What Does a Diagnostic Test on a Car Tell You?

Have you noticed dashboard lights blinking on and off and wonder what the problem might be? Now you can stop guessing! Of all the technological advances in the automotive industry, one of the most beneficial to vehicle owners and mechanics alike has been computerization. Using specialized software, diagnostic tools can accurately point to problem areas so that repairs can be done right the first time.

Before the emergence of car diagnostic tests, identifying problems was time-consuming and expensive, especially considering car owners only brought their cars to mechanics after a breakdown. Now, problems can be detected long before expensive repairs are required, or even worse, a breakdown leaving you stranded on the side of the road. You don’t have to wait to get a car diagnostic test only when the check engine light comes on. Some auto mechanics recommend taking your car in for a diagnostic check at least once a year, which will uncover minor problems that can’t be seen or heard (and that won’t trigger the check engine light).

So what does a diagnostic test on a car tell you? It will indicate problems associated with the transmission, oil tank, gas tank, exhaust system, and other components. It also indicates ignition timing issues, level of buildup in the combustion engine, fuel injector performance, whether the ignition coils are firing, engine rpm levels, air, and coolant temperature, crankshaft and camshaft position and throttle opening. In other words, it will let your mechanic know it’s time for a car tune-up!

Diagnostic testing is also useful when you’re checking out a used car. Before you commit to buying a car, the seller (either private or a dealer) should agree to a diagnostic test. If they don’t, it would probably be smart to walk away from the deal.

How do you know if it’s time for a car tune up? Contact our ASE Certified technicians at Dependable Car Care for more information about diagnostic tests and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in the community of Ventura, CA, and the surrounding area.