What is the Difference Between Diagnostic Codes and Diagnostic Testing?

You have probably seen a local auto repair shop advertise a free code reading for vehicles that have the check engine light on. However, have you ever actually visited the shop for the free code read, and ended up spending hundreds of dollars at the shop? We understand the confusion of the “free code read”. There is a big difference between full vehicle diagnostics and a code read. 

A code reader is usually a handheld device that connects to your vehicle’s computer and accesses a trouble code. That is pretty much all that a code reader can do. Once the code is retrieved, that code is looked up to determine the area of the problem. However, the code often doesn’t tell the exact cause of the issue and further diagnostics are almost always needed to figure out the problem. 

An actual computer diagnostic tool is extremely advanced and is used for extensive testing and diagnostics of a vehicle with a check engine light on. This type of scan would most often be referred to as computer diagnostics or vehicle diagnostic check. Computer diagnostics are usually never free and require extra fees. Further computer diagnostics will end up costing you, and although you may very well need diagnostics done, it may be frustrating that you visited the shop thinking that they would explain the issue with your vehicle for free, and it ended up not being the case. 

If you ever see a free code reading ad, just remember that it is more than likely a gimmick to get you into their shop where they will suggest more in depth diagnostics of your vehicle and will charge you for such. If you ever find that your vehicle’s check engine light has turned on, don’t hesitate to give us a call here at Asian Imports. We offer fast and affordable diagnostic services and can help determine the exact cause of the issue in your vehicle. We look forward to servicing your vehicle soon! 

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