Today’s automobiles require computer diagnostics to determine the cause of many symptoms. Fuel system diagnostics, check engine light diagnostics and many other computer diagnostics are common methods used to trouble shoot the cause of various symptoms.
Pulling the codes from the computer diagnostics system may lead to further testing of the fuel system, ignition system and or many other electrical sensors, modules and switches.
Modern cars have computer systems that do their own troubleshooting. These systems are referred to as OBD or On Board Diagnostics. When something is awry, the system will make a note of the error and store it in the computer for a technician (or you) to retrieve later. These error codes can be invaluable in trying to troubleshoot a problem your car is having. The OBD system can be overwhelming, but once you’re familiar with it you’ll be happy to have the information handy.
Having the code in hand may provide information that indicates what is happening with the automobile but it may not tell you which part is causing that particular problem. That is when further computer diagnostic time may be required to determine the necessary repair.
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Automobile computer diagnostics can be relatively simple or very complex. I have seen automobiles come to our repair shop with the check engine light on and we have pulled the codes which determined a faulty gas cap a very simple fix. Other times I have seen intermittent issues that have required many hours of diagnostics to determine the necessary repair.
Other than simply pulling codes, more advanced diagnostics should be left to experienced automotive technicians.