Autobahn West

Providing superb car service and repairs to BMW, Mini Cooper, Porsche, Volvo and Mercedes owners since 1976

Autobahn West - Providing superb car service and repairs to BMW, Mini Cooper, Porsche, Volvo and Mercedes owners since 1976

On Board Diagnostics For Mission Viejo Motorists

Some Mission Viejo drivers wonder why Autobahn West and other Mission Viejo auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services.

Think about it: When you hire a local Irvine HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your Laguna Niguel doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.

On Board Diagnostics For Mission Viejo Motorists

So receiving a diagnostic charge at Autobahn West for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Irvine area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your pickup brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy CA highway, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your pickup engine, however, Autobahn West diagnosis may be much more involved.

Much of the Irvine auto owners’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.

There’s a common misconception among Laguna Niguel, El Toro, and Foothill Ranch drivers that the trouble code tells the Autobahn West technician exactly what’s wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge – because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.

In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.

The pickup computer’s trouble code just tells the Autobahn West technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the malfunction.

There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for Autobahn West customers. The Autobahn West service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.

Irvine service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These vital databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.

Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming, and difficult. Of course Autobahn West wants to figure out what’s wrong with your pickup and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Your Well Trained Technician At Autobahn West

When your pickup has a problem, or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your car’s so important to your life in Mission Viejo, you need to back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.

If you’ve ever checked into some of the technician training Autobahn West professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much specialized knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. For example: Today there are four cylinder engines that generate more power than the 1980s-era V-8’s. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to sixty.

Your Well Trained Technician At Autobahn West

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep El Toro gas prices. They are also amazingly reliable: Kudos to the automotive engineers at the leading vehicle manufacturers. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern cars El Toro car owners drive around CA expressways are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.

Some pickups have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle operations as well. El Toro motorists take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It’s a real challenge for Mission Viejo Autobahn West technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technicians and the El Toro service centers as well.

Autobahn West technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at Autobahn West by parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses.

In addition to the expensive training, there’s the financial commitment for Autobahn West to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools.

There are many independent certifications available at Autobahn West all the way up to Master Technician. The ability to repair your pickup requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so El Toro auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At Autobahn West, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and inexpensive – but sometimes it just isn’t.

The next time you bring us your pickup, don’t worry. You’re in good hands at Autobahn West.

Questions To Ask Your Mission Viejo Service Advisor

We find that a lot of Mission Viejo service and repair at Autobahn West are a little tentative when they talk with their automotive advisors. They want to ask questions, but don’t want to be embarrassed or to seem pushy. Cars are very complicated and there’s more to know about them than most of us have the time to learn. Maybe it’s because cars have become so much more reliable that the average person just doesn’t need to know as much to keep their vehicle on the road.

You know, your local hospital has a Patient’s Bill of Rights that they post throughout the hospital. We think our Mission Viejo automotive service customers also have a right to ask any question they need to understand what is wrong with their car and what it will take to fix it. They need to feel free to ask the cost and benefits of recommended services. And they certainly have a right to understand the financial end of the transaction.

It’s all about the communication. It’s a little harder when you’re trying to find the right service center in Mission Viejo. But once you’ve developed a relationship, the communication should come easier.

What are some of the barriers to communication? Well, let’s go back to the medical example. When your doctor’s explaining something to you, it’s something that she understands very well and is very familiar with. So she may use jargon you don’t understand or that you don’t have the education and training that’s foundational to understanding what she’s trying to explain.

So you fall behind and get frustrated.

It can be the same with your Mission Viejo automotive service advisors. Most of them are very busy trying to service and fix cars to get their customers back on the road. So, just ask when you feel you need more information.

Financial related issues seem to be most frustrating to customers. If you’re not sure, ask what the payment policies are. For example, there’s a big difference between giving your car a quick once over and doing a thorough inspection. Diagnosing a problem may take quite a while. Make sure you know what’s done as a courtesy and what has a fee. Remember, you still have to pay for the office visit even if the doctor says you only have a cold.

Communication is a two way street. If you have some real budget concerns, ask your Mission Viejo service advisor what he can do. He can give you priorities and options. He can tell you what needs to be taken care of right away for safety or financial reasons. Then you can work out a plan for when to get the rest done. He can also help you with options on the parts. The preference is to always use a high-quality part with a reputation for reliability. But if money is real tight, he might be able to find a rebuilt part or a used part. He should tell you the difference in the guarantee for the part so you can make a good decision.

Ask about warranties for parts and labor. Be sure to get all the paperwork you need to make a possible claim in the future. Your service center and its technicians stand behind their work and want you to understand precisely what that means.

Be sure to ask for and keep a detailed explanation of all the work that’s done on your vehicle. These records will help you keep track of service, warranties and document the good care your vehicle has received when the time comes to sell it.

Call Autobahn West to make an appointment.
25800 Jeronimo Rd. #200
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
949.525.9730