Engine diagnostics are an essential part of your car care routine. They are tests that are preformed, by a shop or service technician, to find out the reason why your car is not running or preforming properly. When an engine diagnostic is done on a vehicle, it gathers data and information, which is used to make necessary repairs. These tests are also used to see if the vehicle in question adheres to the emissions standards for its class of vehicles.

How Engine Diagnostics are Preformed

The first step in an engine diagnostic test is to plug the testing device into the vehicles computer. The place it is plugged in varies with different vehicles, however, is usually under the dashboard on the driver’s side. Once the testing instrument is plugged into the vehicle, it begins to interface with the on-board computer. If there is a problem, it will present the tester with a diagnostic code. This code is compared against an available list of “problem codes” for the vehicles of the same manufacturer. If there are no problems detected, the testing device will alert this, as well. Oftentimes, a series of codes may appear due to several problems with the vehicle in question.

The diagnostic codes that appear on the testing device can mean various things, which are dependent on factors such as: make, model and age of the vehicle. When an engine diagnostic is preformed the mechanic will use the codes presented by the testing device to determine the source that causes the code, which will then allow them to create an estimate of how much the repairs will cost the owner. Some issues are simple to fix while others may be quite complex.

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