How to Diagnose Car Problems and Assess Repair Risks

Is there something wrong with your car but you don’t know where the problem is? This time, I will tell you how to diagnose vehicle problems and risk assessment when repairing.


As you know, the automotive system is very complex. But finding faults and fixing them is not a difficult task if you have enough knowledge and expertise.

Abilities and Terms to Diagnose Car Problems

When we talk about the knowledge needed to be able to solve problems with cars, there are two points you need to know:

  1. Understand the system in which the problem occurs
  2. Ability to logically carry out routine diagnoses
But not only that, but you also have to understand very well the three terms below:
  1. Symptom: anything you feel, hear, or see that is unusual or abnormal appears from your car or system notifications.
  2. Fault: errors in the vehicle systems that cause symptoms
  3. Root cause: The causes of faults in the car system
If a function is not working optimally on a vehicle, it must be fixed. This is where diagnostic, as well as other skills, play a significant role. 
Please remember that if anything does not work correctly, it is vital to know the system. 
Then implement what you know, and merge everything with diagnostic abilities. As a result, you will confidently reveal the reason for the car problem.

Systems of the Car Where Failure May Occur

One or more failure may occur in one of the following car systems:
But it is possible if failures appear in other systems mentioned above. Therefore, the manufacturer’s information is useful when you need more specific information or troubleshooting about your car breakdown.

Besides having a good knowledge of the system, you should also know about actuators, sensors, oscilloscopes, and onboard diagnostics.

However, you can apply general diagnostic techniques and principles to any system.

6 Steps of Car Problem Diagnosis

    1. Do verification by answering questions like whether there is a problem with the car? Can you confirm the symptoms?
    2. Gather the information regarding the vehicle problem. The trick is based on research and observation.
    3. Do the evaluation carefully. At this stage, you have to think about the evidence.
    4. Carry out further tests in a logical order.
    5. Repair car problems
    6. Do check and make sure all system returns to normal.
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Car Repair Risk Assessment

You need to know the safe diagnostic work practices. Of course, the most important thing is the safety of you and others in every vehicle’s work. 
All right, to stay safe, you have to follow these two rules.
  1. Don’t fool about it; always use common sense when repairing vehicles. Don’t hesitate to ask others for help when you need it.
  2. Always use personal protective equipment following the risks involved with repaired vehicle parts.

Sources and Ways to Reduce Risk When Repairing a Car

The following are some of the car components, activities, or parts that can cause accidents during repair and minimize these risks.
  • Battery Acid: Contains sulfuric acid, which is highly corrosive. You need rubber gloves and goggles if you work with these components intensively to protect skin and eyes well.
  • Ignition HT: This is the most likely place for electric shock. So always use insulated tools, primarily if you work with the engine running in an HT circuit. High voltages are possible in the windings; several hundred volts are typical. It is highly recommended to use an earth leakage trip and ensure all equipment that supplies electricity and all cables is appropriate.
  • Fire risk: Smoking while repairing a car is not a good idea. Immediately solve the problem of fuel leak completely. Remember the fire triangle? Heat, fuel, and oxygen! So don’t let you make it three perfect sides.
  • Exhaust gases: Are you going to work indoors? Make sure you have good air circulation to remove CO from the exhaust when you start the engine. This exhaust gas can kill you or make you sick; other substances from the exhaust are carcinogens.
  • Jack: When a vehicle is raised with a jack or drive-on lift, apply brakes and wheel chops. Only jack underneath the structure of the big chassis as well as suspension. If the jack fails, you should use the axle stands.
  • Loads: Always lift what’s easy and comfortable for you, call for support if required, or use appropriate lifting equipment. If you think it’s too heavy, don’t lift it yourself.
  • Short circuits: It is advisable to use jump leads and in-line fuses to avoid short circuit injury during testing. Immediately remove the battery if there is a danger of a short circuit. Be careful; a high electric current that may flow from the battery can burn you and even the car.
  • Engines: Keep the car keys to prevent anyone from starting the engine while driving. Take caution while working along the running drive belt. Use ideal overalls and avoid wearing loose clothing.
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Can I Repair The Car by Myself?

When you think about whether you can fix your car, you should take everything into account with your diagnosis, repair, and knowledge skills. 
Maybe for a car problem that is quickly handled, you do not need to bring it to the garage. But when it comes to something you’re not sure about, leaving it to the experts is a pretty wise decision.
So based on your knowledge, skills, and risk assessment, you can easily decide whether you can fix your car yourself or leave it to a professional mechanic.
If you are desperate to do it without careful consideration, then other problems will come. 
For example, the damage is getting worse, mistakes when buying spare parts that make you lose a lot of money, waste a lot of time, accidents during car repairs, etc.
So based on your knowledge, skills, and risk assessment, you can easily decide whether you can fix your car yourself or leave it to a professional mechanic.

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