Four Must Haves to Help Diagnose Potential Car Problems


For many people, having a working car is an essential component of life. You need it to get to work, school, the grocery store, and every other place imaginable to lead a functional life. This is why having car trouble can be so disruptive.

Whether you are unfamiliar with cars or know your stuff, it can still be difficult to determine what is wrong with your vehicle. When you don’t have time to pop open the hood and spend hours rooting around, you can use some of these handy must haves to help diagnose potential car problems.

Car Diagnosis Device

Many people don’t realize that most modern cars are easy to diagnose by getting a code from the engine. The majority of modern dashes include at least one small computer port designed to emit an alphanumeric code to readers. This code is a reference for what is currently malfunctioning in the vehicle.

When you have a car diagnosis device, you just need to plug it into the port. It will read the code and send it to an app on your phone, which then displays the specific problem. For example, it might “cylinder misfire” or “can’t read airflow.”

Although tools like this don’t fix the problem, it provides a quick and easy answer to your car trouble. There are limitations to it, but it certainly makes getting repairs simple since you don’t have to worry about being swindled or overcharged by a dishonest mechanic.

Basic Code Reader

If you don’t want to have to use an app on your phone to read your vehicle’s diagnostics, then you can use a basic code reader. This device functions similarly to something like the car diagnosis device in that it plugs into the computer port on your dash.

Once the tool is plugged in, it reads the alphanumeric code and sends it to the convenient handheld portion of the product. You can then read the output, look up other error codes, and get a full reading of your engine’s health.

If you have difficulty seeing or use an older car, you don’t have to worry. This type of product includes an audio setting and works on all vehicles made post 1996.


A multimeter is one of the most beneficial diagnostic tools. These small devices have been around for decades and are used to check the electrical output of different parts of a vehicle’s system. For example, using a multimeter is great to identify faulty circuits, a low battery charge, and sensor problems.

The best automotive multimeter can be picked up at almost any automotive store and does not rely on fancy technology to provide results. Most are affordable and easy to use, so this is definitely something to have in the garage for a rainy day.

Non-Contact Thermometer

A major problem for many vehicles is being unable to properly manage the temperature of the engine. Unfortunately, you will not be able to use your hands to diagnose an issue of this variety without burning yourself.

A non-contact thermometer is an easy to use tool. It has a readout and a small laser that you can point at any part of your vehicle. This laser determines the temperature and shows it to you on the digital readout.

While you might think a thermometer is only to give you a single piece of information about your engine, the temperature is one of the most valuable specs to have.

It is amazing how many car problems can be diagnosed using temperature as the main diagnostic tool Issues like restricted air flow or too much friction on a belt generate heat rapidly and can be dangerous when left unchecked.


Diagnosing car problems does not need to be a difficult task. Even if you have little to no knowledge about vehicles, using basic diagnostic tools is a great way to eliminate potential problems. If you are looking for a couple must haves to help diagnose your car troubles, look for a multimeter, non-contact thermometer, a diagnostic device, or a basic code reader.

You don’t need to keep them in your car, but with these four tools stashed in your garage, you’ll be able to handle whatever life throws at you.

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