Modern vehicles now rely on many computer controlled systems. Engine Management, Anti-Lock Braking, Traction Control, Safety Restraint (air bags, seat belt pre-tensioners etc.), Electronic Power Steering and many more. Plus, many of the additional systems with your vehicle such as lights, windscreen wipers and even comfort systems such as heating, air conditioning, electric windows and central locking can have an element of computer control.
When a fault is detected within these systems a warning lamp will illuminate on the dashboard, this can only be extinguished using special tools, and only once the fault has been repaired.
Many service warning lamps also need to be extinguished using this type of equipment, so if your mechanic doesn't have this tooling, we can re-set the service interval for you too.
It is also now often necessary to 'code' new components to the cars electronic systems. This means that sometimes, even something like a simple battery replacement will need the vehicles electronic control systems to be accessed, the relevant information entered in order for the new component to accepted and allowed to work correctly.
It is not possible to locate and repair faults with these systems without the necessary diagnostic equipment, or the knowledge of how the systems work.
Our diagnostic equipment will work on the majority of modern cars and light commercial vehicles. The first stage in diagnostic checking is to access, and read stored error codes, record these codes, and then delete them from the system memory if possible. We do this as there is no record of how old the codes may be, and may relate to a problem that was resolved some time ago. Once the memory has been blanked, we know that any errors that then return are genuinely new and therefore related to the current problem.
We are also able to view live data from within the various different electronic systems which is very useful for fault diagnosis.
A sensor error is only usually reported (and the relevant warning lamp illuminated) if the sensor fails completely. It is possible for a faulty sensor to give incorrect readings to, and therefore confuse the control system, causing it to react in the wrong way (engine running problems, Anti-Lock Braking performance etc.)
By reading live data, we are able to monitor the sensor readings which drastically reduces diagnostic time (and costs) and enables us to make a more accurate fault diagnosis.