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Taking Guesswork Out Of Diagnostics

Written by maryp posted on Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

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Diagnostics is a system of tests and analysis to either rule out or determine a specific problem with your BMW or MINI. Because a diagnostic is best performed hands-on with your BMW or MINI, it is usually not done successfully over the phone or over the front counter.

The good part is that because we are BMW and MINI specific we can usually troubleshoot and get to an issue in a more timely manner. Even though we are very experienced and specialized, it is not in your best interest for us to “guess” what is going on with your BMW over the phone or via e-mail. When your BMW, (and most cars for that matter) were not as complex, it was tempting, and usually easy for a good mechanic to tell you what was wrong just by listening to your engine. After all, isn’t that what engineers do? Find that fix just by instinct – they know what to do.

Don’t misunderstand, there are still those times when a good ear comes in handy to determine a potential failure, etc.. But, what if what we are hearing doesn’t match your description? What if we guess (over the phone) that you need a part because we have seen a pattern of failures, but your problem is different and breaks the trend. What if the description of what was happening to your BMW was not accurate, and we based our “guess” on your inaccurate information. We could change out a part that we only “guessed” based on what? … that it’s one thing and it turns out to be another? See how this can all go terribly wrong for you?

All of above and the fact that most diagnostic work today has to do with electrical emission related issues. There can be no “guesswork”. Fed and State regulations have taken any chance of guesswork out of this equation, even if a shop wanted to! This is another reason why the tests must be done. We need to have failed part before we suggest a replacement.

As BMW and MINI continue to evolve and more electric vehicles and hybrids reach the market, we know that more (if not all) of the diagnostics will eventually be remote. But, we are not quite there – yet!

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