Car Diagnostic Testing: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Car Diagnostic Testing: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

As a car owner, you always have to be alert and be on the lookout for signs that indicate your vehicle is not functioning at its peak.

Many of these signs are noticeable, such as the check engine light turning on, loud, strange noises coming from the hood, and the sudden loss of engine power.

Other indicators may be harder to recognize, which include decreased performance, use of more gas than normal, and production of oil patches. These signs are usually harder to notice or easy to ignore since you may attribute them to some other car issues.

If you want to have a roadworthy ride, you should never wait for these signs to pop up before bringing it to a car service center. When you have your vehicle undergo a maintenance check,car performance tuning, or repair, make sure the mechanic also performs diagnostic testing.

What is a car diagnostic test?

Most modern cars have one or more computer systems that can cause and record any possible signs of troubles. When you bring your vehicle for regular maintenance, repair, or any procedure, a technician will use computer diagnostic equipment to check these parts or features for issues.

The software that will be used will detect any problems in your car. It can identify issues within the major automotive systems and parts, such as the engine, brakes, exhaust, and transmission.

It can also spot malfunctions in the vehicle’s air conditioning unit or airflow, fuel intake and use, ignition coil power, throttle, camshaft, and crankshaft, among others.

A computerized car diagnostic test will also check the vehicle’s existing systems and compare them with the updates supplied by the manufacturer.

The process starts with the technician using a diagnostic program and tool to check your car’s diagnostic trouble code or DTC. Next, he will perform additional tests, such as diagnosing the electronic system, engine compression, and other mechanical components to evaluate the overall condition of your vehicle.

What are the benefits offered by vehicle diagnostic tests?

There are several reasons why you should have your car undergo regular diagnostic testing. These include:

1.    It can help prevent possible breakdowns

Most car owners have their vehicle tested only when the check engine light starts blinking or when it needs major repairs. You can prevent the total failure of your automobile if you bring it for regular diagnostic exams.

When you have a technician run diagnostics while your car is undergoing scheduled maintenance or being serviced for a simple issue, you will know its overall condition. You can then invest in the necessary repair or part replacement to ensure it is safe to drive.

This precautionary measure will help prevent these problems from ballooning in the future, which are often more expensive to fix and cause a lot of headaches.

2.    It gives you and your mechanic a better picture of your car’s health

If you notice something different about your car, but your check engine light remains off, and your mechanic is having difficulty identifying the particular issue, a diagnostics test will save everyone a lot of trouble.

A typical test takes between half an hour and two hours. Within this period, the technician will be able to give you and the mechanic a list of the issues his diagnostic tools found.

With this list, your mechanic will know exactly which system or part to repair. He will avoid a lot of guesswork and only work on the items that have to be fixed or replaced.

This will result in the service center giving your car back in excellent condition faster.

3.    It saves you money

Although you have to pay extra for a car diagnostic testing, the amount will seem reasonable and even paltry, especially when you compare it to the expenses you will have to shoulder when your vehicle runs into more complicated engine issues or other problems.

If your vehicle malfunctions and causes an accident, you will pay even more to have it repaired. You may also have to shoulder your medical expenses and that of the injured party (if any) if you don’t havecar insurance.

A car diagnostics test is a cost-efficient way and even inexpensive way to find out if your vehicle has any issues that can possibly turn into major problems that can be costly to fix or cause accidents.

Many automotive service centers include diagnostic tests in their annual or semi-annual maintenance packages. Since it is included in a plan, you can save more money on the process itself, and the other necessary checks and regular maintenance work your car needs.

If you want your car to stay in tip-top condition and prevent certain issues from worsening, bring it to a service center at least once a year for diagnostic testing. And if your vehicle needs to be repaired, consider investing in additional computer testing to help your mechanic get down to the nitty-gritty and provide the servicing it needs.


Ahmad Ramadan is a Managing Partner at Deutsche Technik Service Center, Dubai’s first and largest VW, Audi, Mercedes, Bentley, Porsche, & Lamborghini vehicle specialist and performance tuner. DT has also built an illustrious portfolio in classic car repair, maintenance, and restoration, as well as bodywork (accident repair, painting, and denting). DT Service Centre offers a full range of services: mechanical repairs, maintenance, servicing, etc.

Categories: Technology

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