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How to Diagnose Car Problems

Omkar Phatak
If you own a car, then you must be ready to handle a lot of maintenance work and troubleshooting. Knowing the diagnosis technique is important, if one takes pride in driving his car. This diagnostic skill comes in handy, in emergency. Here are some tips about the same.
You don't need to be an automobile engineer to diagnose car problems. All you need is to understand the working of a car, at a basic level and observe its functioning keenly.
A willingness to understand the beauty of a machine, which is your car, and a capacity for keen observation, is all that is needed to diagnose car problems.

Tips on Diagnosing Car Problems

The modern automobile is a complex machine. Understanding every single working part of this machine, in thorough detail, is not possible unless one is willing to study it.
To learn how to diagnose car electrical problems, one does not need to go into excruciating details. All you need to have is a general idea of the various important systems that make the car work and the symptoms of problems related to those systems. Here are some tips.

Understand the Basic Working of a Car

To learn how to diagnose car trouble, one must get acquainted with all the subsystems of a car that keep it functioning. The most important thing that you need to understand is the working of the engine, which is the heart of every car.
Learn about all the components associated with the engine and their working. Understand the maintenance that the engine assembly needs, to function properly.
The other important car systems that you need to have a basic understanding about are the electrical system and the peripherals associated with it, like the battery, transmission system, and the various other subsystems associated with it.

Make a Symptoms List of Various Car Problems

Next, make a list of all the 'vulnerable' parts of all the vital systems of your car.
For example, the alternator is the device which delivers electrical power to the car by storing it in the battery. It is the most important parts of the electrical system that sustains the car functioning. That is why, you know the symptoms that indicate a bad alternator.
Another example is the head gasket, which is an important part of the car engine. Study the basic functioning and list the blown gasket symptoms which you can find.
Similarly, you can make a 'symptoms list' for all the components and systemic problems of a car. Along with symptoms, you must also list test procedures that help you in diagnosing and isolating the problem. You can keep a record of all those symptoms, along with causes of different problems. Keep it for ready reference, in your car itself.

Keep Diagnostic Tools and Car Manuals in Handy

When you start listing the symptoms for various car problems, you will realize that you need some diagnostic tools like a digital voltmeter, that enables you to undertake some tests. Like, when you have to test a battery, you need that voltmeter to gauge its existing condition. You need to have a tool box which can help you fix minor problems.

Schedule a Routine Car Check Up

To avoid having problems, one has to maintain a regular checkup routine for the car. Just like a pilot must check out his flying machine before a flight, you as a driver, need to check that all the vital systems of a car are in good condition. If you do that, you will have less of problems to diagnose, in the first place.
With regular maintenance and timely diagnosis of problems, your car will certainly provide you good service, for years to come.