Vehicle Diagnostics in Greer, SC

Today’s vehicles are complex pieces of machinery filled with advanced technology to have the most power and produce the least amount of emissions possible. An electronic control unit controls the air-to-fuel mixture and emissions controls. In some vehicles, it may also control the transmission’s electronics, while some vehicles have a separate transmission control unit. To determine what is wrong with your vehicle, you’ll need a skilled technician who has experience with code scanners and diagnostic tools.

Vehicle Diagnostics: The Check Engine Light

When the check engine light comes on, an experienced diagnostic tech can determine what is causing it. It’s not as simple as plugging in a code scanner and reading the code. The stored code is only a clue as to where the tech should start looking. In most cases, the problem is not the sensor but that the sensor is giving out-of-range readings because the ECM cannot adjust the air and fuel mixture to compensate for a problem.

Vehicle diagnostics helps a technician:

The Engine Diagnostic Process

When you first come into the shop with a check engine light issue, we’ll ask you some questions about how your vehicle is running and whether you can hear strange noises. We then take it for a test drive – if it runs – and do a visual inspection.

We hook up the scanner to pull the stored code and use our state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and equipment to test components and further diagnose the problem. Our technicians interpret the diagnostic data to determine what is causing the code, and then we make repair recommendations.

Once you approve the work, we then make the repairs and run diagnostics again to make sure we resolved the issue. We also test drive the vehicle again.

How Hard Can Diagnostics Be?​

Some people are under the impression that when we pull codes, all we have to do is replace the part the computer tells us to replace. In most cases, the electronic control module stored a code because it could not use sensors to get the readings back in range. For example, you might have an oxygen sensor code, but that only means that the amount of unburned fuel going through the exhaust is either too much or too little, and the computer cannot compensate for it.

It is up to the technician to further diagnose the vehicle to determine what is causing the out-of-range readings. In the case of an oxygen sensor, there could be many factors, including a malfunctioning spark plug, a bad coil, a clogged injector, or an injector that is simply not working anymore.

Additional Diagnostics Challenges

Other challenges to properly diagnosing a vehicle in a short time include:

Intermittent Issues

Before we can determine what the intermittent issue is, we have to get the vehicle to exhibit the problem. As long as it’s running properly, our scanner cannot pick up any problems. If it’s something mechanical, we have to figure out how to get the vehicle to replicate your complaint before we can find the issue.

Chasing the Tail

In some cases, the malfunctioning system can affect another system, which causes a comprehensive approach to determining which system is causing the problems. We’ll go back and forth between systems, testing various components, until we determine which component is causing the problem.

Inaccurate Data

If the problem is with the ECM, it can store inaccurate codes, which is like chasing a ghost. The check engine light may be on, but our scanners don’t pick anything up. This often happens with more than one sensor at a time, and the codes are not usually related to each other.

Complex Electronics

The electronics in vehicles have significantly increased in complexity over the past several years. Because of all the electronics, it sometimes takes longer to diagnose the issue.

Contact Eastside Automotive

When you need preventative maintenance or repairs, contact Eastside Automotive at (864) 801-0202 for an appointment. We are conveniently located at 2010 River Road, Greer SC 29650.