What Equipment Is Needed to Troubleshoot Your Car?

The equipment needed to troubleshoot a car varies depending on the issue, but useful tools for diagnosing problems include an OBD-II scan tool, multimeter, vacuum-pressure gauge and fuel-pressure gauge. AutoZone.com provides a troubleshooting guide for diagnosing issues based on the feel, look, smell or sound of the problem.

Car manufacturers began using an on-board diagnostic computer system in 1991, and the second version of this system came out in 1996. When plugged into a car's OBD-II port, the scan tool provides one or more codes that correspond to issues. The owner can look up the code to determine the issue.

A multimeter checks the car sensor's output voltage to determine if the car has a faulty part or wiring issues. Vacuum-pressure gauges and fuel-pressure gauges help diagnose engine issues. A vacuum-pressure gauge determines if there's a leak or cracked tube. A fuel-pressure gauge checks whether the engine is getting too much or too little fuel.

To use the AutoZone.com troubleshooting guide, users can visit the AutoZone.com homepage, place the cursor over Repair Help, click Troubleshooting from the drop-down menu that appears, and then click the Feels Like, Looks Like, Smells Like or Sounds Like button. The guide provides possible issues and actions to take.