How do car computer diagnostics work?
The most common indicator the PCM will trigger is the check engine light. Whenever you see that light turn on, it’s a good idea to come in and let one of our trained technicians perform our thorough car computer diagnostic test.
Almost every car includes a powertrain control module (PCM)—essentially your car’s computer—which is typically found under the driver-side instrument panel. This module monitors the operation of dozens of car components.
Each component has a normal operating range, and if the car component operates out of that normal range, the PCM registers the issue and stores it as a diagnostic code. This type of code is what triggers the light on your car’s dashboard.
Relying on the internet to diagnose the meaning behind the indicators on your dashboard is a surefire way to cause yourself a headache. By having a trained mechanic properly run an in-depth diagnostic on your car’s computer, you can be sure that whatever issues your vehicle is experiencing are understood. You’ll never get any guessing or unnecessary repairs when you run a car computer diagnostic test with Virginia Tire & Auto.
What kind of issues can car computer diagnostics uncover?
A diagnostic code can indicate an electrical issue, a mechanical problem like an engine vacuum leak, or something else entirely. Codes can even be triggered when there’s nothing wrong with the electronics. When your mechanic runs a car computer diagnostics test, he or she is scanning the PCM for these active or stored diagnostic codes. While these computer diagnostic codes identify the source of the problem, they will not indicate whether a part needs replacing.
What are my next steps?
When you schedule an appointment at one of Virginia Tire & Auto’s service centers, you’ll get a comprehensive car computer diagnosis by a diagnostic expert. Our test includes a visual inspection of related components, a complete system analysis, thorough research of all related service bulletins, test drives, pinpoint testing and, finally, the component diagnosis.
Once the car computer diagnostic scan is performed and codes are identified, the technician may have to perform additional checks, such as mechanical or electrical analysis to determine why the light was set off in the first place. Extensive training and experience are necessary to fully understand what these additional tests should be.
After the technician knows why the light is on, he or she will recommend the appropriate service and provide an estimate for the work.
We promise to stand by our diagnosis. When you get repairs done at Virginia Tire & Auto, you get our 2-year/24,000-mile warranty on all repairs performed at any of our locations. We use top-of-the-line equipment and have access to the best automotive reference materials to guarantee your car is fixed right the first time.
Unlike other auto parts stores, we don’t roll over car computer diagnostic time into any following repair costs. We believe in being honest and genuine with our customers, so we separate the charges for full transparency—that’s part of the VTA difference.