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Fault codes: putting the blame where it belongs and saving money

Written by maryp posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

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Most BMW, MINI Cooper owners or any owners of a modern car, know that the engine’s system can register fault codes or trouble codes. There is a misconception by many in the general public, that a simple scan of faults tells the technician exactly what to replace. Not true in most situations.

Here’s just one example; A fault code indicating a low total “cat efficiency” (catalytic converter) does not necessarily mean that a catalytic converter replacement would be necessary or even fix the problem! By performing an additional test of the cat with a gas analyzer, a tech will measure the efficiency of the catalytic converter. Yes, there were other problems with the BMW that affected the emissions, but, now we know that it was not the cat, (regardless of that fault code)! There are some other issues going on “in front” of the cat. By performing the additional tests, (and not just relying on a fault code), we can be assured of two things; 1. Our customer does not need to replace that expensive catalytic converter. 2. And we also know, that when we perform the repairs “in front” of the cat and recheck, that car will be clean and pass the smog test. Now, that saved some money.

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