Automotive Troubleshooting

Good automotive troubleshooting skills will make you more successful. It is a process of diagnosis.

Well whether you’re considering a job as an automotive mechanic or you’re already a seasoned mechanic/technician you need to have a strong understanding of automobile systems and system operation. Without this knowledge you could perform simple testing procedures but will lack on symptoms interpretation and quick problem solving skills. Troubleshooting and testing engine components can be done in many ways.

We are going to present to you a condensed version of some troubleshooting basics that you can add to your checklist.

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What is automotive troubleshooting?

Troubleshooting is simply a process of diagnosis, or determining the exact cause of a particular problem. It is very difficult to properly repair a vehicle without a proper diagnosis. The skill to properly troubleshoot an automobile (or truck or heavy equipment) is what separates a skilled professional from a parts changer.

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DON'T settle for just being a parts changer

It’s well known in the industry that one can still make a living just being a parts changer. This doesn’t require much diagnosis. That’s because parts changers mostly guess at finding problems. Then when guessing doesn’t seem to work, they start shot gunning parts at the problem (this means they start throwing parts at a suspected problem). When this happens cost goes up and efficiency is out the window.

If a technician/mechanic doesn’t develop good troubleshooting skills, diagnosing engine problems will always be a guessing game. These days most technicians in this field have some type of professional training, this is the starting place for your diagnosis experience.

If this is new to you, remember to apply the skills you learned during training. You will find many veteran mechanics that can make troubleshooting seem like a natural ability. That is not the case. Good troubleshooting is a learned skill.

The troubleshooting process is a logical one that is carried out in a step by step manner. Check out each suspected area and rule out components that are in good condition. Start with checking and testing the easiest components. Try isolating the problem. By applying basic troubleshooting skills on each vehicle that you work on, you will naturally become familiar with the probable causes.

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Here are some basic automotive troubleshooting tips:

• Don’t take things for granted; start checking at suspected area. Then rule out the obvious.

• Never rely on a customers’ description; verify the complaint.

• Try to think of all possibilities when testing; review schematics and trace connections

• Various components could be defective; GEUSSING is a waste of time.

• Use proper charts and schematics. Have patience and stay focused

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