What happens when you have a check engine light on?
How about when your air conditioning isn’t working? What do you do when the engine feels like it’s misfiring, or there’s a strange noise coming from under the hood, or any of your other indicator lamps are on? Hopefully you bring it to us! What are we going to do? Well, before we do anything else, the first thing we ask is for you to authorize some time for testing. Testing time allows us to properly inspect and hopefully pinpoint the cause of your concern.
What happens during testing?
The first step in the testing process is verifying the customer’s concern. If there is noise that occurs at certain speeds, or a sensation that happens only during a particular set of conditions (i.e. when it’s cold outside, when the car hasn’t run in a while, at idle, etc.) we will first test drive the vehicle or do our best to recreate the conditions in which the concern occurs. After that we perform a visual inspection of the area with regards to the concern. Once we are satisfied with the inspection, we will then retrieve data from on-board computers, then take that data and research the vehicle’s service information for any relevant Technical Service Bulletins, Campaigns, or Recalls, the description and operation of any of the preceding, and finally repair information if applicable. Our technicians work together as a team, and we also have a global network of technicians within reach to help pinpoint the cause of any concern. Once a cause is determined our Service Advisor will build an estimate for the relevant repair, then explain the repair process and answer any questions the customer may have.
Is there a charge for testing?
Yes. We have invested a substantial amount of money in our shop in the way of training and equipment. As such, our technicians are some of the most highly trained and educated in the business. We’ve purchased and use the most up-to-date diagnostic and testing tools available, including vehicle-interfacing scanners and computers, and state-of-the-art programs and equipment. Monthly or yearly these computers, programs and equipment must be updated in order to keep current with changes in vehicle systems as well as the introduction of new makes and models. This equipment and training helps us to better understand your vehicle and your concerns for it, and properly diagnose whatever may be happening. On top of these expenses, it takes time to thoroughly test a vehicle and, depending on the issue at hand, that time can be taken in the form physical tooling (disassembly/reassembly, vehicle computer interaction, or research of model-specific problems. Because of the time and money we have spent in order to serve you better, we ask that customers authorize a fee for testing so that we can do our jobs properly and get your car or truck back up and running as soon as possible.
This is common recently. Some parts stores will usually have an in-store engine computer code scanner on hand, which they gladly use to check your car and recommend parts for you to buy in order to fix that code. However, most times the part recommendations that parts stores make will require significant repair experience in order to install, and just as many times the recommendations are incorrect. Often the part recommended will neither fix the proposed problem, nor turn you check engine light off. This is why testing is so important. Parts stores—and just about anyone with an off-the-shelf vehicle computer scanner—can read a check engine code. But it takes a skilled, experienced technician real time and effort to pinpoint the true cause of that code, and provide a solid recommendation for repairing the problem. This is our job and we take it seriously. Bringing your vehicle here and allowing us the time to test it will eliminate confusion and get you back on the road quickly.