If you have ever had a problem with your car, you know how frustrating it can be. You take it to the mechanic and they tell you that they need to do a computer diagnostic on your vehicle in order to figure out the issue.
These car computers are usually responsible for monitoring engine emissions and regulating the engine to keep emissions very low.
They also detect when something is not functioning as it should be and inform the driver with the “Check Engine” warning light. How much does it cost, how long does it take and what does it do? Read on to find out.
How Much Does A Car Computer Diagnostic Cost?
A car computer diagnostic is way cheaper than a full vehicle inspection.
The cost for a car computer diagnostic ranges between $40 to $400. Still, the exact amount your car computer diagnostic will cost will depend on the place providing the service for you and the area it’s located.
For instance, if you take your car for a diagnostic test in a relatively small area where there are just a few people offering the service.
It will be more expensive than if it was in a larger area where there will be competitive pricing as numerous people offer the service.
Also, the dealer or mechanic shop you take your car to for the test will determine the cost price. These shops don’t offer the same service pricing; some are more costly than others.
So if you take your car for a diagnostic test in a shop that has an unreasonable pricing system, then you should know it will be more expensive.
Another factor that will determine your car’s computer diagnostic cost is the make and model of the car; sometimes, the specialization of your car and its brand also affect the cost of car computer diagnostic.
Also, if your car has any additional issues that would require repair or even any change of parts, this will ultimately affect the cost of the diagnostic.
Some shops offer free diagnostic testing and while some truly offer this service for free, most usually have a hidden charge in the service agreement.
So, ensure you double-check before signing the mechanic’s agreement and make sure you understand every part of the print before signing in agreement.
This is because many who claim they offer free diagnostic testing can sometimes hide money in grainy details of their service agreement.
And some don’t even add any charges. They scan the car regularly to tell you where it has an issue but won’t tell you what the problem is. Most times, it’s just better to pay experienced and certified professionals for your car computer diagnostic testing.
Finally, before taking your car for diagnostic testing, ensure that you do a good research so you can go to a reputable auto shop that offers a quality service for an affordable price.
You can do this by comparing the shops in your locality, checking the shop’s reviews online, asking for recommendations from people, can even call the shops and ask questions about what you want and how much it costs.
How Long Does A Car Computer Diagnostic Test Take?
Generally, a car diagnostic is done using a scanner and diagnostic software, so the test takes just a few minutes to complete, but that’s just the start of the maintenance process.
The test results now provide information about the repair or preventive procedure that must be considered.
A car diagnostic test usually begins by using the scanner to inspect the “Check Engine” light. The scanner reads the trouble code produced by the car to detect the source of the issue.
After the mechanics read the trouble code, they begin researching the exact where and what the issue is and how to fix it appropriately using the trouble code to limit their search area.
After identifying the issues, the mechanic will address you and tell you what has gone wrong with the car and how you can resolve it.
Your visit to the mechanic shop for the diagnostic testing shouldn’t take more than an hour max, except if there are more difficult issues it needs further diagnosis, then it could take you a long time.
What Does A Diagnostic Test On A Car Tell You?
Diagnostic test on a car checks various aspects of the car ranging from its engine, exhaust system, fuel injector, and throttle to the transmission, but what does all the test tell you? After all, this analysis is not done just for fun; taking your car for a diagnostic test tells you :
- Specific information about your car components.
- The state of your car.
- Prevents total breakdown.
- The proper care is to be provided by the technician.
- The right time to deal with car problems to save.
- Specific Information About Your Car Components
Taking your car for diagnostic testing provides information about the air and coolant temperature, spark plugs, fuel pump and filter, PCV valve, points and condensers, level of buildup in the combustion chamber, performance of the car’s fuel injectors, engine RPMs, the ignition timing and crankshaft and camshaft position.
- The State Of Your Car
Performing a diagnostic test on your car will help you access the state of your car. It warns you about any defective car component that can affect your safety, such as failure. of the brakes.
Car computer diagnostics ultimately tell you whether your car is in good or bad working condition.
- Prevents Total Breakdown
Taking your car for a diagnostic test helps you to detect problems before it turns into something huge quickly, and before you know it, your car stops in the middle of the road.
- The Proper care to be provided by the technician
The advanced computer system the car comes with makes it very easy for technicians to quickly use diagnostic tests to indicate any problems it may have. Diagnostic tests check your car’s computer system thoroughly to provide targeted repairs.
It simply eliminates guesswork and uses the extra time to discover the car’s exact problem and what to do to fix it.
- The right time to deal with car problems to save money
A car diagnostic test detects even the slightest issue that’s wrong in a car at the appropriate time and doesn’t compound problems.
This is quite helpful because you will be able to tackle the problem on time with lesser cost, thus saving you money it would have cost you if the problem had turned huge before you discovered it.
How Often Should A Car Undergo Diagnostic Testing?
“Prevention is better than cure,” but in the case of your car, prevention is cheaper than repair. It’s better to fix minor problems in your car detected on time by diagnostic testing than not doing a test, and the car breaks down after a particular time.
Technicians recommend taking your car for diagnostic testing at least once a year. However, you don’t have to wait for the “Check Engine” light to come on.
Once you feel something off about your car, go for diagnostic testing to immediately check what’s wrong because minor problems can compound into something major.
Additionally, Anytime you purchase a new car, especially if it’s a used one, it’s highly recommended to take it for a car diagnostic test to ensure it is in good condition.
The “Check Engine” light is a red flag that you must not dismiss for any reason; it functions to tell you when your car has an issue.
The problem could be from any aspect of the car and could either affect your safety or leave you stranded, so you need to pay attention to any warning signs the car is giving you.
Although you might think of avoiding a car computer diagnostic testing because of its cost. Don’t do that as going for a car computer diagnostic test not only ensure that your car doesn’t suffer from long-term damage due to defective parts or computer issues.
But also save you the money that you would have spent on repair in the nearest future to minimize your cost and ensure you look for a good and affordable place.