Advanced Diagnostics

BMW and Mini Diagnostics: When a code scan just isn't enough!

Dragon Auto Works can help resolve even the most difficult of faults. We've got the right equipment and staff to help when anyone else lets you down or can't fix it.

South Wales Leading BMW, Mini and Performance Vehicle Diagnostic Centre


Car Diagnostics Explained

Calling a code scan diagnostics is like calling a slice of bread a sandwich.
A code scan literally reads the error log on the ECU and reports the fault codes (DTCs) found. These fault codes are a pre-programmed response to any varience in expected data values. They only relate to faults that are monitored by sensors. A physical mechanical fault will not necessarily trigger an error code log. Hence that a code scan is not the same as a diagnosis of the fault. Garages often offer code scans for peanuts but fail to explain to you that the code scan isn't really a diagnosis of the fault on your car.


Proper Fault Finding

Fault finding may start with a code scan but actually involves investigating and proving the cause of the symptoms reported. For example, if the code scan shows an error on the MAF sensor, is it actually the sensor that needs replacing? The code will have been logged because the ECU has detected that the reported values from the MAF sensor are different to the expected values. This could be because the sensor is faulty or it could be because there is a small vacuum pipe leak causing greater air flow. If you assume that the sensor is faulty and replace it (the average BMW MAF sensor is over £100) you may find you still have the fault. Doing a smoke pro leak test may have shown a leaky pipe and prevented wasting time and money on incorrect diagnosis.


The Importance of Tooling

Code scan equipment used is also important. There are generic multiple manufacturer tools which will work on lots of different cars but has to compromise on the quality of data to cover the different manfacturers. Then there's manufacturer specific tooling tailored to your brand of car which tends to provide a more detailed analysis of the fault data. We have the best of both available to provide the ultimate in code scanning capabilities.


No Guesswork just Accurate Diagnosis

Advanced diagnostics is about identifying the problems with your car accurately. We use a multitude of in depth procedures to test the cars systems for variences from the programmed expected values. After the initial code scan gives us an idea of what sort of faults are occuring, our diagnostic team can formulate a test plan to find out exactly where the problem lies. We might start with a leak test or oscilloscope monitoring, we have all the equipment and experience needed to find any fault.

The Process

Value For Money

Qualified Staff

Lots of mechanics are QBEs (Qualified By Experience) which effectively means that they have had no formal teaching or exams to pass. Whilst this may have been fine with old school cars, modern cars are very technologically advanced and need working on by a specialist. All our technicians are qualified with certification to prove it!

Cutting Costs

Our workshop cuts costs, not corners! We may not have a big flashy showroom or marble floors but we do have a smart clean workshop. Thanks to our cost saving efforts we can keep our labour rate much lower than the dealerships with huge overheads.

Time Is Money

Unfortunately the old adage is true, time costs money. For every hour we work on your car we are paying staff wages, electricity, building costs etc. It adds up and we have to cover those costs by billing for what we do. Please don't ask for freebies, we hate saying no but we have to.

The Costs

We offer our INITIAL ASSESSMENT (as described above) for a fixed price of £60 plus VAT. Beyond the initial assessment, all diagnosis is done on an hourly charge basis. Remember you're paying for qualified experienced staff, not cheap low paid grease monkeys. This is also less than half the price of the BMW dealership hourly rate.