Understanding a Vehicle Diagnostic Test

Just like going to the doctor once a year for an annual examine keeps us in good health, or helps us catch something we may have missed, regular vehicle diagnostic tests can do the same for your car, truck, or SUV. Diagnostic tests can help to detect problems or potential problems before they require expensive repairs, or leave you stranded on the side of the road. We are going to review what a vehicle diagnostic test is and the benefits.

What is a Vehicle Diagnostic Test?

Most modern vehicles are more computerized now than ever before, and this computerization allows them to be thoroughly checked by simply running diagnostic tests, instead of a full vehicle inspection. These assessments use specialized software to quickly and accurately find problem areas in a vehicle’s transmission, engine, or elsewhere. These tests can scan components and a car’s integrated systems for errors or malfunctions before they become larger problems and/or dangerous.

The diagnostic test relies on a computer system that links to the vehicle’s computer processor, sensors, and microchips, and logs any problems or issues present. This can reveal existing issues, including problems with the exhaust, transmission, engine, oil tank, and other systems.

Usually when a mechanic is performing a diagnostic test, they use a handheld device, via an adapter, and hook them into your vehicle to start the communication. These tests require specific devices and expertise to read correctly, so most of the time they are performed by mechanics or at automotive repair shops.

What are the Benefits of a Vehicle Diagnostic Test?

Diagnostic tests can identify and pinpoint issues quickly and reliably, without the need for a full vehicle inspection. They take very little time, getting you back on the road quickly. Technicians will scan your vehicle’s onboard computer, document any diagnostic trouble codes, and check for service notifications issued by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

Diagnostic tests have changed the way that people and mechanics take care of vehicles. Before these exams, drivers would usually only take their cars to an automotive shop if it had a breakdown or an issue was evident. Now, problem areas can be identified early, and can save people time, money, and help them avoid an actual breakdown.  

These assessments also help automotive professionals identify all issues with a vehicle. Even if you just bring your vehicle in for a suspension issue , if there are other problems, they can be identified and addressed while your car, truck, or SUV is already in the repair shop.

When Should I get a Diagnostic Test?

With this technology, you don’t have to wait for the check engine light to come on for you to decide to get a vehicle diagnostic test. If you feel, hear, or smell something off with your vehicle, take it to a Phoenix automotive repair shop for the test. Even if you have no indication something is wrong, it is recommended that you take your car in for a diagnostic check at least once a year. This can help to uncover minor problems that can’t be seen or heard (and likely won’t trigger the check engine light).

Advanced Transmissions & Emissions specializes in transmission repair, rebuilding, and remanufacturing and all your automotive repair needs from clutches, AC, steering, suspension, and more. We are a full-service Phoenix auto mechanic repair shop. If your check engine light is on, something seems off with your vehicle, or you just want to be safe, call us, we can do a diagnostic check while you wait.

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