mechanical repairs
mechanical restoration

Diagnostics for the motor trade

Your first choice is take it back to the main dealer
Your second choice

Your third choice
Your fourth choice

We don't just carry out work for the general public, we carry out diagnostic work for many local garages, motor traders, body shops, and even some main dealers. In particular if you are a body shop we can help with many airbag problems, i.e. re-setting of airbag light, re-programming modules etc.

Many independent garages are being left behind or in a total dilemma with the ever-increasing complexity of vehicle electronics, if you are a workshop that has not yet invested in diagnostic equipment then you have four choices:

Your first choice is take it back to the main dealer

Only you and I as hard working independent garage owners will know how drastic this can be, the general public have very little idea of how under trained many dealer technicians really are, how there is a huge shortage of skilled people throughout the motor trade, how so called bonus schemes mean that the only way for the technician to make a decent wage is to rush the job, cut corners, and in some cases not even carry out the work.

One particular repair that we did for a motor trader comes to mind here,
We were asked to look at a Vauxhall Omega 2.5 V6 the complaint was that the vehicle had very little power, very hard brake pedal almost no brakes, ABS light was on constantly and the Traction control light was on. The car had been back to the dealers some 3 times for diagnostics, the trader was told the vehicle needed a complete new ABS modulator and pump, so they were fitted vehicle was still the same, then the trader was told the vehicle required a new ABS control unit, so as you can guess one was fitted, vehicle still the same, by this time the trader is into a £2000
Repair bill with no repair.

The first thing we did was to check the very basics and we found that when we carried out an engine vacuum test the engine only had 5hg instead of around 19 to 20 hg. This immediately told us that we either had a valve timing problem, huge air leak, or almost blocked exhaust, after a few hours checking we stripped down the timing gears and belt to find that the key way on the crankshaft pulley had stripped and the pulley had slipped by about 3 teeth, thus sending out the valve timing, and causing very little engine vacuum, with very little engine vacuum you have rock hard brakes no servo assistance and in turn bringing on the ABS light and Traction control light.
Vehicle was then fitted with a new £35 keyed pulley re-assembled and all is well to this day.

Your second choice

Invest heavily in diagnostics equipment and train hard, I will give you the best advice I can here, when I say invest heavily you may think I am talking about £3000 to £5000 in a Diagnostics tool but sadly I mean much much more. That is if you need to work on many different makes of vehicles, OK if your specialising in one particular manufacturer £5000 will get you an excellent piece of kit almost at dealer level.
But do not be under any misconceptions that spending 3 to 5 grand on say a Snap-On scanner, Sykes pick acr, or a Bosch kts will get you any where near full manufacturer coverage, let alone full body functions coverage i.e. airbag, immobiliser etc. I can guarantee you it will not. Although all these mentioned tools are extremely good pieces of kit and have the impossible task of trying to cover as many manufacturers and models as possible, You will have to invest in some 4,5 or even six or more diagnostic tools. You must also demand a back-up service to support the use of the tools. You will also require a good quality oscilloscope (this is imperative) you need to think of the scan tools as the motorway maps and the oscilloscope as the towns A-Z.

Your third choice

Turning the work away, and as you know this is the worst thing you can do, as your customer may never return. Especially in these days of the greedy dealers who want full dealer retention.

Your fourth choice

Is to subcontract the job out to a specialist, someone like ourselves, who are more than happy to help with difficult problems, Our Techs will give friendly help and advise where we can. Think of it like a doctor's surgery. The customer will come to you and you will have a range of basic diagnostic tools, but if it is a difficult problem then the workshop can refer the car to a specialist rather like the GP referring the patient to the consultant.

Because there is such a huge gulf between the basic mechanics of a car and the complexity of modern vehicle electronics you will probably find in the near future "In car diagnostics specialists" springing up that will work solely on car diagnostics.


Response Autos, Unit 10, Rassbottom Industrial Estate, Stalybridge, Cheshire SK15 1RH
0161 304 7444 - response.autos@virgin.net

© 2003 Response Autos. All rights reserved.