Of all the technological advances in the automotive sector over the decades, one of the most beneficial to consumers and auto technicians alike has been the computerization of the car’s components. Using specialized software, car diagnostic tools quickly and accurately point to problem areas in a car’s engine or elsewhere, thanks to built-in processors, microchips and sensors.
Diagnostic tests can reveal problems within a car’s engine, transmission, exhaust system, brakes, and other major components, as well as performance issues with the fuel injector, air flow and coolant, ignition coils, and throttle.
However, a common misconception about car diagnostic tests is that technicians can use code-reading tools to determine the exact problem that triggered the check engine light. In reality, the code tells technicians which engine or component parameters are out of range, but it does not detail the cause of the problems. That’s where the good old human brain comes in handy, as the technician uses experience and expertise to diagnose the underlying problem.
Before the emergence of car diagnostic tests, identifying problems was time-consuming and expensive, especially considering car owners only brought their cars to mechanics after a breakdown or other severe malfunction. Now, computerized car components can detect problems long before they cause a breakdown. Diagnostic tools can also check a car’s computer system for manufacturer notifications and stored information about the car’s history, giving technicians a complete picture in order to perform the best repair possible.
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