Most vehicles, both import and domestic, have on board computers. Almost always when the check engine light comes on, it means the computer has detected a malfunction. If the check engine light is flashing, it means it is more urgent. A steady check engine light is cautionary and you should get your vehicle checked soon. Our technicians are certified and trained to scan and diagnose your check engine light for codes set by your vehicle’s computer.
Diagnostics on a vehicle is an auto technicians way of identifying and assessing problems with your vehicle. They can range from the technician using tools, computers, scanners, or test driving your vehicle. Symptoms can range from the obvious such as fluid leaks, to the not so obvious such as check engine light on or rough idle.
There are various sensors through out the vehicle, technicians can now hook up a code reader to the vehicle and pull codes to help give them a starting point. When the vehicle’s dashboard notifies the customer with a warning light or error message, that is the easy part. There are many things that the computer on the car won’t tell you, such as rattles, noises, or steering problems. Those are items that a certified, experienced auto tech will have to diagnose by test driving the vehicle, or by using their knowledge from years of experience.
Is there a cost on diagnostics?
I think we have all walked into our local auto repair shop and said, “It only does it when it’s cold”, or “It only does it first thing in the morning”. These are called intermittent problems. At times these are common problems that can be resolved quickly, but other times it can take 10 minutes to 5 hours to diagnose the problem. Elder Auto’s advice would be to authorize an hour at a time, this way the technician will have to account for everything they are doing to try and find the problem with your vehicle. Our service advisors will give a step by step explanation of what the technician is doing. The diagnostic charge will depend on how in depth the technician has to go find the problem.