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Why Car Diagnostic Test Are Important

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  • 28-05-2021
Why Car Diagnostic Test Are Important

Why Is A Car Diagnostic Test So Important?

Diagnostics are an essential part of your sports car servicing. But why is a car diagnostic test is so important? Read our article below to find out more about the benefits of a car diagnostic test?

Just like any other piece of machinery, your car can reap many benefits from regular diagnostic testing. These tests can identify any significant trouble with your vehicle before they can become disasters. By pre-emptively finding these problems, you will be able to avoid expensive automotive repairs or breakdowns that might leave you stranded. 

While many feel that car diagnostic tests are only needed when your car runs into trouble or the check engine light is triggered, arranging to have them done regularly can keep your vehicle in good health and operating at peak performance. 


What is a Car Diagnostic Test?

In recent years, the computerisation of a car's components has been a godsend to car owners, diagnostic technicians and mechanics. During a car diagnostic test, a technician can use the sensors, processors, and microchips built into the car's mechanical elements to pinpoint any problems. The inclusion of these computerised diagnostic tools means that any major issues found with the car's systems can be accurately located and quickly dealt with. 

What Areas of the Car can be Tested?

A car diagnostic test can illuminate issues with several of the car's components, including:

  • Engine
  • Throttle
  • Brakes
  • Exhaust system
  • Fuel injectors
  • Ignition coils
  • Airflow
  • Coolants

A common misconception surrounding these car diagnostic tests and services is that the technician running them can use code-reading tools to discover what caused the check engine light to trigger. While code-reading tools can tell a technician which components aren't operating within their range, it does not detail the underlying cause of these issues. The technician will have to rely on their experience, skills and expertise to interpret the data to determine the problem's primary cause. 

What are the Benefits of a Car Diagnostic Test?

Before diagnostic tests became available for personal vehicles, identifying problems with their components was time-consuming and expensive. 

The fact that owners only brought their cars to mechanics or technicians once they had already broken down, suffered a significant malfunction or had their check engine light-triggered did not help either. But with new vehicles containing a car's computer system becoming more common, technicians can now unearth potential major issues long before they have a chance to cause significant malfunctions and breakdowns. 

Car diagnostic tools can also allow technicians to access manufacturers notes that could be relevant to any trouble encountered. They will also be able to access the car's history to gain a complete understanding of the car and any issues and repairs it has previously undergone. All of this will give the technician the information they need to provide the best and most appropriate maintenance. 

Besides those available to the technicians running the diagnostic tests, there are also several benefits enjoyed by car owners. The ease and speed that these diagnostic tests can be carried out allow you to have your car tested regularly without impeding your use of the vehicle. The testing accuracy also means that you can take more precise action to avoid any potentially expensive future repairs. 


What Issues Can a Car Diagnostic Service Detect?

A car diagnostic test can detect problems and issues, including:

  • A build-up of debris in the engine
  • Fuel injector operation
  • Ignition issues
  • Coil firing
  • The temperature of air and coolants
  • RPM levels
  • Positions of the crankshaft, camshaft and throttle openings
  • Battery trouble
  • Steering issues
  • Bulb condition
  • Start failures
  • Overheating
  • Transmission and gear selection issues
  • Smoking

These are but a small selection of what your engine control unit (ECU) or onboard car diagnostics (EOBD) will be able to detect. If there is an issue under your bonnet or anywhere within your vehicle, one of these onboard auto repair computers or diagnostic tools has likely identified it. 

Common Car Diagnostic Codes

While each component used when creating a vehicle will follow common industry standards, each diagnostic code attached to these components will be different and specific to each manufacturer. There is, however, a general rule of thumb that these codes follow. 

They are composed of letters and numbers, with a general example being something like P0100. The "P" will refer to the power train of the vehicle, whereas "B" will refer to the body and "C" for the chassis etc. These will point the diagnostic technician to the specific area of the car that is experiencing major issues. The combination of numbers will then inform the technician of what exactly is wrong in that area. 

As mentioned before, each set of codes is specific to a particular manufacturer, and they will all have individual databases of codes for the vehicles they manufacture. 

Once the technician carrying out the diagnostic tests has found the issue codes for the car, they will check them against the manufacturer's database to discover what trouble it signifies. 

How often should a Car Undergo Diagnostic Testing?

As a car owner, you don't have to wait until your check engine light is triggered for you to arrange a diagnostic test. If you suspect that your car is suffering from a malfunction, a diagnostic technician will be able to run the necessary performance tests to discover the fault. 

Many technicians and mechanics recommend that you arrange for your vehicle to undergo a test once a year. This will allow you to identify any minor issues that may slip below your radar and fail to trigger the check engine light, ultimately saving you money. 

A car diagnostic test is also a highly recommended step when purchasing a used car. Given the accuracy that the car's computer system can detect problems, these tests can help you feel more confident buying a fully operational vehicle. 

Private sellers or professional used car dealers should have no problem agreeing to a diagnostic test before you decide to buy. However, if they object, this is likely a sign that there is something wrong with the car and that you should walk away. 

As we have seen above a regular car diagnostic test is important for keeping your sports car at peak performance. If you looking for sports car servicing and diagnostics in the Maidstone and Kent areas we can help. Contact our sports car specialists today to discus your diagnostics test. Find out more about our diagnostics and servicing by following the link below.