POWERTRAIN & ELECTRICAL DIAGNOSTICS
* "CODE SCANS" performed by Auto parts stores.
This is one of the first topics that I feel should be mentioned. Most auto parts retailers that are in our area provide a free service to customers that can best be described as a "code scan." An employee from the store can plug in a low level, hand held code reader to the diagnostic port on the vehicle and it will display any codes that are stored in the vehicles engine control computer. The "code reader" that is used is typically able to display trouble codes, but unable to display other data that may need to be observed before a accurate diagnosis can be made. Code readers are also typically unable to communicate with the other various computers on the vehicle, offering access to the engine computer only.
Code scans are not a bad thing, but not accurate. Replacing a part on a vehicle to correct an issue based only on a trouble code can be risky! Trouble codes are only a small part of diagnosis. Trouble codes are intended to "steer you in the right direction" and provide assitance, but are not intended to be used solely. When a diagnostic technician is diagnosing a vehicle, searching for trouble codes is one of the first steps. Almost all diagnostic trouble codes have specific steps to aid in leading the technician to the actual issue.
Codes scans can be helpful, and are necessary, but should never be confused with true diagnostics.
Please stay tuned to this section for updates on its construction. When its finished, we hope that it can be useful and informative for vehicle owners that are having issues.