Thursday, 31 May 2012 09:33

Diagnosis - The method

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Some Porsche problems can be easily diagnosed visually, especially during a service, where that may be an obvious leak or a damaged part, through to a worn out suspension item. But some problems can be more complicated to diagnose.

With more complicated issues, sometimes we need to keep in mind that there may be a cause, but also symptoms, which is a detail that is often overlooked.

A symptom may be a part which seems to be damaged, such as a control unit, or even a fuse. It will need a repair, but it may not be the cause, which we always need to keep in mind.

A cause is the root of the issue, which may cause many symptoms and damaged parts, which many might be fooled into thinking is the entire problem.

Unfortunately, as a business we need to charge for diagnosis, and often it is not clear how long that may take, so we usually first ask the customer to authorise a couple of hours initial diagnosis, time which needs to be booked out in advance as we are always very busy, so that a technician is not left idle. This is our minimum diagnosis period.

At the end of this period, we may have found the cause as well as faulty parts which my just be a symptom. In some cases we might even have fixed the problem in the diagnosis booking, but sometimes a problem can not be completely diagnosed in a couple of hours, in which case we will update you with what we have found, what we have spent the time doing, but also with what we believe the next phase of diagnosis should concentrate on and how long that should take.

The other problem is our reputation, which is well known for being extremely technical, often able to diagnose issues which have foxed other specialists and main dealers, we see a lot of cars where their first visit here is for a tricky problem to be diagnosed. Therefore much of our workload is diagnosis, and therefore needs to be billed for, otherwise we would go out of business.

We have access to tools not available at the main dealerships, many of which are custom made for diagnosis of problems which are Porsche specific, which can mean that in some cases we can get to the bottom of the cause of a problem much faster than anyone else in the business.

However, as these cars age, some very unusual problems can happen, which are especially tricky to diagnose, such as issues deep within the wiring harness of the car. We have never been beaten by a problem, but there have been some where the diagnosis has taken tens of hours. But in these cases we keep the customer informed of every step of the way, educate them in how things work if they are interested and we get their approval before we proceed with each stage.

We can always account for the time taken, and make a point of helping the customer understand why we have taken a specific route. But it is important that there is a level of trust between us as the technicians, and yourself as the customer, with some customers not trusting garages, which can make it difficult to proceed with diagnosis or repairs. So we ask all customers to trust us, we are too busy to play any games or be treated with suspicion when all we want to do is find the problem with your pride and joy.

Having said all this, around 90% of problems we find within the initial couple of hours diagnosis/investigation, with sometimes the cause and all symptoms rectified within that time.


Read 5821 times Last modified on Wednesday, 10 May 2023 20:52

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