How long does a car diagnosis take? Is a valid question asked by car owners who have seen the need of getting their cars checked for faults or problems. Having a car diagnosis is a very beneficial process as it helps to identify problems before they escalate and become a source of great financial cost.
What Is A Car Diagnostic Test And Why Is It Important?
A car diagnostic test is a check done to determine if a car is in good condition or is developing a fault. Running a car diagnosis helps with detecting problems or faults early enough which in turn helps to reduce car repairs cost.
Most recently produced cars have been computerized. They now contain microchips, processors, and sensors which when connected to a scanner can help reveal a lot more about the physical state of your car or engine than your senses can tell.
A car diagnostics test is a process that is beneficial to both the car owner and the mechanic. As it prevents you from just guessing what the problem with your car is. And it helps mechanics easily detect problems very quickly. Problems that he would have otherwise spent long periods trying to discover through trial and error.
It can help identify problems from the transmission, to oil tanks, to exhaust systems, ignition coils, throttle, to even windshield wipers, etc. very efficiently.
Although experts advise that car diagnostics should be done as a predictive maintenance measure, most people wait until the check engine lights come on or until they hear an unusual sound before they perform a diagnostics test.
The technology works by using code reading tools to run a scan. The scan tells the mechanics which parameters are out of range and that information is used by an experienced mechanic to ascertain the fault of the vehicle. So the test doesn’t tell the mechanic what exactly is wrong, it only points the mechanic towards the right direction through read parameters.
Car diagnostics are usually done at car dealerships and mechanics. And while this sounds strange, most people do not know that they can run a car diagnostics test by themselves at home without any cost.
Importance Of Car Diagnostic Tests
Due to the computerization of vehicle parts, faults can now be identified and treated even before they cause you problems. This eliminates the time-wasting and heavy cost that would have been incurred in a case of a car breakdown.
The diagnostic tools can also be used to check for notifications from manufacturers, and other information like car history and many other instructions that will help the mechanic or technician with more information about how to take care of your car.
How Often Should You Get A Diagnosis Of Your Car?
Apart from how long does a car diagnosis take? Another valid question is how often should you get a diagnosis of your car. Apart from running periodical diagnosis, there are other times when you need to do car diagnosis and they are explained below;
Even if you’ve not had any problem with your car for a long time, mechanics and technicians advise that you run a diagnostic test at least once a year. This will help to detect problems before they escalate. Most of the time, doing a car diagnostic test at the beginning of the year might be the difference between you enjoying smooth rides all year round or spending an excessive amount of money on repairs.
When you hear strange noises
Another moment when you need to run a diagnosis of your car is when you hear strange noises coming from your engine. Before cars were computerized, listening for unusual noises used to be every car owner’s way of knowing if their cars had developed a fault or not. Strange noises such as grinding and squeaking are usually an indication that something is wrong and you should take your car in for diagnosis before it becomes a major problem.
When the check engine light comes on
The check engine light coming on is the biggest indicator that you need to get your car examined. When the light comes on, it means a problem has triggered it and most of the time, that problem is still in a minor state. So taking the car for diagnosis immediately can save you a lot of cash in the near future. Ignoring the check engine light is always a bad idea.
When you want to purchase a used car
Before you buy a used car, one of the first things you should do is to take it to a mechanic or technician for diagnosis. This will give you an idea of what you are spending your money on and save you from the pain of buying a car that will cause a hole in your pocket due to incessant troubles.
How To Diagnose A Car Problem?
While it takes a trained mechanic or technician to make repairs to a faulty car, regular individuals do not need any training to detect when their cars are developing some type of problem. Below are some of the ways that you can diagnose a car problem;
Listen For Unusual Sounds
This is an age-long method of knowing when a car starts developing faults. As you use your car, it is expected that you’ll know how your car sounds when the engine is turned on or off, when you apply breaks, when you accelerate, and so on.
If you know the regular sounds your car makes, it is easy to detect a change. Some of these changes could include squeaking noises, clicking and popping sounds, backfiring noises, etc.
These noises usually indicate that there is a problem with your car. For example, if you hear squealing sounds when you apply your brakes, it might mean that there is a problem with your brake pads. If a squeaking sound occurs when you’re turning your steering, it indicates that there might be damaged suspensions or worn-out shocks and ball joints.
Smelling The Problem
Another way of detecting car problems on your own is through the sense of smell. Different types of smells indicate different types of problems.
If you smell sulfur around your car, it might have something to do with your catalytic converter or batteries. If you perceive the smell of oil or gas while driving, it means there is a leak somewhere and you have to take care of it quickly as it is a safety hazard.
A smoky or burning smell can happen as a result of braking too hard. It could also be as a result of the clutch experiencing too much friction, it could also be fluids burning up.
Sense Of Touch
Car problems can also be diagnosed by touch. When certain areas of your car feel hotter than usual or vibrate in an unusual manner, it is usually a sign that there is a fault developing. For example, If the steering wheel vibrates violently when held or there is a poor response when the throttle is pressed, it usually indicates a problem with the engine or fuel delivery system.
Checking your fluids regularly
Every car owner should know how to check their car fluid levels regularly. Not just the engine oil, the transmission fluids should also be checked over a period of time. This will help you keep your car in good shape.
A case where your engine oil level is low after a recent change might indicate a leakage somewhere while a dark coloring means it’s time to change the oil. A discolored transmission oil might mean that your transmission is developing problems and it should be checked immediately.
You don’t need to be mechanically savvy to diagnose some car problems. Some of the methods mentioned above can save you a lot of trouble in the near future.
How Fixd Help To Diagnose Your Car
Fixd is an innovative car diagnostic tool that can be operated on your phone or other smart devices through its dedicated app. Fixd keeps track of your car’s conditions and reports it to you in real-time through its app.
Fixd lets you know why your check engine light is on, and also lets you know the repair costs if it detects a problem. It takes care of your performance schedule and also reminds you when it’s time to go for maintenance.
Fixd follows OBD-II system protocols. Once you connect it to your car’s OBD-II port, a scanning process will begin, after which it will show all the internal registry and other data that will point you to the issues. Fixd is compatible with all cars produced after 1996.
Getting Fixd is a good idea for people who do not want to spend large sums in a car diagnostic center.
How Long Does It Take To Run A Car Diagnostic?
If you’re going to run a diagnostic test on your car, it is important to know the answer to the question, “how long does a car Diagnosis take?” So you can make time for it accordingly.
There is no standard time for diagnosis as car problems differ. While some diagnosis can take a few minutes, others can take up to an hour, or two or three it all depends.
A more straightforward answer will be that a thorough and complete car diagnosis takes 2-3 hours.
How Much Does It Cost To Run A Diagnostic On A Car?
There is no standard price for running a diagnostic on a car. The range of prices depends on three main reasons which are;
- Make of the car
- Model of the car
- Size of the engine
That said, the price of running a car diagnostic ranges from $40 – $120
Running a diagnostic test on your car periodically helps to detect car problems or faults before they escalate into something bigger. This helps to reduce repair costs and ensure the smooth working of the car. And for the all-important question, “How long does a car diagnosis take?”, The answer is 2-3 hours.