A customers vehicle recently visited us, very hard to start, huge lack of power. Vehicle had been elsewhere and had a “diagnosis” of a faulty mass air flow sensor. At this stage they decided to fit a new mass air flow sensor and guess what, fault still present. So why did the part highlighted in the “diagnosis” not fix the fault? Well, to put it simply, the car was not diagnosed but had its fault codes read and then an assumption was made on the fault code alone.

So now, customer comes to us ” can you read and clear codes on my car, I had a new part fitted but its still not right!” As usual our approach to our customer is to hear what they “want”, question them to gain information on the fault and history of it, then discuss with them what they really “need”.  In this case the starting point was a proper diagnosis. What did this entail, well…we confirmed the fault existed, read the fault codes (but in our case this is only used as a guide to possible issues), analyse the data available from the engine control unit and then decide on testing actions. Now it may seem long winded, but its not, its a proven strategy for correct diagnosis. This led us to solving the real fault behind the mass air flow which was in fact a stuck EGR valve. The stuck EGR valve unfortunately in this case not fixable and needed to be replaced, but in this case we knew from proper testing that this would resolve the issue. We’re not saying diagnosing faults properly means you don’t need parts but it does mean you won’t fit unnecessary parts or add unnecessary labour costs.

As I’m well aware some customers may think at first that our diagnosis fee is expensive but it really isn’t, it is value for money and then some. The original “diagnosis” ,which in reality was a code read and a gamble, carried out by the other garage was actually much more expensive, why?, well they cost the customer a part which was not needed and cost in excess of €200 for the part alone not including their “diagnosis” and fitting labour.

So don’t just settle for a best guess, the cheaper option, the parts a €30 scan says to fit…..query what service you are getting for your money and ask yourself is this value for money?

When it comes to efficient, cost effective repairs proper diagnosis is key!