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Besides having the right tools to work on cars, every auto mechanic needs to be able to tell what’s wrong with a vehicle. This comes down to having an array of gadgets essential to properly diagnose a vehicle. Every flaw and error an automobile can encounter has telltale symptoms, much like our own illnesses.
A mechanic can read symptoms of car trouble to assess issues and decide on a course of action quickly and accurately. In most cases, there are a few must-have inspection tools for auto mechanics that are most telling in revealing the origins of trouble.
Before the days of cameras and readers, mechanics had it tough. Besides identifying the telltale traces, there weren’t many ways to inspect or diagnose a vehicle. Just as mechanics still do today, all professionals had to base their diagnosis on were signs such as unusual noises, fluid pooling beneath a vehicle, or an engine simply running poorly.
This meant the best solution for a mystery problem was to start stripping and cleaning the engine until a flaw revealed itself. Obviously, for modern business owners, this is a ridiculous and expensive proposal to most any situation. One of the only tools available for looking into an engine without taking it apart was to create an array of mirrors. Thankfully, there are many more cost-effective or efficient ways to diagnose a vehicle today.
When it comes to unknown issues or simply checking out an engine, the very best tool for more than fifty years has been the borescope. They come in an array of types, sizes, and price ranges to accommodate every business size and need. This tool allows mechanics to probe the tight areas of an engine and visually check for problems. This includes examining around bends and inside fittings and pipes.
Typically, borescopes either have a rigid barrel that can be inserted into a narrow and straight space, or they utilize fiber optics to flex into virtually any shape space or path. Varieties include handheld models with built-in screens, making it an ideal compact tool for use around the shop. Its more advanced counterpart, the videoscope, is also popular due to more advanced controls and video quality.
The advent of digital readers has been a game-changer in the auto industry. Besides helping mechanics diagnose common issues more quickly, these tools are essential for discovering more recent problems. Newer vehicles naturally have more digital components, including sensors and computer systems. Issues caused by glitches and failures in these smarter features are undetectable using many traditional methods.
This is because erroneous sensors can cause misleading failures that appear identical to other issues. Many new mechanics are surprised at how easy to use and inexpensive readers are. Some varieties of OBD code readers are must-have inspection tools for auto mechanics. Basic handheld readers can cost as little as $19 and are an effective way to dig into identifying trouble, saving your business time and money.