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Image of Whitley Automotive technician using a scanner tool for vehicle diagnostics.

5 Common Myths & Misconceptions About Car Diagnostics

When car troubles arise, diagnostic tests can aid your auto technician in finding the root cause and making accurate repair recommendations. You’ll then have the information needed to decide how to best care for your car now and in the future.

However, myths and misconceptions about vehicle diagnostics leave you wondering if you should authorize the initial tests. Or worse yet, cause you to dread coming into the auto repair shop for service.

Thankfully, it doesn’t need to be that way because our team at Whitley Automotive is here to help with our guide on vehicle diagnostic myths. Here’s what you need to know.

Myth #1: Every Problem Will Require Vehicle Diagnostics.

Not every car problem will require vehicle diagnostics, as some may be obvious and easily identifiable without diagnostics. 

Simple issues like a flat tire, worn-out brake pads, or a loose battery connection can be diagnosed without specialized equipment. Additionally, routine maintenance tasks such as oil changes and tire rotations typically don’t require diagnostics unless specific concerns exist.

Nonetheless, many modern vehicles have complex systems that require advanced diagnostic tools to pinpoint the root cause of an issue. Diagnostics is a simple yet essential tool for accurately identifying and resolving many automotive problems that aren’t easily uncovered. 

Myth #2: Vehicle Diagnostics is “Just” Plugging the Scanner.

You can now get your vehicle scanned for OBDII trouble codes at many auto parts stores, but it’s pretty much pointless. While those codes can be valuable in the right hands, they don’t really do most people a whole lot of good.

That’s because these codes will serve as a starting point for the actual diagnostics process. They point to various potential issues, allowing your ASE-certified technician to save time tracking the problem.

Some auto repair technicians have diagnostic scanners, not just code readers, which is more helpful. Their scanners not only show the trouble codes but also perform necessary tests and otherwise facilitate the troubleshooting process.

Myth #3: The Diagnostic Tools Reveal the Answer on Their Own.

Auto diagnostic tools range from professional scanners and oscilloscopes to pressure gauges and multimeters. Each one returns results that must be fully interpreted and applied to the problem at hand by skilled ASE-certified technicians.

So, even if you do buy the tools and perform each test correctly, the results won’t tell you exactly what’s wrong with your car. You’ll also need to know your car’s ideal specs and what the test results say about the function of the system in question. 

More importantly, you need knowledgeable and capable technicians to interpret the findings correctly, like our diagnostic experts at Whitley Automotive.

Myth #4: Only Dealerships Can Complete Vehicle Diagnostics.

While dealerships want to corner the market on car diagnostics, they’re not the only ones who can do the job. Many ASE-certified technicians at independent shops also have the skills, experience, and expertise to perform the tests and interpret the results.

However, not all shops are made equal. So, going to an auto repair shop with a track record of excellence and a commitment to your satisfaction is essential, like Whitley Automotive. Your selected shop should not only provide quality auto repair services but also ensure you have the best possible experience at every visit.

Myth #5: Vehicle Diagnostics is Too Expensive and Not Worth the Cost.

If you have diagnostics performed at every maintenance visit, the costs will add up quickly. You may also find that doing general tests’s not worthwhile when there’s no problem to figure out. So, in that scenario, yes, vehicle diagnostics are too expensive and not worth the cost.

But when you’re having car troubles and need targeted diagnostics performed, they’re worth every last penny and will save you money in the long run. The diagnostic process allows technicians to pinpoint the exact cause of the issue instead of firing the parts cannon in its general direction.

Need Help Caring for Your Car? Whitley Automotive is Here to Help

Whenever you need auto diagnosticspreventative maintenance, or repairs, you can count on our team at Whitley Automotive for support. As your premier auto repair shop in Marshville, NC, we have what it takes to care for your car mile after mile. 

If you’d like to get on the schedule, call us at (704) 624-6616, and we’ll help you find a convenient time to come by. You can also stop by at 7006 East Marshville Blvd., Marshville, NC 28103. 

Our team looks forward to helping you keep your car in excellent condition, so reach out any time.



Our team at Whitley Automotive always awaits the chance to keep your vehicle running strong for
years to come. We encourage you to contact our team in Locust or Marshville, NC, whenever you
need auto repairs or maintenance services.

Contact the Locust shop at (704) 888-3560 or drop by at 210 Locust Avenue, Locust, NC 28097