Friday, 14 March 2014

Demystifying vehicle Diagnostics

Universal dashboard lights

Now that we are finally coming out of an incredibly difficult and in some cases devastating start to the New Year with all the rain and flooding, you may find that your car is feeling a bit neglected :-(( 

With this being the first of our blogs from Lakeside Garage, we thought we would concentrate on trying to shed a bit more light on diagnostics for your vehicle and explain what it all means, just in case after all these winter months, you find that your dashboard is ablaze with lights or even if there is just one!

What do you understand a diagnostic check for your car to mean? 

There appears to be some confusion around what a diagnostic check actually means from garage to garage.

A proper diagnostic test  should be an in depth assessment of a fault on your car which involves reading the codes and evaluating them to ascertain exactly what work needs to be carried out.

There are numerous types of diagnostic equipment that garages can invest in, and simply speaking, you get what you pay for. The cheaper equipment is able to provide a fault code, but it is then down to the garage as to whether they have the ability or knowledge to carry out the appropriate testing to advise you of the exact cause of the fault.

To try to explain further, Fault codes are a symptom and not a cause. So, we advise that when considering where to take your car when you see a warning light, it is important to consider what you will actually get for  the price you are quoted.

Many independent garages will have basic equipment and may seem cheaper, but the diagnostics they offer is merely a ‘code read’, which does not address the actual cause. Providing you with a fault code is not what a Diagnostic check should be, the garage should be able to completely assess the fault. If one garage is unable to assess the cause, then you will end up paying again at another garage in order to get an accurate answer and potentially have the work done. No financial saving in the long run!

At times it may feel frustrating to have to pay money just to be given what you may perceive to be a ‘simple’ answer as to why a fault light may be on; here at Lakeside Garage we have invested heavily in Autologic Dealer Level Equipment and our  expert technicians have received specific training run by Master Technicians and specialist Software Engineers. This enables us not only to be confident in using the equipment, but also allows them to be able to accurately assess the cause. This takes time (it is not just a case of plugging a machine into the car and getting an answer!).

The Dealer level software and other test equipment used here at Lakeside Garage, allows a far superior level of access and unlike other diagnostic tools, it enables programming. We have the capacity to carry out tasks such as key programming, software updates, renewing control units and engine re-mapping. Some of these items need to be coded to the vehicle.

We have concentrated on BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, VW, Seat, Skoda and Mini, making us ‘The German Car Specialist’, within the Staines, Heathrow, Windsor, Ashford, Egham, Ascot and Slough area. We also offer diagnostics for other makes and models of vehicle, and would be happy to answer any questions as to the capabilities of the equipment we have.

Here at Lakeside Garage, we are of the opinion that having invested in this equipment, we stand out further from other Independent Garages offering this as one of many valuable services which allows us to specialise without incurring the cost of the dealer.

You can also follow me on twitter and like us on facebook.

As the only female working within a male environment at Lakeside Garage,  my aim is to help bridge the gap of mistrust between the customer and the garage.

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