Ask the Expert: What type of resources are available if I get stuck while diagnosing a vehicle?

How to deal with issues OEMs haven't accounted for in their service manual.


Q: Where can I go when I get stuck diagnosing a vehicle?

A: Quite often, aftermarket technicians come across vehicle problems that the OEM never accounted for in their service manual at the time the vehicle was produced. This is especially true for diagnostics. When this happens, technicians can now turn to a new generation of technology products based on real-world experience for help in diagnosing the problem. These products consist of a database that identifies the most likely root cause of the problem based on information provided by a community of expert technicians who have already solved the problem and shared their expertise and tips.

Mitchell 1 recently introduced such a product, SureTrack, that combines diagnosis and repair experience with component tests and comparison values just a click away in the solution, eliminating the need to search multiple databases. Technicians enter a symptom or code and then can quickly and accurately diagnose a vehicle using features that include: 

  • Troubleshooter tips, tests and timesavers.
  • Guided test procedures.
  • Real-world parts replacement data from successful repairs in shops across the U.S.
  • Vehicle-specific waveform reference and data graphs.
  • OEM recall campaigns and Technical Service Bulletins.
  • Community-based interactive forum for accessing and sharing successful insights and shortcuts.

The trucking industry has similar challenges and needs. Mitchell 1 solutions for commercial vehicles provide technicians who work on medium and heavy trucks with a variety of Web-based service and repair information that increase efficiency by eliminating time-consuming manual searches.

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