We’ve all heard that we need to visit a physician to get tests run after we’ve been in a car accident. The same is true for your vehicle. After a wreck, you should always visit an auto body repair shop to have a diagnostic test run, even if there’s minimal body damage. You may be familiar with auto body repair technicians performing a scan on a vehicle to find issues. But, did you know that most auto body repair shops perform a vehicle scan to estimate your total?
What Is A Car Diagnostic Test?
Not so long ago, to do a proper repair, all we had to do was get the car’s structure straightened out, replace parts that were beyond repair, re-align, paint, wash and return to the customer.
Today, in order to properly repair a car, we have to consider what kind of onboard diagnostics and safety features the car has. Cars that have these features require pre and post scans of the on board systems.
After a collision, there will likely be visible damage to the body of the car. What may not be as glaring is any damage underneath the body. This could include safety features. A pre-scan will determine not only what isn’t working properly.
The problem for a percentage of car repair shops now is that some are not equipped to perform such repairs. Furthermore, some collision shops may not even know they need to run a car diagnostic test. To add more insult to injury, some insurance companies aren’t yet familiar with these systems, nor the time required to properly scan and calibrate them. Therefore, some insurance companies may even refuse payment for these tests.
Safety Sensors After a Wreck
The evolution of car diagnostic tests is one of the most beneficial technological advances in the automotive sector. There is an intricate network of sensors and computers that control your car. Computers control your automatic transmission, fuel injection, and ignition system.
Before the addition of these sensors and computers, car diagnoses were difficult and time-consuming. Car diagnostic test prices were significantly higher as well, especially considering drivers would only bring their cars in after a major breakdown.
Now, these computerized computer parts detect and alert drivers to problems before they become serious.
The computers receive constant feedback from the sensors. For instance, the sensors in your exhaust manifold send feedback about the oxygen level in your exhaust back to your car’s main computer. Based on this feedback, your car’s computer will adjust your fuel mixture to ensure certain harmful chemicals aren’t escaping in your exhaust.
If one of these sensors reports a problem your onboard computer can’t fix internally, your check engine light turns on. At the same time, your onboard computer will store a “trouble” code based on the problem. When your check engine light turns on, it’s time to get a car diagnostic test. In fact, we recommend a test after any car accident, even if there is minimal body damage.
Trouble Codes After a Wreck
During a diagnostic test, an auto body technician will link an external computer to your vehicle’s computer. This external computer will pick up any trouble codes your onboard computer has stored. In turn, the technician will read the trouble codes.
These trouble codes will tell the technician which component of your car is malfunctioning, but not the exact problem. For this, the technician will have to perform a visual inspection or run more detailed tests.
A technician will also check for service notifications from your vehicle’s manufacturer. If necessary, they will perform a road test to verify the issue. Sometimes a comprehensive battery and charging system analysis is necessary to identify issues troubling your vehicle.
A good diagnostic test will tell you how long the issue has been present. This will tell your technician whether your problem was a one-time fluke or a symptom of a degrading system.
There are some problems with your car that won’t set off your check engine light. It’s a good idea to get a diagnostic checkup periodically to catch problems early. Don’t wait for your check engine light; if you hear or feel something “off” while you are driving your car, the diagnostic test will detect the problem.
What’s a Good Car Diagnostic Test Price?
Auto repair shops charge for two things: labor, and parts. A diagnostic test doesn’t require parts, so a car diagnostic test price should only include labor and taxes.
The diagnostic test should only take an hour of labor. The shop’s labor rate will depend on your location. As with most things, you should check three shops before you commit. Car diagnostic test prices will hover around $100, give or take.
Many shops will offer a free diagnostic check with any service. However, always read reviews and only work with reputable shops, like CBS Collision. Less honest repair shops may try to exaggerate the damage to your vehicle to pressure you into expensive repairs. If you have qualms about a diagnosis, we will be happy to give you a second opinion!
Call CBS For Local Car Diagnostic Test Prices
CBS Collision is a local collision repair shop that has been serving the Shreveport-Bossier area since 1948. We have state-of-the-art locations in Shreveport and Bossier City.
For more information about car diagnostic test prices, or to schedule a diagnostic test for your car, call 318.741.2373 for our Bossier City location, or 318.636.6134 for our Shreveport location. We also offer a quick estimation tool on our website.