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Can a car diagnostic test be wrong? Image of Whitley Automotive owner Chad Whitley with young technician performing a state-of-the-art diagnostic text on a truck that is in the shop for vehicle testing.

Can a Car Diagnostic Test Be Wrong?

When you come into the shop, it’s natural to want to get repair recommendations right after having a digital vehicle inspection performed. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to tell what’s causing your car troubles at a glance. Even pulling diagnostic codes doesn’t tell the whole story, resulting in the need for thorough vehicle diagnostic services.

Going that route gives you the inside scoop about what’s up with your car. But it’s crucial to remember that the vehicle diagnostic process is not infallible. Your tech will always do their best to perform the correct repairs from the start, but sometimes, unforeseen issues can complicate matters.

Ready to learn more? Here’s what you need to know about getting car diagnostic tests performed at your trusted Locust, NC, auto repair shop.

What Will Car Diagnostic Tell You

Vehicle diagnostic services can tell you the underlying cause of your car troubles, how to possibly fix it, and related issues to watch out for in the future. The vehicle diagnostic equipment is not a crystal ball, however. You need a skilled auto tech who can make sense of the data and find the best way forward.

Depending on what’s going on with your car, your mechanic may start the diagnostic services by using a high-tech scanning tool to chat with the computer and gather sensor data. Depending on their findings, they may also need to perform other diagnostic tests on the affected systems.

For example, when checking the electrical system, it’s often necessary to use an automotive oscilloscope. Experiencing poor engine performance? Your tech may need to check fuel pressure, perform a compression test, or do leak-down testing.

How Car Diagnostics Can Go Wrong

OBD-II codes are a great starting point for the overall diagnostic process, but they only sometimes tell the whole story. Instead, they usually point to an error impacting how your car runs and drives, not the exact part to replace.

The P0128 trouble code, for example, tells the tech that the engine does not reach the right temperature within the expected time interval. The causes can range from low engine coolant to fans constantly running. Even with that knowledge, techs must dig even deeper to figure out why those issues are happening and how to fix them.

Worse yet, your car can have more than one broken or malfunctioning part. Upon fixing the first part, the problem may remain, leaving your tech back at square one to find the other broken part. Although frustrating, it’s worth going through the steps again to ensure you get all the repairs needed to get back on the road safely.

Small mistakes can make matters worse, too, like accidentally plugging a connector in backward. Even the best techs in the industry make minor errors from time to time, despite their best efforts at providing you with the highest quality of service.

Is a Car Diagnostic Test Worth It? Definitely!

If your auto repair shop recommends vehicle diagnostics, it’s always worth paying for the extra time rather than trying to guess what’s wrong. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay to load up the parts cannon in hopes of taking a shot in the dark and landing on the correct answer the first time.

But are car diagnostics accurate? The answer is a resounding yes when you come to Whitley Automotive. We don’t claim to be perfect, but our team has the knowledge and experience necessary to provide highly accurate car diagnostic services. We also go above and beyond to minimize errors, so you get quality service at every visit.

Ready to get your car running and driving at its best? Just call us at (704) 741-7259, or feel free to stop by our shop at 210 Locust Avenue, Locust, NC 28097. Either way, we’ll help you get on the schedule and enjoy a convenient auto repair experience.



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