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What Are Engine Diagnostics?

"Engine diagnostics" sounds like something from a Star Trek episode: "The coaxial warp drive is what caused the anomaly in the first place," Scotty reports. "Commence engine diagnostics." Kirk directs! But other than checking for cosmic problems such as your engine generating a galactic disturbance, what do engine diagnostics really consist of? Since your vehicle doesn't come with equipped a Scottish engineer, it warns you of engine problems with a "check engine" displaying a glowing outline of the shape of your engine. Cars are now more futuristic than we give them credit, more controlled by computers and electronics than we think. Indeed, todays' car carries more computing capability than Apollo 13! Anyway, think of engine diagnostics as a full-body CT scan for your car. First, a skilled mechanic plugs his computer into your car's onboard computing system interface, usually located under the driver's side dashboard. Your car's system them communicates specific codes to the me ... read more

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