Why do I need a code read?This is to save on chargeable labour time and is used to determine where the fault is on your vehicle. It is the first stage in diagnosis of any modern engine management system and of an airbag or other warning light fault.
Will my car be mended after a code read?No. A code read does not repair or change anything on the vehicle; it will be exactly the same as before. The process purely assists us in determining where the fault lies.
What do you get when charged for a code read?A machine to code-read your vehicle’s ECU (engine control unit) and approximately half an hour of a technician’s time. The results are printed off so that they can be interpreted by a technician, who will then advise you on the appropriate next stage. This is usually where an estimate of the full cost of repairs can be given.
How long will it take?The vehicle is generally needed for up to an hour as the testing process may not be run concurrently between diagnostic machines; however, it is sometimes possible for a result to be available in less than half an hour.
How does a code read happen?Your vehicle is attached to a computer-based machine via a diagnostic port and the appropriate ECU is interrogated.
How much does it cost?A code read costs £39.95 + VAT (£47.94 including VAT). This covers both the use of the diagnostic equipment and the technician’s time.
If no fault codes are found for my car, have I wasted my money?No. Occasionally a code read does not produce a definitive outcome or any fault codes, but it does not mean it was a waste of money. The process still eliminates a number of problems such as sensor faults and usually directs the technician towards a mechanical fault rather than an electrical one. In this instance further investigation time may be required in order to produce an estimate; any additional charges would be discussed before work begins.
Why have I been told the light may return?This can happen when the entire system has been reset due to an excessive number of codes giving contradictory information. The light will return when the car finds the fault again (this may be after a certain number of miles or when a specific condition occurs). When the light illuminates again we can then carry out another code read; this will be free of charge although the technician’s time may be chargeable – something we would discuss with you first. The codes that return are likely to give the direction of the repair to be carried out. Many old faults from previous repairs will not return.
If a fault indication light appears, it can also sometime be cleared by a full reset and does not necessarily mean more repairs are needed. However, if this does not work, another code read can be carried out free of charge, as above, and the next step towards repairs discussed.