Comprehensive diagnosis will help to detect and eliminate any serious malfunctions in time. As you know, regular preventive maintenance is much more profitable than paying for repairs and replacement parts. Timely visit to the car service center allows you to save not only money, but also time and nerves.
When it is necessary to carry out a comprehensive car diagnostics
We strongly advise you to conduct a complete inspection of your car at least once a year. Ideally, it should also be done every time before the winter and summer seasons. Circumstances in which it is advisable for the owner of the vehicle to have it checked:
- if he or she has noticed “oddities” while driving the vehicle;
- after an accident;
- when buying a used vehicle.
In the last case we recommend to go for inspection before conclusion of a transaction. Of course you will have to pay for it. But this way you will save time and money in the future. The comprehensive inspection will reveal the problems that the previous owner hid or that you did not know about. Only then can you be 100% sure that your car is in good condition and safe for you and others.
If you have been in an accident, but you don’t find any external damage, the car still needs to be inspected. There is a high probability that its working components have imperceptible at first glance damage, which at any time can cause you problems.
The same applies to the car’s “strange behavior” on the road. If you have common car problems with steering, skidding, strange noises, knocks or creaks you hear, you should probably go to an authorized service, which provides the service of complex diagnostics of your car.
Perform such an inspection also before selling your vehicle. Then your chances of finding a buyer faster will increase. And if there are any minor defects, do not be afraid to inform your potential client. This way you will attract him to you even more. After all, he will understand that he is dealing with a responsible seller, who can be trusted.
The first electronics in cars were just to control the engine. But progress has moved on. Thanks to the active development of technology, today we are using cars that are equipped with a variety of electronic systems. These systems can control almost any part of the vehicle:
- regulate the operation of the engine;
- control the braking system;
- be responsible for climate control and create comfortable conditions in the cabin;
- control the gearbox.
Dozens of such control units are being implemented in modern car models. With the help of a computer checkup, the driver can analyze the condition of individual mechanisms, which are controlled by electronics, as precisely and quickly as possible. Such comprehensive diagnostics allows making sure that the car is really in working order.
On the other hand, a computer check helps assess the condition of only those systems that are based on electronics. However, the most important work in the car goes to the mechanics. This means that errors in sensor readings can occur due to mechanical malfunctions. So don’t rush to change your electronics if you find that a certain gauge isn’t working as it should. It is quite possible that it is caused by a faulty mechanism.
Of course, in some cases, it is not necessary to conduct a comprehensive diagnostics of the used car. For example, when buying a car from your close friend or relative. And also, when the car is sold by an official dealer. But in other circumstances, try to visit car service stations in time or order on-site services.
What is included into complex Comprehensive diagnosis of the automobile
Obviously, it is simply necessary to carry out a comprehensive diagnostics of the vehicle every year. It is also desirable to prepare for the change of seasons. We have made a list of the main component parts and parts that should be checked especially carefully:
- Heating system (heater) and cooling system (air conditioner). These important components provide a comfortable ride at any time of the year. The reasons for checking them are already clear to everyone, so we will not analyze them in detail.
- The engine – the “heart” of the car, providing the coordinated work of all its nodes. The state of the engine is analyzed with the help of the latest computer technologies, allowing detecting any significant causes of possible failure.
- Electrical system. Comprehensive diagnostics makes it possible to detect and correct weak points of electric wiring, timely repair generators and starters, as well as other important elements (including lights: running lights, front and rear lights, headlights, etc.).
- All wires must be protected by a reliable winding. You must eliminate the risk of a short circuit, because you will not be able to extinguish a burning car with a standard fire extinguisher. And until you wait for the arrival of the fire department, there will be nothing left to save.
- Clutch, brakes, running gear. Make sure that all components work perfectly: “Airbag” and “ABS”, clutch discs and baskets, pads, steering rods, struts, springs, ball joints, silent blocks, etc.
Regardless of which salon you go to, a comprehensive diagnosis of the car should be performed in several stages:
- a general exterior inspection;
- inspection of the engine part;
- complete inspection of the running gear;
- comprehensive computer diagnostics.
The general exterior inspection is performed visually and does not require the use of any electronic instruments. At this stage, the following is checked:
- the operability of the lighting equipment;
- condition of body coating;
- condition of the interior.
If the inspection reveals any faults, the specialists immediately eliminate them – remove heavy dirt from the interior and minor scratches, wash and polish the headlights or the vehicle itself. If necessary, at this stage the windows are replaced.
The most important stage of the complex diagnostics of the car is an engine check. The list of basic works to be performed by the master:
- inspection of the injector – performed with the use of an ohmmeter and multimeter.
- Inspection of the engine as a whole. Does not require the use of any devices. The specialist checks the hood and under-hood compartment, assesses the presence and condition of all necessary accessories: clamps, sensors, wires.
- Comprehensive diagnostics of system. A special electronic scanner is used here to check the power supply and sensors.
- Comprehensive Diagnosis of the system, which is responsible for the air filtration in the cabin. This does not require any devices, the specialist visually inspects the degree of contamination of the filter, checks the date of its installation and reconciles the data. If the level of contamination is too high, the filter is immediately replaced.
- Checking the condition of the plugs. To do this, an employee of the car service should externally inspect the car, as well as learn its color and brand name.
- Connecting a scanner tester to perform a comprehensive diagnostics of computer. It determines exactly when the electrical unit was installed and what its version is. And also allows you to make corrections to the car’s computer systems and software.
- Checking the compression in the cylinders. The filtered air is forced by the compressor, thanks to which the specialist will know the contents of the engine.
The next stage of the comprehensive vehicle diagnostics is an inspection of its running gear. It includes the following types of work:
- Complete inspection of wheels and brake system. An employee of the salon evaluates the condition of wheel drums, hubs, rubber, pads, disks. He also inspects the brake hoses and checks for leaks.
- Check the support cups for any defects (at the same time as checking the spring resiliency).
- Inspecting the silents.
- Inspection of shock absorbers. The specialist evaluates how stable they work, no leaks. If air suspension is available, inspects the cylinders.
- Traction diagnostics. Represents the inspection of backlashes.
- Checking the dusters of the C.V. joints. Allows you to identify scuffs or tears.
The above list indicates most of the work that is performed when performing a comprehensive vehicle Comprehensive diagnosis. It is imperative to undergo these procedures before purchasing a vehicle. This way you can discover hidden problems and make sure the car is in good working order.
There are also other types of the check-up of the car. However, their implementation is not directly related to the performance and safety of the machine. That is why they are secondary (secondary) activities and are performed at the request of the customer. At the same time, some of these procedures are really important. For example: checking the body for putty dents, paintwork (the number of paint layers on the parts of the car with mileage), etc.
Approximate list of works of complex diagnostics of the car
Checking the starting and charging system of the car:
- the battery – checked with a load fork.
- Condition of the battery – i.e. presence of protective cover on the “+” terminal, condition and fastening of terminals, fastening of the battery.
- The alternator is working. The alternator is checked for voltage, which the alternator generates at idle speed.
Diagnostics of ignition system:
- The ignition advance angle is checked.
- The high-voltage section is visually inspected for current leaks and external damage.
- Spark plugs are checked with a special device, compare the marking, gap.
Check the engine when performing a comprehensive vehicle diagnostics:
- Listen to the knocks and noises during engine operation, including full warm-up at higher revolutions.
- The amount of vacuum in the intake manifold is checked. This allows you to assess the degree of combustion of the air-fuel mixture in the cylinders, as well as compression.
- Listening for extraneous knocks and noises when the engine is fully warmed up at idle speed.
- The cabin employee checks the levels and condition of technical fluids (brake, automatic transmission, power steering, cooling, engine oil). To diagnose the condition of the coolant and brake fluids use special instruments.
- The engine guard is inspected.
- Check if the throttle body is not contaminated.
- The oil pressure gauge is inspected for leaks.
- The air ducts, boxes, and air filter are checked.
- the condition of the attachment bearings is evaluated. During comprehensive vehicle diagnostics, a stethoscope is used to listen for foreign noises in the coolant pump, power steering pump and alternator bearings. The number of bearings that can be checked varies, depending on the vehicle model.
- The technician checks the condition of the crankcase ventilation valve.
- The condition of the engine mounts to the body under load is checked.
- The entire length of the timing belt is inspected (if the engine is belt driven). For some Honda models, the belt check is done separately from the overall comprehensive diagnosis.
- If the engine is a timing chain driven engine, the timing chain is checked. A stethoscope is used to listen to the noise of this mechanism.
- The condition of the muffler – its tightness, cushions fixing to the body are evaluated.
- Transmission units and engine are inspected for leakage of technical fluids and oil.
- Condition and tension of auxiliary units drive belts are checked.
- The coolant pump is inspected for leakage from the control hole.
- Check the condition of the radiator for leaks and contamination on the outside.
The computer check of the engine when carrying out a complex diagnostics of the car includes:
- On models with a direct injection engine (D4, GDI) check the high pressure fuel pump pressure.
- Taking into account several computer parameters the condition of the fuel system is evaluated.
- The air flow sensor signal is checked when the engine is fully warmed up at idle speed.
- The number of idling speed is calculated.
- The air flow sensor signal is checked with the ignition on.
- Diagnostics of the long term correction of the fuel-air mixture is performed.
- The time of fuel injectors opening is checked when the engine is fully warmed up.
- All systems are checked for electronic fault codes.
- The correctness of the indicators of the oxygen sensors, on the operability of which the fuel consumption depends, is assessed.
In the course of complex diagnostics of the car the SRS (airbags) system is checked, as well as units and assemblies, which ensure the safety of movement:
- the parking brake is assessed.
- The brake hoses are inspected for fluid leaks and mechanical damage.
- The latches, hinges, door locks are checked.
- Brake pads, end clamps, wear indicators, anti-squeak plates are inspected.
- the condition of the windshield is assessed.
- The dusters of the undercarriage components are inspected.
- Tire pressure is checked.
- Diagnostics of play in steering is carried out.
- The serviceability of the windshield washers and wipers is checked.
- the piping, as well as the protections of the brake and fuel systems under the machine are inspected.
- The operation of the light alarms is checked.
- The condition and tightness of the fuel tank is assessed.
Inspection of the air conditioning and heater system in the course of carrying out a comprehensive diagnostic of the car:
- Comparison of the list of necessary for performance and already performed works according to the schedule of maintenance taking into account the current mileage.
- Freon pressure is checked by the indicator in the high pressure circuit.
- The cabin heater air filter is inspected.
- Heater dampers performance in different modes is evaluated.
Complex diagnostics of the car before buying can be supplemented by a number of other services according to the client’s wish:
- Hidden damages after an accident are detected.
- Check if the emulators of SRS system (airbags) are not substituted. Often in cars after an accident emulators are installed instead of airbags, which do not perform any protective functions in the event of a collision.
- Check for corrosion in the interior and on parts of the electrical system if the car was sunk.
- Check the body number and date of manufacture of the vehicle.
How does Comprehensive diagnosis on vehicle work?
Various diagnostic procedures are performed at service stations and service centers before starting repair work. Thus it is possible to check practically all systems and units of a vehicle – from suspension to electrical equipment of salon. Such work is performed visually or with the use of special devices.
During complex vehicle diagnostics, special equipment is used only when it is necessary to check a complex system with an electronic component. An example is the ignition system. To carry out its diagnostics, a motor tester, a spark plug panel stand and a stroboscope are needed. In the recent past, craftsmen visually inspected the spark plug group and adjusted the ignition “by eye”. But now such methods are unacceptable. More often than not, modern machines adjust the ignition angle independently, and their spark plug group is checked with the help of a vacuum.
Visual inspection is not very popular today. It is usually used in the course of a comprehensive diagnosis of the powertrain and running gear. If you carefully examine these systems, in the presence of extraneous sounds, you can draw certain conclusions about the current malfunctions.
Surely you have noticed that visual diagnostics is not always included into the list of necessary works on maintenance in car dealerships. But, as we know, there are exceptions to all rules. So, sometimes even the newest equipment does not help to check the fuel system. In such cases, specialists are forced to judge the state and operation of the injection system by visual observations, relying on their practical experience in repairing these systems.
A general check of all electronic systems with a special diagnostic scanner has long been a separate segment of car diagnostics. This procedure allows specialists to monitor the condition of all units with an electronic component (and in modern models, there are most of them) and to make certain predictions about the future operation of the car. Such a possibility arose due to the fact that many models are equipped with a special unit, which helps to perform regular Comprehensive diagnosis of electronic systems and record the occurring errors.
It should be added that comprehensive systems diagnostics using this scanner can be performed not only before the start of repair. Moreover, it is included in the list of routine maintenance works. Although in the process of maintenance, computer diagnostics is usually carried out in a reduced form, which is limited to reading the errors.
Car owners may very well do the scanning themselves. It is not as difficult as it may seem at first sight. In addition, in today’s markets there is a wide range of different models of personal diagnostic scanners. They are sold at an affordable price, with a Russified interface and are chosen with the car brand in mind.
With these devices you can check the electronic systems, as well as work with fault codes. Sometimes these codes just need to be removed, and the car is back in working order. Nevertheless, it is still worth entrusting the comprehensive diagnostics to specialists. This will allow you to avoid unpleasant errors.
To solve problems with your car, you need to know the specifications of the car: what equipment is installed, fuel consumption, various engine and suspension specifications. You can also find out what common car problems owners of cars like yours face, you can find all this out at cars-directory.net.
What does complex computer Comprehensive diagnostics of the car include
Comprehensive diagnostics using a computer includes:
- A detailed check of the blocks to detect changes in mileage and determine its real value.
- Scanning of all electronic units to assess the condition of the electronics and sensors, as well as to identify inoperable elements or failed devices.
- Comprehensive diagnosis Monitoring of all performed service works (this information is stored in the memory of electronic units).
- Analysis of the error history.
Computerized comprehensive vehicle diagnostics should be performed for the following systems:
- internal combustion engines
- fuel supply
- anti-lock brakes
- dynamic course stabilization
- secondary air supply, as well as a number of subsystems.
An electronic scanner is needed to perform the above mentioned work. It is thanks to this device that the technician receives all the necessary information about the vehicle systems.
Examples of information provided by the scanner:
- any, even the smallest problems in electronic systems and circuits. Small system faults are often missed or overlooked during normal vehicle diagnostics.
- Information about the operation of the automatic transmission and engine system. Data is read from the respective control units as well as from sensors. The current parameters are then compared with the actual parameters.
- Reliability of mileage data. Usually, the scanner reads this information only from the microchip responsible for the readings on the dashboard of the car. Although mileage information is stored on several microchips.
- Comprehensive diagnosis of the condition of the airbags. Often emulators are installed instead of normal airbags. The main computer may not notice this, but the licensed electric auto scanner will immediately recognize cheating.
- Functionality of the exhaust cleaning system. Catalysts contain a number of precious metals, so their replacement is not cheap (about 100,000 rubles for one quality copy). They cannot be restored, only replaced. Sometimes, to save money, instead of good catalysts, cars are equipped with lower quality “cheaters”, which are not so easy to recognize.
- The electric auto scanner is simply indispensable when carrying out complex diagnostics of the car. It checks everything and does not miss anything. This device will react even to a burned out bulb illuminating the front license plate.
Every motorist knows that there is a special icon on the dashboard that indicates the presence of malfunctions. If it lights up yellow, it means there are problems in some system. But drivers should also understand that this icon does not always light up.
When certain errors occur in electronic systems, the icon will not necessarily reflect it. Only an electronic scanner will detect such errors. It also happens that an unscrupulous seller simply turns off the icon. And the buyer may realize it very slowly. In this connection, it is better not to rely on the lack of signaling as an indication of the good condition of the car.
The main part of any vehicle is the engine. If you are going to buy a new car, first make sure that the engine is in good condition and that it meets all the stated specifications. Modern car models are equipped with electronic systems that control the processes occurring in the engine. Usually such systems include three components:
- Mechanical elements: ignition coils, injectors, etc. These mechanisms do all the work which is controlled by the electronic control unit.
- Sensors – make the necessary measurements and transmit the data to the control unit. They measure pressure, temperature of cooling liquid and engine, volume of incoming air, etc.
Electronic Control Unit (ECU). This small computer directs and controls all processes. It is programmed to execute the algorithm for controlling the mechanisms and the values of permissible sensor values.
As soon as you start the engine, the ECU begins to collect the necessary information from the sensors and process it. Then it makes the necessary calculations and controls the next cycle of operation of mechanisms. It is the actions of this computer that determines how much fuel will be fed into the engine, as well as the timing of the spark and various other situations.
Thanks to computer technologies, it is now possible to check the operation of the electronic control unit, i.e. to evaluate the condition of all mechanisms controlled by the electronics. As soon as the data received exceeds the limits of the control unit programmed, it immediately signals an error. By means of the computer check it is possible to identify not only mechanical problems, but also problems in the control system itself. For example, if the sensors are out of order and there is no signal from them, the system immediately displays an error message.
After all the service work is complete, the salon specialists give the customer the result and advise them on the problems they have found and fixed in the car.
How to choose a service station for comprehensive vehicle diagnostics
In some areas there is only one garage service and all local car owners can get service only there. But for those who have the opportunity to choose a suitable salon, we advise to take it with all responsibility. How to choose a service station:
- go to an official dealer;
- get recommendations from your friends and acquaintances;
- read reviews of other motorists on the Internet.
It is best to start your search with the Internet. Visit the websites of the relevant companies, analyze the ratings of car services, read reviews in aggregators. Perhaps this will help you make up your mind.
Give preference to specialized services and craftsmen who deal with a particular brand of cars. Then you will have a better chance of finding specialists who know the peculiarities of your car perfectly. Compare the cost of services in different salons, focusing on the average price tag. This will allow you to avoid overpaying for comprehensive car diagnostics.
Another good method of choosing a service station is to listen to the advice of acquaintances, friends or relatives. Surely some of them can share their positive or negative experiences and give you useful recommendations. Though, despite good advice, it is still worth to search car salons independently. Maybe you will find better options.
If you belong to the category of wealthy and mistrustful clients, we recommend you to apply to service stations at official dealers. There, all work is performed strictly according to quality certificates, and prices for services are inexpensive. In all major cities of Russia there are car dealers of the most popular car brands where you can order a comprehensive diagnosis of the car before buying it from the dealer.
In any case please use the service of complex inspection. Depending on the model and brand of your car, it can cost you as much as one thousand or several thousand rubles.
A full Comprehensive diagnosis includes:
- computer diagnostics;
- inspection on the elevator;
- paintwork diagnostics;
- inspection of the engine;
- steering condition evaluation;
- inspection of the suspension.
Of course, this is an incomplete list of all the works that are performed by the master within the ordered service. However, it is these basic procedures that will allow you to find out about the presence of any internal technical problems that are not related to accidents. And also check if the car was in an accident.
The specialists of the service station have all the necessary equipment to qualitatively perform a comprehensive diagnostic of the car and find out in what state its component parts are, whether the mileage is correctly displayed, etc. After completing the check-up, they make a list of works that need to be done to restore the ideal technical condition of the car. This is especially important to know if you are just going to buy it. This way, you will understand how much more you will have to invest in your purchase in the future.