definitely not the first place one would look? Diagnostics through a full system scan highlighted this.
- A warning on the dash for your braking system on a Mercedes for instance could actually be a signal actuation module (SAM) in the booth.
Diagnostics on Imports
There are many main dealers that experience problems plugging into Japanese cars. At Coby Auto’s we have the Japanese modules for all our diagnostic equipment. We also have 30 plus years experience working on imported cars, going back to the original grey imports.