When something goes wrong with your car and you take it to your mechanic to have it checked out, they’ll likely tell you your car will need to go “on the computer” to find out what’s wrong with it. Your vehicle, like every other light-duty car or truck built after 1996, is controlled by microprocessors that can find and log problems with it and then send the codes for those problems to your repair shop’s computer. This makes it easier for a car mechanic to figure out what’s going on with your vehicle.
Early Engine Diagnostics
Since the introduction of General Motors’ “check engine” light in the early 1980s, cars in the United States have been equipped with systems that allow them to self-report problems. Back then, few cars had such systems and the ones that existed were very basic. Mechanics used to refer to the “idiot lights” that lit up to indicate that something was wrong somewhere in the vehicle, without any specific information as to what or where the problem was. Advances in computerized diagnostics came about largely because states, specifically California, began requiring some type of emissions testing and control for passenger and commercial vehicles.
The Latest Computerized Diagnostics
The newest versions of On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) are much more sophisticated and are better able to help pinpoint your car’s malfunction for repair technicians. The on-board computer in your vehicle scans the car’s systems for problems when you turn your ignition key and the “check engine” or “service engine soon” light blinks. If the light stays off while you’re driving, then all of your systems are working correctly. If the light stays on, then you should take your car to a repair shop as soon as possible so that a qualified technician can scan your vehicle for Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC).
Your Car Mechanic Still Plays an Important Role
DTCs can’t tell a mechanic if a particular part is bad; they can only tell that the Powertrain Control Module, or PCM, detected something it wasn’t supposed to in a certain circuit. This is why OBD is just the starting point for the technician. From there, they can perform additional tests that will say exactly what the problem is.
At Hughes Automotive in Tyler, TX, our technicians use their years of experience and extensive car knowledge, along with your vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics, to make sure that your vehicle is properly diagnosed, repaired and back on the road. Call us at (903) 730-6788 or visit us at www.hughesauto.biz to find out more about us and the complete line of auto repair services we provide.
Hughes Automotive | Car Mechanic Tyler TX | (903) 730-6788