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Automotive Service is Simply Incomplete Without the Proper Diagnostics

Automotive Service is Simply Incomplete Without the Proper Diagnostics

Volkswagen Vehicle

A customer recently came into our shop and wanted us to fix his brakes. As is customary in our shop, we offered to conduct a complete diagnostics workup to determine the true cause of his brake failure. In our experience, most noticeable car problems are actually being caused by an underlying issue that isn’t so easy to detect.

This customer was adamant that we only check the brakes and, as we never like to do, we refused to do the work. We just knew that the brakes were a symptom, not a true cause of the problem. This customer wasn’t happy, but he went to another shop where they only fixed his brakes like he requested. We weren’t surprised when the customer returned to our shop two months later. Turns out, the brakes failed again and this time the customer told us to go ahead with the full diagnostics workup. We were happy to oblige and actually did find an underlying issue. We fixed the man’s car and sent him on his way. I’d love to say that this is a rare occurrence, but unfortunately it’s not. Many customers come to us with their minds set on certain repairs. In even worse cases, some customers ask us to diagnose their car issues over the phone. This is the wrong way to approach true automotive repair.

Why Diagnostics Matter

When you fall ill and visit your doctor, your doctor will usually want to examine you to determine the true cause of your illness. Treating a symptom will do little good if that symptom keeps popping up again and again. Only by treating the cause can the symptoms be alleviated. This is also how you should approach true automotive repair. When a customer comes to us, we like to examine the car thoroughly, from bumper to bumper, to determine what’s really wrong. Not doing so is merely putting a band-aid on the problem, and the odds of the customer returning increase ten-fold. Instead of putting band-aids on the problem, or as we like to say ‘throwing parts at the problem’, we offer a complete diagnostics workup that will allow us to accurately gauge the health of your automobile.

The Problem With Most Shops

Like the customer above wanted us to do, most shops will only look at the problem you identify. If you take your car in to get your worn tires replaced, rarely will the shop find out what caused your tires to wear down in the first place. We don’t like to operate that way. We want to provide you with the most accurate and thorough service available, and only a full diagnostics workup will make that level of service possible.

The State of Automobile Computers

Many customers incorrectly believe that we can just hook a machine up to their car’s computer and instantly diagnose any problems that car may be having. This just isn’t the case. Automobile computer systems aren’t that advanced – at least not yet – and the only information on-board diagnostics (OBD) are designed to provide is emissions information. And even there is an emissions problem, further testing may be required. If you want to keep your service visits to a minimum and save time as well as money, allow us to provide you with a full diagnostics workup on your car. Without it, we might as well be shooting in the dark.

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