in Albuquerque, NM
Modern vehicles have computers in the engine that monitor a variety of sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of those sensors has a reading that is higher or lower than the standard parameters, the computer turns on the check engine light. Technicians at a service center can scan the engine’s computer for a trouble code. This code tells the technician which reading is too high or too low.
That’s where some people get confused. They think that this reading concludes the diagnosis, and they don’t understand why the diagnostic fee is as much as it is when all the technician did was to scan the computer. But the truth is the trouble code is only the beginning of the diagnostic procedure.
Remember, the trouble code only tells which reading is out of parameter. It doesn’t say what is causing the reading to be too high or too low. The technician still must find the underlying problem. It’s a lot like going to the doctor. He can take your temperature and discover that you have a fever, but that doesn’t tell him what is causing your fever.
The best way to cut down on auto repairs is to keep your preventive maintenance up to date so you can catch problems before they become serious. But when you do need a diagnosis, it’s helpful to understand what the technician will be up against.
Automotive diagnostic technology can cut down the time it takes to figure out what’s wrong with a vehicle that isn’t running right. But it doesn’t do away with the need for a skilled technician to make a proper diagnosis. Car care, like medical care, still requires the human touch.