Kane Automotive.

All make diagnostic and repair specialists.

German car specialists.
VW, Audi, Seat & Skoda.

Do you need a diagnostic on your car or just a code read? What´s the difference?

Diagnostics, just like cars themselves, is a very complex and highly technical subject. Because of our experience in this field, and experience of the troubles this complexity often causes resulting in misdiagnosis, we feel a simple explanation in simple layman’s terms may be helpful to some.

First it is important to understand what a diagnostic is and more importantly what it isn’t.

Most people believe that a diagnostic is where a mechanic plugs a computer into a car and the computer tells the mechanic what is wrong. This is untrue.

Many people know that a diagnostic computer can read fault codes from a car. That is true, it can, but that in itself is not a diagnosis. These fault codes are merely an indication of a direction for further diagnosis (i.e. further testing). Effective testing entails the use of various tools and resources besides a diagnostic computer.

A simple example of this may be useful. This is the most common mistake we see. Oxygen sensors (AKA Lambda sensors) often send a signal to the cars ECU (computer) that it is not happy with. This causes a fault code to be logged in the computer. If the sensor is changed because of this fault code, as all too often happens, then most often the fault is not fixed. The signal being sent from the sensor is very often wrong for reasons other than the sensor itself. In this case if further testing is done it can very quickly be established that the sensor is not faulty thus leading to testing the other possible causes thus leading to the correct result. This is proper diagnosis and saves the cost of parts that were never required.

In summation, to carry out quality diagnostics a mechanic needs three things. Good equipment, including but not limited to diagnostic computers. Knowledge, training and understanding of the systems being worked on. It is not possible to fix a system if you don´t know how it works. Finally, data and information on the system being worked on e.g. wiring diagrams. This is what makes true diagnostics a specialist service.