The Speedy Difference
What Exactly IS a Diagnostic?
We have found that most customers don't really understand what is involved in diagnosing a problem with their transmission. One of the misconceptions about car repair is the diagnostic report.
What exactly is a diagnostic report? Many people think that we just hook the computer up and it magically tells us what is wrong with your car. Unfortunately, it isn't that easy--or magical. A diagnostic computer is certainly helpful, but it does not tell us what is wrong with the car. The diagnostic computer gives us data from a report, and then our trained technicians interpret that data along with other observations of the vehicle. For example, when your check engine light comes on, we can receive a few diagnostic codes. And oftentimes, there are more than one! These are 5-digit codes that often describe a problem that the car is having. These diagnostic codes are a starting point for us to begin finding the source of the problem. After a diagnostic report, we get a report that tells us a particular issue, but it does not specify the direct cause of the problem. It is just an indicator to where our technicians should begin their investigation.
The next thing the diagnostic computer gives us is called "freeze frame data." This is an overview of all the sensors and data and includes everything that was going on at the time the code was initiated. Our experienced technicians can use this report to help figure out what may have happened to cause the problem. We can monitor live data from every sensor on the car and watch for anything out of the ordinary. We can also test individual components and run various tests by making a change and watching the computer data to see the result. All of these can help us narrow down the source of the problem with your car and your transmission. Sometimes the computer tools can take us right to the exact problem. Oftentimes, we will need a little more investigating because the computer does not give us enough information. At this point we look under the hood, and we do a visual inspection. We look for anything abnormal such as smoke, burning wires, broken seals, clogs, etc.
After a diagnosis, we may have to take things apart and inspect them. Then we test individual components. Most of the time, we can get enough information to find the problem with just a few steps. There will be times when we need to spend more time with a vehicle. We may need to run tests under various conditions (driving tests, gear shifts, etc.) Common testing to vehicles that helps us determine the transmission problems include driving the vehicle with a cold engine, driving the vehicle with a hot engine, checking the vehicle at different highway speeds, and also in-town driving. All of these are normal conditions for everyday driving and help us understand your car.
When you bring your car to Speedy Marietta, you can help us with the diagnosis by sharing as many details as you can about the problem with your car. Tell us when the abnormal conditions happened and what we can do to recreate the same issue. This will help us make sure we are testing the correct problems. This is the best way to help us determine the source of the transmission issue a lot sooner. One of the best ways to prevent transmission failure is to have annual inspections. We perform a complete diagnostic as well as replace your vehicle's transmission fluid for optimum performance. And don't fret if you ever feel like your transmission isn't performing its best -- just bring your vehicle in to Speedy Marietta and our highly trained technicians will complete a complete diagnostic. We're here when you need us, and we're here to help.
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