Plugging in a diagnostic tool to retrieve recorded fault codes is often referred to as ‘Diagnostics’ but in fact is simply fault code reading. While a necessary first procedure in most cases this is usually charged at nominal rates, expect around £30 inc VAT, if further testing is not authorised or deemed necessary.
Vehicle systems are controlled by electronic control modules (ECM) often referred to as the ‘computer’. These systems are generally known to be used for engine management, antilock braking (ABS) and automatic gearbox control, but also increasingly for ‘body’ systems such as central locking, alarms, wipers and even window and lamp control. Electronic diagnostic tools have been developed to enable diagnosis and repair of these systems and it is sometimes mistakenly thought that they simply need to be ‘plugged in’ to the vehicle system to retrieve a print of whatever is causing the fault. Unfortunately, it is not so straightforward as the information gleaned from the diagnostic tools is either a reference code related to a fault or merely indicates an area or component where a malfunction or out of range signal has been recorded. This malfunction may or may not still be present at the time of testing.
First stage in investigation
Connection to the vehicle of an appropriate diagnostic tool to retrieve detail of any recorded fault and a scan of vehicle systems which may indicate cause of problems in a majority of cases.
Visual examination of components, wiring and serviceable items together with some deeper inspection or cleaning is carried out at this stage. Problems that appear to be complex are often resolved by this action.
Expect to pay from £75.00 inc. VAT, plus any parts that may be required. Any time spent for dismantling of components to clean or inspect further will be charged extra
Further Testing and Monitoring:
To determine the cause of problems not apparent at the initial stage. This detailed approach, by testing the functionality and adjustments (where applicable) of components such as wiring and connections, sensors, control modules and actuators This will usually determine the most effective course of action and can be decided on from the information gained. For this stage of diagnostic investigation we use a variety of equipment including four channel and scientific twin channel oscilloscopes. We will then be able to advise of any further work and/or repairs that are required or recommended. Where we find any problem or fault that requires repairing before we can progress to complete the diagnostic process, advice will be given accordingly. This detailed investigation will usually be carried out in one hour ‘blocks’ which will be charged at the standard rate of £90 per hour plus VAT, reporting back with progress. At each stage we will normally stop to discuss and obtain permission to continue.
Repair and Rectification:
Generally, most defects will have been determined and rectified by this time. If the failure is more serious than this then we will prepare a detailed estimate for necessary work to remedy the fault and will have an experienced technician discuss the cost and procedures with you. Cost dependent on fault, detailed estimate can be provided.
Intermittent faults can be difficult and time consuming to find. We are well equipped and experienced in resolving these types of problems. Charges are agreed by continuous negotiation as detailed above.
We ensure that the customer keeps control of expenditure during diagnostic investigation and we respect any client’s wishes not to continue, at which time all our charges will terminate at the level currently reached or agreed.