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Did you know a car diagnostic test should be the first logical step you take in maintaining and repairing your European vehicle? Modern cars are built with computer systems that help monitor the vehicle’s internal components.

A diagnostic test can help identify the issue with the vehicle. Although, not all mechanical issues are revealed through a diagnostic test. A technician may still need to carry out physical checks to diagnose the issue properly.

In this article, we will simplify the meaning of a diagnostic test, what to expect, the cost of the test, and other important points of car diagnostic testing.

What is a car diagnostic test?

A car diagnostic test involves a systematic analysis of the various components of your vehicle. Most cars are built with computer systems and sensors, all monitored by the ECM or PCM.

A good diagnostic test will reveal important system issues affecting the vehicle in real-time or freeze time, such as the drive or key cycle, faults, and what part of the system or sensors is damaged or faulty. The test will yield trouble codes to help with the diagnosis of the fault.

The car diagnostic test results help eliminate the guesswork in car repair and will often need a special tool (OBD ii scan tool) and technician to interpret the result accurately. Tests are usually carried out when the driver notices that the check engine light is triggered or the vehicle is not working efficiently.

Benefits of car diagnostic testing on European cars

Car diagnostic testing is an important aspect of car maintenance and repair. The following are benefits of carrying out a car diagnostic testing for your European car.

●  Car diagnostic testing helps reduce the guesswork in car repair. It allows the technician to easily trace and understand the fault developing in your European car.

●  Car diagnostic testing helps detect errors that could be problematic in the long run, thereby saving costs on car repair.

●  Your onboard diagnostic system may contain stored information from the car manufacturer, which is very useful to the technician.

What systems are tested in car diagnostics? 

A diagnostic test usually scans various components of your European vehicle to diagnose which components may be faulty through a list of trouble codes. Some of these systems include:

Car sensors: Car sensors are responsible for sending data from individual components to the Engine control modules (ECM or ECU). They monitor the health and overall performance of certain components of the car engine. Such sensors include fuel pressure sensors, throttle position sensors, and more.

Individual components: Car diagnostic testing does not tell the technician the exact problem of the car but instead gives information like the location of the affected components.

Transmission issues: Car diagnostic testing analyzes issues with the transmission and whether they are responsive or not.

Exhaust system: The test helps diagnose the exhaust system by identifying faults and potential contamination of the system.

What to expect from car diagnostic testing?

There are many misconceptions about what a diagnostic test can do and what it cannot do. This section will examine what to expect from diagnostic testing and what not to expect from a diagnostic test.

What to expect:

The OBD II diagnostic testing isn’t a magical fix for your European vehicle. The major function is to analyze and determine where the fault may be coming from. Even then, the analysis is limited to the car engine sensors that send the data. So, what can the testing tell you?

●  When to conduct an engine oil change for your European car

●  If there are other sensor failures in your European car

●  When oil and coolant are low and need a top-up

●  When the coil pack fails or is worn out

What not to expect:

●  The brake pad or rotors are damaged or need repair

●  The headlight bulb is burnt

●  Using the wrong fuel octane

●  Installment of incorrect tire size

●  The car needs alignment

Cost of carrying out a car diagnostic for European vehicles

The typical cost of carrying out a car diagnostic test will range from $140 to $500. This difference in price may be a result of the difficulty with assessing to issue.


1.    How long will it take to complete a diagnostic scan on a European car? 

A standard car diagnostic scan can take about an hour to two hours. Although, for more complicated issues involving dismantling components of the car to complete the scan, it would typically take longer.

2.    Does OBD II support all European cars? 

Not all European cars support OBD II or conform to SAEJ1979 communications. Many European vehicles were manufactured with 16-pin D-shaped connectors long before OBD II was mandatory or installed in European vehicles. In Europe, the OBD II support became mandatory in gasoline cars in 2001 and diesel in 2003.

3.    How often should you take your European car for diagnostic testing?

While there is no recommended number of times you should run diagnostic testing for your vehicle, we recommend doing a scan at least once a year. In addition, you should pay attention to the behavior and signals on the car dashboard that tells you something is off.

4.    Do those car diagnostic tools give you correct readings?

Yes, diagnostic tools give correct readings. What this diagnostic tool does is to give a window into the modules and sensors of the vehicle. Although, this access may vary depending on whether you use general diagnostic or manufacturer-specific tools.

Contact European Motors for Car Diagnostics

Car diagnostic testing is a useful way to maintain your car properly and identify issues that may otherwise be problematic to your European vehicle. We recommend taking your European vehicle for a Diagnostic test once you notice the dashboard warning light or inefficiencies in your car.

At European Motors in Silver Lake, our European car specialists are equipped with the most advanced tools required for Audi, VW, BMW, Mini, Mercedes, Jaguar, Fiat, Land Rover, Porsche, and Volvo. Our shop has been located on Ivanhoe Hill since 1975, across the street from Whole Foods Market. We have been proud to be a neighborhood favorite auto repair shop for over 40 years. If you need a car diagnostic or manufacturer-recommended service for your car, give European Motors a call.