Heart in Hands

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 mechanic's computer. If your car is in good condition, it will 'throw' no codes. But if problems are detected, several codes can appear.

From something as simple as an oil change, to a more complex transmission problem, each code carries a specific meaning which the auto technician references in a code book. Because the signal could be communicating something very important, don't ignore your check engine light. Doing so often causes a snowball effect with more costly consequences later. Performing engine diagnostics is affordable if not free, and doesn't obligate you to have any work done, so take your vehicle to an experienced auto repair shop right away. If a serious problem does exist, you're well advised to know about it right away.

If you would like to contact a professional auto repair shop in Vancouver or to schedule an appointment for engine diagnostics, call David's Auto Repair or visit us online at www.DavidsAutoRepairs.com.

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