On Board Diagnostics for Farmington Motorists
Posted in Service Standards on March 24, 2019
Some Farmington vehicle owners wonder why Darrell's Firestone and other Farmington auto repair shops charge a fee for vehicle diagnostics.
Receiving a diagnostic charge at Darrell's Firestone for a tricky automotive problem shouldn't be a surprise. In the Farmington area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your vehicle brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy Michigan road, you pull off at the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you're having an intermittent problem with your vehicle engine, however, a Darrell's Firestone diagnosis may be much more involved.
Much of the Farmington driver's confusion comes when the problem involves the Check Engine light. The Check Engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.
There's a common misconception among Michigan drivers that the trouble code tells the Darrell's Firestone technician exactly what's wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.
In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that's out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the Check Engine light.
The vehicle computer's trouble code just tells the Darrell's Firestone technician what engine parameter is out of range, not what's causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that's causing the malfunction.
There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Darrell's Firestone customers. The service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.
Farmington service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.
Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming and difficult. Of course Darrell's Firestone wants to figure out what's wrong with your vehicle and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.