How Does A Diagnostic Check Work?

A diagnostic check is simple, straightforward at heart which is all well and good, but what does that mean in practice? Well, there are three key stages when it comes to a diagnostic check and that’s what this blog post will explain.

The first stage of a diagnostic check is a detailed interview

The best way for a mechanic to fix your problem is to understand exactly what’s wrong with your car. That’s why the first part of the diagnostic process involves a face to face conversation to point the mechanic in the right direction.

An engine management light can mean many things. Your problem could be simple (such as a loose fuel filler cap) or it could be far more complicated (such as issues with your catalytic converter). Finding the exact cause of your fault can be a very difficult process, especially when the problem is buried deep within the engine. That’s why the mechanic will always talk to you about your car’s symptoms first.

The more detail you can provide, the more straightforward the rest of your diagnostic check should be.

Next comes the diagnosis

Once the mechanic knows as much as possible about your problem, they’ll engage a logical diagnostic process to find the fault. As cars are driven by electronics, you might just need a software update for your Engine Control Unit. If that’s not the case, they’ll check the basics, such as a loose wire or flat battery, to determine if it’s a quick fix. If not, they’ll move on to looking at the most likely causes, as per the symptoms described in the interview.

Finally, the mechanic completes your repair

Once they find the cause, they’ll create a suitable repair plan to get you moving again. Finding the fault can sometimes take a while, but completing the repairs is usually what takes the longest during a diagnostic check. That’s why communication between you and the mechanic is the most important thing.

Once the mechanic completes the repair, they’ll test your vehicle to make sure they’ve fixed the problem. If it runs smoothly, they’ll return your car in a much better condition than before. If there’s still an underlying issue, they’ll repeat the process until it’s resolved.

It really is that simple! However, there is still one part of a diagnostic check which needs clarifying.

Equipment is not the most important part of your diagnostic check

It’s a common misconception that state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment plays a more important role than the mechanic.

That’s simply not true.

Diagnostic equipment is useful, but it only supports the mechanic rather than the other way around. The equipment can only find the general problem area rather than pinpointing the exact cause of your warning light. It works by communicating with engine sensors and highlighting anomalous results, thus helping the mechanic make their judgement about what repair your car needs.

When your car doesn’t feel right but you don’t know why, a diagnostic check is always the best option. Here at Neves Garage Ltd in Sidcup, we offer high-quality diagnoses from just £60 which fix your problems and leave your car driving smoothly once again. Why not book yours online today?