Category Archives: Service Standards
One might say the most challenging part of being an automotive service technician at Conder’s Automotive in Mount Juliet Tennessee is diagnosing a problem before it can be fixed.
Cars are made up of a bunch of complex systems. There usually could be a number of reasons for any given symptom. So it’s challenging to track down the actual cause of the problem. And it can be frustrating for the vehicle owner because it can take time and money to get to the bottom of a problem. If it’s not something obvious, it’s easy for the customer to focus on the fixing and not the diagnosing.
Let us introduce you to something we’ll call Customer Detective Work – that is helping your Mount Juliet Tennessee technician find clues to what’s wrong.
We start with the detective basics: What, Where and When. Play along with me. You come in to Conder’s Automotive and your car is making a funny sound.
- Q: Where’s the sound?
- A: Around the right front wheel.
- Q: What kind of sound?
- A: Kind of a clunk, clunk sound.
- Q: When do you hear the sound?
- A: When I turn and accelerate.
- Q: Right and left? Forwards and back?…
Do you see where we’re going? You’re gathering additional information to help your Mount Juliet Tennessee technician know where to start. Based on your car and the tech’s experience, he’ll know where to look and can start with the obvious suspects.
You can see how that would be more helpful than dropping the car off with a note that says “making a funny noise”.
When you think you need to bring a vehicle in, make some notes about the problem. Rather than just saying “it’s leaking”, tell the tech the color of the fluid, and approximately where under the car you see the puddle.
Things like ‘the car is stalling or sputtering’ are often very hard to diagnose because they’re intermittent. They may not happen every time you drive and usually aren’t happening when you actually bring the car in. So, it is a big help for you to describe what’s happening in as much detail as possible.
Your Mount Juliet Tennessee technician at Conder’s Automotive will need to be able to duplicate the problem if possible so he needs to know details, like ‘it stalls after it’s been driven for about 20 minutes and I go over 50 miles an hour’.
If the tech can experience the problem personally, he’s better able to make a diagnosis and repair. And, then test to see if the repair solved the problem.
When your sedan has a problem, or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your car’s so important to your life in Mount Juliet, you need to back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.
If you’ve ever checked into some of the technician training Conder’s Automotive professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much specialized knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. For example: Today there are four cylinder engines that generate more power than the 1980s-era V-8’s. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to sixty.
Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Nolensville gas prices. They are also amazingly reliable: Kudos to the automotive engineers at the leading car makers. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern cars Nolensville car owners drive around Tennessee highways are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.
Some sedans have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle operations as well. Nolensville motorists take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It’s a real challenge for Mount Juliet Conder’s Automotive technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technicians and the Nolensville service centers as well.
Conder’s Automotive technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at Conder’s Automotive by parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses.
In addition to the expensive training, there’s the financial commitment for Conder’s Automotive to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools.
There are many independent certifications available at Conder’s Automotive all the way up to Master Technician. The ability to repair your sedan requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Nolensville auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.
It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At Conder’s Automotive, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and inexpensive – but sometimes it just isn’t.
The next time you bring us your sedan, don’t worry. You’re in good hands at Conder’s Automotive.
Make an appointment with Conder’s Automotive to have your on board diagnostics analyzed.
441 East Division Street
Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37209
Today we’re going to talk about on-board diagnostics and the questions we hear from folks around Mount Juliet Tennessee who need answers about diagnostic services. They want to know what diagnostics are, what’s involved and what the benefits are. They really want to understand the value of diagnostic scans by a trained technician in Mount Juliet Tennessee.
These are valid concerns. If you don’t understand something it’s really hard to know its value. Let’s start with some history.
Since 1996, all cars and light trucks in Mount Juliet Tennessee have been required to use a standardized diagnostic system to help repair technicians determine what’s wrong with your vehicle. The diagnostic system works with the vehicle’s Engine Control Module – the computer that controls many engine functions.
The computer monitors dozens of components and processes. Depending on what the sensors read, the computer will make adjustments to compensate for conditions and minor problems. When there is a condition that it can’t adjust for, the computer will turn on the check engine light.
It is also called the ‘service engine soon’ light on some vehicles. The warning light signals you to get into your Mount Juliet Tennessee service center so that the trouble code can be read and the problem can be fixed. Your service center will have a scan tool and powerful software that will help the technician diagnose the problem.
If you’ve searched for check engine light on the internet, you may have seen that you can buy an inexpensive scanner or go to an auto parts store to have the trouble code read to tell you exactly what’s wrong.
That’s a common myth. The code itself doesn’t tell you what’s broken. It starts you looking in the right place. It tells you what engine parameter is out of range – but it won’t tell you what’s wrong or how to fix it.
Let’s say you think your daughter has a fever. You take her temperature and it reads one 102 degrees. You’ve confirmed a fever, but you don’t know what’s causing it. Is it a 24 hour flu, an infection, appendicitis or leukemia? A fever is a symptom of all of these medical problems, but it takes a skilled physician’s examination and additional diagnostic tests to find out what is actually causing the fever.
An example of a trouble code could be: P0133, which reads ‘Bank 1 sensor 1 circuit slow response’. This means that the front oxygen sensor has a slow response time to changes in the air-fuel mix. If that’s all you knew about cars, you would think your oxygen sensor was broken and would replace it. Now, it could be the oxygen sensor – but it could also be a bad or contaminated airflow sensor, exhaust leak, electrical problem, an intake manifold leak or any of a number of other things.
You can imagine a lot of oxygen sensors have been replaced because of that code. So the on-board diagnostics point the way to where the trouble lies, but it takes some skill and high-tech equipment to actually pinpoint the problem. The cheap scan tools that a consumer can buy do not have the ability to retrieve some of the operating history that’s stored in the engine control computer. That history’s very helpful in diagnosing the problem. Service centers like Conder’s Automotive invest a lot of money in high-end diagnostic tools to help solve the mystery and get you back on the road as soon as possible without replacing a lot of parts that don’t need replacing.
So, on-board diagnostics provide a powerful starting place for a highly-trained, well-equipped technician to get to the bottom of your problem. When your check engine light comes on, get it checked at Conder’s Automotive. If the light burns steady – don’t panic. Get in to Conder’s Automotive soon to have the engine scanned. A flashing check engine light means that there is a severe engine problem. Get in as soon as you can – waiting too long can lead to very expensive damage.
And try to not drive at high speed or tow or haul heavy loads with a flashing check engine light.