A DIYer’s Guide To Diagnosing Car Problems Quickly And Easily

Don’t you hate it when your car develops some problem that you are unfamiliar with, and the thought that you will have to spend lots of money getting a mechanic to diagnose it for you? I know I do, or at least I did until I discovered some super ways to find out what’s wrong without spending a fortune!

Diagnosing car problems

If you are about as good at diagnosing car problems as I am trying to complete the Rubik’s Cubee – i.e. not good at all – carry on reading to learn more about how I cut down the price of my car maintenance costs!

One of the biggest problems that car breakdown companies and repair centres notice is that some car owners don’t know how to maintain their vehicles properly. But here’s the thing; everything you need to know about caring for and maintaining your car is in the owners manual!

The car’s manual details information such as checking oil and coolant levels, tyre pressures and so forth. Rightly or wrongly, car manufacturers assume that owners read their car’s manuals and incorporate that information as part of their weekly maintenance checks.

If people performed weekly maintenance checks on their cars and knew how to check stuff, they would be far more likely to spot any potential and costly problems before they severely impact the drivability of their vehicles!


It is not uncommon for certain car models to exhibit known problems, either due to a manufacturing defect or a design flaw. According to Tim from the Thames Motor Group, the video sharing website YouTube is a great place to learn more about these problems.

And, for the most part, owners of the same model of vehicle as yours will also tell you what they did to fix the problem, as well as how to do it without paying a fortune for any repairs.

OBD-II diagnostics reader

If you want to diagnose any car problems like a pro, but you don’t want to get your hands dirty, one of the easiest ways is to buy something called an OBD-II diagnostics reader.

These gadgets plug into your car’s OBD-II diagnostics port; they are normally found under the dashboard or in the engine bay near the fuse box. Your owner’s manual will tell you the location of it.

Similar to what the pros use, an OBD-II diagnostics reader will read any fault codes stored by the car’s ECU. Some models will even test each sensor in and around the engine and report any faults, and they can even observe the engine’s behaviour when it is running.

Do you own a smartphone such as the Apple iPhone? If so, you can buy a Bluetooth OBD-II dongle that can wirelessly connect to a diagnostic app on your smartphone.

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