What is Included in a Car Diagnostic Test?

A car diagnostic test is a procedure that determines what's wrong with a vehicle. Whether you're experiencing a problem with your electrical system, transmission, or engine, a diagnostic test is integral to maintaining a safe vehicle. There are three different types of tests. Automotive shop scan tools are more sophisticated and require specialized training. Additionally, many vehicles have manufacturer-specific trouble codes, which a technician can only decipher.

Taking a Car Diagnostic Test

Taking a car diagnostic test can help you to avoid significant car problems, and hiring professionals that offer car diagnostic services Bellevue WA can be a great advantage. The early diagnosis of these issues can help you avoid costly repairs and breakdowns. It will also help you determine how much work is needed to fix the problems. A diagnostic test will also tell you how long the problem has been affecting the car.

The test will help your mechanic pinpoint the problem areas and save money and time. Many problems can be easily fixed by simply adjusting the timing belt or replacing the spark plug. Some problems may require more serious repairs, such as an engine overhaul.

Trouble Codes

Trouble codes are computerized signals your car's computer interprets to determine whether the vehicle is having an issue. They can help you determine what is causing the problem and how to fix it. Trouble codes are usually displayed in categories, depending on which system is at fault.

Every problem does not generate trouble codes, but some of them are serious. For example, a DTC may mean that a sensor circuit is out of range or that your emissions control system needs to be repaired. To read the codes, you must first determine where they are stored on the car's computer. 

Some car manufacturers create codes for specific systems, while others only use generic codes. The generic codes start with "0", while manufacturer-specific codes begin with a different second digit.

Electrical System

The electrical system in a car controls various functions and systems. It consists of a complex network of wires, sensors, and computers. These components all work together to start the vehicle and keep it running. Occasionally, they may malfunction and cause problems. During a car diagnostic test, technicians will analyze these systems to determine if they function correctly.

Electrical problems can occur at any time. Many vehicle manufacturers require the inspection of wiring harnesses and specific electrical systems. After many years of driving, most vehicles will encounter some electrical problems.


Engine diagnostic tests can be a great way to identify a problem with your vehicle. These tests can be performed at home by a skilled mechanic or dealership. They can check many vehicle components, including the engine, brakes, and exhaust system. In addition, they can be used for emissions testing.

An engine diagnostic test also determines your vehicle's emissions level, which is essential for determining your vehicle's environmental friendliness. It will also show the health of your exhaust system and whether or not you need to schedule a tune-up. If your vehicle's powertrain control module (PCM) is having problems, it will give you a warning light on the dashboard. The good news is that you can have it fixed before the problem gets worse.