Using Auto Diagnostic Check Sheets to Speed Your Auto Repair

by | Apr 6, 2017 | Car Problems & Repairs, Preventative Maintenance

When you hear a noise coming from your car, what do you do?  Do you try to determine where the sound is coming from? Do you pay attention to when it happens (e.g. do you hear it when you first start the car, only after you exceed 50 mph, when you brake, during acceleration…)? Do you notice how often it happens?

A diagnostic check sheet highlights important things to look for, things that will help in determining the nature and source of a car problem. It is one of the most important tools we utilize for delivering high-quality auto repairs. Proper diagnostics are vital in achieving speedy and less costly repair service.

Partnering in diagnosing car problems is one of the most important relationships we have with our customers. When good quality, relevant information is gathered by the customer, it allows the technician to do quick searches of the industry internet data bases. Checking special internet data bases is an important step in the diagnostics process because auto service providers do not want to spend a lot of time identifying a problem that someone else has already diagnosed.

A diagnostic check list can be filled out by you or by our staff. Either way, this check list establishes a baseline for problem solving. Observations will be used by the technician, the service writer, and possibly even a hotline service provider (if needed), in getting to the root cause of a problem.

If you experience a problem with your automobile, download the diagnostic sheet related to the system on your car where you are experiencing the problem. We have six forms available here on the British American Auto Care website. Each diagnostic sheet includes a check list to you can use to gather needed information.  Here is a photo of the automatic transmission diagnostic check sheet.

Diagnostic Form Sample.jpg

All you have to do is select the form which applies to the problem you are experiencing with your car.  If you are unsure which sheet to use, just take a look at the various forms; the questions can serve as a guide.

Here’s one additional tip for getting a cost-effective auto problem diagnosis. It is very important, when having something diagnosed, not to jump to conclusions.  Try to resist giving the auto repair shop a list of things you have found on the internet or a list from a friend. One of the items you identify might actually be the problem — but which one? Such a list can put the shop in a very awkward position. They would need to address everything on the list in order to guarantee their service.  Otherwise, the customer could come back and say, “I told you what the problem was!”

In the video below, one of our auto mechanics is getting help from a service advisor in determining the source of a suspension noise.

Whether we partner with you, with outside industry sources, or with another member of our staff, getting to the bottom of automotive problems is a team process. #ittakesateam #teamworkmakesthecarwork

Note:  This blog post, originally published in 2010, has been updated.


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About the Author

About Brian England

Brian England, the current president of BA Auto Care (formerly British American Auto Care), got his start with an auto apprenticeship in a small town in northwest of London. He came to the U.S. in 1972 to work for a Land Rover dealer in Rockville, MD. A few years later, he started British American Auto Care with his wife, Jennifer. Brian is a big believe in preventative maintenance, and his philosophy is to encourage and educate drivers on the benefits of a regular maintenance plan.