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On Board Diagnostics For Washington DC Motorists

Some Washington DC car owners wonder why Metro Motor and other Washington DC auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services.

Think about it: When you hire a local Washington DC metro area HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.

So receiving a diagnostic charge at Metro Motor for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Washington DC metro area area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your late model vehicle brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy DC interstate, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your late model vehicle engine, however, a Metro Motor diagnosis may be much more involved.

Much of the Washington DC metro area drivers’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.

There’s a common misconception among Capitol Hill, Arlington, Georgetown, and H St Corridor drivers that the trouble code tells the Metro Motor technician exactly what’s wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge – because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.

In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.

The late model vehicle computer’s trouble code just tells the Metro Motor technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the malfunction.

There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Metro Motor customers. The Metro Motor service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.

Washington DC metro area service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These important databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.

Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming, and difficult. Of course Metro Motor wants to figure out what’s wrong with your late model vehicle and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Vehicle care information made available by Metro Motor is presented as helpful advice for general maintenance and should not be construed as instructions for at-home vehicle service. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual and a licensed, professional mechanic for diagnostics and repair.

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