The Difference Between Vehicle Diagnostics vs. Reading Vehicle Code

The Difference Between Vehicle Diagnostics vs. Reading Vehicle Code

| By: Edward Carey, Christian Brothers Automotive Round Rock

You’re driving home from a busy day at work when you notice an orange glow coming from your dashboard. Your friendly check engine light is on. This can’t be good. You pull over and take out your car manual to try to figure out what’s going on, but there’s so many options. How do you know where to start?

While there are plenty of auto shops that say they offer a “free check engine light diagnostic”, if they are simply reading vehicle codes, they’re only telling you part of the story. It’s a great starting point to know where or what part of your car is showing a breakdown, but the next question you need to be asking is “why?”

Is the part damaged or is something else causing the problem? When it comes to repairing any type of breakdown in a system, the truth is your friend. This is why proper vehicle diagnostics are so important. To give you a clearer picture of the difference between reading a vehicle’s error codes and performing a vehicle diagnostic, here’s a quick breakdown of both options.

Reading Vehicle Codes

Error codes are the first step in figuring out what’s wrong with your car. It involves connecting your car to a scanning tool that shows what error codes your car’s computer is showing. If you stop the explanation here, you may assume that certain parts of your car need to be replaced. This assumption can lead to both unnecessary and costly car repairs. But what if you took it a step further? It’s nice to know the what, but what about the why? Say you have an error code show up with your O2 sensor. Does that automatically mean you need to replace your sensor or could there be something else causing the problem? This is where diagnostics come into play.

Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing involves using scanners and probes that give real-time information about what’s going on with your car. This method can reveal exactly what needs to be fixed or replaced to have your car running smoothly again. This can only be done by a certified well-trained technician who knows how to properly run the right diagnostic tests based on what error codes your vehicle is throwing out.

At Christian Brothers Round Rock, we won’t just tell you what’s wrong with your car. We’ll tell you what steps are necessary to fix the problem and leave the decision up to you. Our ASE-certified technicians are highly trained in diagnosing an issue with your vehicle and getting you back on the road safely. Since we use the same diagnostic equipment used by manufacturers, we can provide you with a thorough inspection and analysis of what’s needed to get your car back into top running shape. We will never sell you a repair or part unless your car truly needs it.

You need a car that keeps up with your life. That’s why we offer a courtesy inspection every time you bring your car into the shop for service. Our technicians will go over all the major systems of your car and keep you informed of any issues we find so you can stay on top of caring for your car. Whether you want to stay and relax in our lobby, or get a lift back to work or life with one of our courtesy shuttles, we’ll make sure both you and your car are taken care of. If you’ve never been in the shop, come experience our quality service that keeps our customers coming back whenever an issue with their car arises.

Schedule an Appointment Today.

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