A strong grasp of diagnostic tools is now a core skillset for all vehicle mechanics. In this piece we’ll look at what they are and how they work.
First up, here are eight important tips for getting up to speed with these tools, and how to improve your expertise.
Hybrid and EV vehicles, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and advanced digital diagnostics are now fully mainstream, and working with these systems will achieve faster results for you as a technician or mechanic than working without them.
Recognise the limits of diagnostics systemsThese systems only tell half of the story, and fixing the problem often relies on your skill.
Charge for their useDiagnostic tools actually save your customers money, but they have a significant cost to your workshop. For this reason it’s vital that you and your workshop charge honestly, transparently and fully for their use.
Use aftermarket diagnostic toolsThese are highly capable of diagnosing basic faults.
Use a live OEM technical data systemSome fault codes you will encounter will have more information on the OEM system. Their live technical data will often have detailed breakdowns of these faults and how to fix them.
Consider your most commonly repaired vehiclesAsses which are the types of vehicles you service most often, and then consider specialising in these vehicles. It will make it easier for you to purchase the systems you need to maintain them.
Use OEM toolsThese are often the most accurate tools available to you, and bypass any security and software updating issues you might encounter. Even in passing the cost of using these tools to your customer, your workshop will still be cheaper than a main dealer but provide a service that is as effective.
Invest in trainingIt’s essential that you get as much training as you can on using diagnostic tools, whether that’s live or virtual. The investment will pay off for both your workshop and you as a mechanic with increasingly relevant and valuable skills. Delphi Technologies offers a range of diagnostic training courses that can bring you up to speed quickly and comprehensively.
What do vehicle diagnostics tools do?
Diagnostic tools can reveal problems within numerous parts of a vehicle, including its engine, transmission, exhaust system, brakes, fuel injector, ignition coils and throttle.
All legitimate aftermarket diagnostic tools are derived from OEM equivalent systems. Most modern vehicles are now heavily equipped with computer technology that not only govern the vehicle’s driving systems, but are also capable of giving feedback on the running condition of the vehicle. Software is now recognised as a key component of all vehicles.
State-of-the-art diagnostic tools from Delphi Technologies
The complexity of computer systems within vehicles will only increase. The diagnostics tools and test equipment that mechanics need to master will have to match the complexity of these systems.
Delphi Technologies offers an extensive range of OE-level diagnostic and test equipment – tools that deliver ever faster and more accurate vehicle servicing and repair. Our multi-brand vehicle communication interface (VCI), for example, supports both car and heavy duty software, with an integrated flight recorder with built-in memory that records real-time parameters while driving. It’s incredibly versatile, and offers you a single unit that can help you service an array of vehicles.