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Car Trouble Misdiagnosis: What It Is, and How You Can Avoid It

April 28th, 2022
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Car Trouble Misdiagnosis: What It Is, and How You Can Avoid It

Cars are amazing pieces of machinery. They have raw power, the ability to deliver a smooth ride, and a long list of driver- and passenger-friendly features that make them second homes while you’re away from home.

The problem, however, is that their complex nature often makes solving even seemingly simple and common problems into comprehensive tasks that can put you through a long list of potential fixes.

You may completely overhaul an engine before finding out that a simple swap of two wires makes a car purr.

Let’s take a quick look at one such example before delving into why even simple car trouble problems may require the help of an expert.

The Case of the Misbehaving Ford F250 Lariat

The Ford 250 is renowned for its extremely simple, reliable and cost-effective design. It’s one of those trucks that exist as the standard working class of truck while still having enough little extra features to make it a superb example of an American automobile.

One mechanic recently purchased a 2000 F250 with a body that was in excellent shape, and with an engine that looked and sounded fine save for a few relatively minor problems.

The problem was that it exhibited the classic signs of a problematic vehicle. It occasionally sputtered, died, failed to start and simply misbehaved in ways that it shouldn’t have.

The mechanic started by adjusting the valve train. He managed to adjust it perfectly, but he noticed only a slight improvement in the performance of the engine.

He cleaned the spark plugs and the distributor cap, but noticed no change. He even checked for frays in the spark plug wires, but they were both new and in pristine condition.

He checked the catalytic convertor, both at the engine side and the exhaust side. Both seemed fine, but he ended up breaking apart the guts of the convertor to rule it out as a possible problem. He put it back together, and there was still no change in how the F250 ran.

His next step was the time-intensive and likely costly process of going through every component of the electrical system. This would mean checking the fuses, visually inspecting the wires, disconnecting fuses, checking measuring the voltages of individual lines, and the likely replacement of the Powerstroke PCM computer if the problem wasn’t apparent.

His mechanic friend noticed that there was a few copper brush bristles scattered about the engine. He suggested that the mechanic should simply blow the car out with some compressed air.

When he cleaned the F250, he went to turn it over. It started up, and purred like a kitten. The car trouble fix was that simple and cheap.

An Exhaustive Car Trouble Problem for a Simple Fix

The thing to understand about this mechanic is that he was anything but new to working with a wrench. He had countless years under his belt, but he failed to check for common problems that pertained to his car before going through the exhaustive process of troubleshooting potential problems.

Many mechanics, both professional and hobbyists, will fall into the same trap. This is why you hear so many horror stories about customers going to repair shops only to have their car troubles remain after spending hundreds and thousands of dollars.

Triangle Car Care has enough experience with automobile repair to understand how complicated engines can be. It’s not just enough to know the basics of how an engine runs, as the above example outlines; you must be able to perform research on the problem to save both time and money.

When it comes to car trouble repair, maintenance and general care, you can trust us to look out for you. Our mechanics know that diagnosing a problem and having potential causes is the first step before the first turn of a ratchet.

This is how we save you money, time, and hassles when you’re one of our customers at Triangle Car Care.

Contact us today at (919) 787-0966 for a FREE automotive repair estimate by Raleigh’s best car care and repair mechanics.

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