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What does a car diagnostic check do?

A diagnostic check is carried out on your vehicle by a mechanic, who will plug your vehicle into a specialised code reader. It can detect problems with your vehicle which may be difficult to spot manually.

The main components which are tested in a diagnostic check are the car’s:

  • electronic control units (ECUs) - these control various element of the car and its performance including engine running
  • emissions and exhaust sensors
  • braking system
  • electrical components such as central door locking
  • transmission if electronically controlled
  • ignition coils
  • throttle setting
  • fuel injectors
  • air flow and coolant

Why is a car diagnostic check important?

A diagnostic check is very important as it can detect a potential problem with your car, even before a breakdown. The computerised equipment scans your vehicle’s system to check for any faults, no matter how minor or major. A diagnostic test is a quick, easy and accurate way to discover any faults and will give you the chance to get them fixed before they turn into bigger and more expensive issues. When your car has a fault, this may show as a warning light on the dashboard. If the light goes out the system will store the fault code so the garage will find this when they do the diagnostic check.

What are the possible signs that your car needs a diagnostic check?

There are many different signs which will indicate that your vehicle needs a diagnostic check. Essentially, if you suspect that there is an issue with your car but don’t know what, you will probably want to book a diagnostic check to find out what the problem is. Here are some of the key signs:

  • Engine warning light - if the engine warning light appears on your dashboard, it’s important to take your vehicle to a garage as soon as possible as there is a wide variety of problems which the light may be flagging up.
  • Strange noises – any strange noises coming from your car need to be checked out before they turn into more serious problem. Some of these sounds may include; whining from the bonnet, abnormally loud exhaust, uneven engine noise, brake squealing or gear crunching.
  • Smoke - if you see smoke or steam coming from under the bonnet, your vehicle may be overheating.
  • Vibrating - if you notice any vibrating or pulling under your brake, the issue may be due to work brake discs or pads. However, it could also indicate a problem with your suspension or steering.

How long do car diagnostics take?

You can expect a diagnostic check on your car to take approximately 90 minutes. You may want to allow for more time though as the mechanic who will be carrying out the check might not be available to start right away.

How much does a car diagnostic check cost?

The price of a car diagnostic test can vary, depending on the garage that you visit. Each garage has a fixed price for diagnostic checks, ranging from £30 - £100.

Enter your vehicle registration number and post code into BookMyGarage (at the top of this page) and you can instantly compare diagnostic check pricing from all of the garages in your local area. As well as price, you can see the garages’ reviews, distance from your post code, extra services offered and availability. You don’t even have to register to get access to all of this information. When you have selected a suitable garage, you can choose a date, any optional extras (such as collection and delivery, loan car etc.) and book online.

Coventry

Coventry is the 10th largest city in England, harbouring a population of more than a third of a million inhabitants. It was once the country’s capital, and its rich heritage includes the Lady Godiva legend and St. Mary’s Guildhall where kings and queens were entertained. Coventry has been through its economic ups and downs, but has flowered in recent decades into a thriving and culturally rich city, unrecognisable from the ‘Ghost Town’ referred to by The Specials in their 1981 hit.

The 14th century St. Michael’s Cathedral is the city’s best-known landmark, and German bombing during the Second World War left only the outer walls and soaring spire intact. This evocative space remains one of the most important international symbols of peace and reconciliation in the world, and Graham Sutherland’s celebrated tapestry, ‘Christ in Glory,’ poignantly echoes this sentiment. Nearby, the Cathedral quarter connects Coventry old and new. Regeneration has revived original and reconstructed buildings with a range of excellent pubs, cafes and restaurants.

A number of chain and art house cinemas, plus a diverse range of theatre and arts centres provide regular, traditional and cutting-edge entertainment. Following a recent multi-million pound expansion, The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum is a great place to go with all the family, and The Coventry Transport Museum holds the largest collection of British transport in the world.

Much of Coventry city centre is pedestrianised but you’ll find on-street, short and long stay car parks in the centre. For specialist shops go to medieval Spon Street, Hertford Street and in the City Arcade. If you’re looking for a more distinctive browsing experience, you’ll find independent shopping and creative arts at Fargo Village on Far Gosford St.

Coventry is served by the M45, which connects to the M1 and to London. The M40, served by the A45 and A46 dual carriageways, is ten miles south of the city and offers an alternate route to London. A dual-carriageway runs north–south and links the city centre with the M6 motorway. The inner ring road circles the city on concrete stilts, and can be confusing for drivers visiting for the first time.

The roads around Coventry, however, are some of the safest in the country, showing no medium- to high-risk roads at all. The motorways and single carriageways of the West Midlands have the greatest in-built safety of any region.

Find the best garages for a service or repairs in Coventry at BookMyGarage, or call our Concierge service on 03304 004439 for free advice from an expert mechanic.

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