The Power of Simplicity by Brian Cord

The modern day diagnostic system has made significant gains in the past few years. The largest gains have come in the areas of: tougher and more powerful computers, improved interface box performance, as well as increased coverage and functionality of the vehicle diagnostic software.

The world of vehicle diagnostics in many ways has mirrored the outside world of household technology. The proliferation of iPads, Google, and intuitive see 'N touch usage has now found great similarity in vehicle maintenance. In the past, slow and bulky hardware not adequate for harsh shop environments and finicky software dominated the world of vehicle diagnostics. Now ruggedized laptop computers paired with stable, user-friendly software and touch screen navigation has become the new paradigm.

The most important aspect of Vehicle Diagnostic Hardware is that it works and continues to work. The best computers are built to handle the most demanding of shop environments. Ruggedize computers like the Panasonic Toughbook H2, 19 and 31 are military grade computers built to withstand: drops, spills, vibration and extreme temperature conditions. Smart fleet managers can no longer wait around for the ordering of new computers or stand by during the hassle and complication of configuring new software when hardware gets banged around or damaged.

The key to all successful products lies in value which is only achieved when the product is in use and making money. In the case of Vehicle Diagnostics, value is achieved when Hardware is well built and rugged so the user embraces the diagnostic tools just as they would a wrench or screwdriver.

The most important aspect of Vehicle Diagnostic Software is that it's easy to use. Victor Guillot, Senior Bus Engineer at Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, is a proponent of diagnostic software that was designed with the technician in mind. "It is important for the software to not only be able to help the technician effectively troubleshoot the vehicle but it should also be easy to navigate and use. The more user-friendly the diagnostic software is the more likely it is to be used effectively."

The best computer software utilizes Intuitive Design Patterns that inspire both confidence and comfort. Intuitive Design Patterns are simply defined as optimal solutions to common problems. In Vehicle Diagnostics, the problem is combining multiple OEM Manufacturers such as: Cummings, International, Detroit Diesel and John Deere with multiple components: Engine, Transmission, Braking and more into a singular and cogent platform.

Diagnostic Innovations proprietary Vehicle Diagnostic Assistantâ„¢ is the industry standard diagnostic tool which effortlessly integrates Hardware with Software to form a powerful diagnostic system.

"Our Vehicle Diagnostic Assistant utilizes common Design Patterns which make using our software very easy to use. Our goal was to make learning and usage comfortable and intuitive with our easy to follow graphical interfaces and drop down icons. Our products are both instinctive and user-friendly allowing technicians with various levels of computer experience to breeze through each application. It's like having a wise older pal by your side at all times in the shop or garage." According to Drew Gibson, General Manager at Diagnostic Innovations LLC.

Understanding and comfort around diagnostic software is only achieved when superior design is present and user recognition is great. A simplified diagnostic system gets more use which results in better repair. Vehicle technicians are able to bypass the steep learning curve of multiple OEMs and multiple vehicle systems with highly recognizable and easy to use common graphical interfaces.

Michael Moore, Fleet Supervisor for the City of Sterling Heights, Michigan maintains, "It's extremely important for the diagnostic system to be simple to use as some vehicle technicians are familiar with diagnostic computers and some are not. It's also key to have all the required OEM software on one computer system where you can easily pull up trouble trees by simply double clicking on the respective codes."

The most important aspect of Vehicle Diagnostic Training is that it sinks in and becomes old hat. The proper training on diagnostic computers can help to make these systems a pleasure to use. The best training is visual and to the point which makes learning both practical and easy to understand.

Beyond the initial financial investments needed for today's diagnostic systems, organizations should be prepared to invest in the proper training of their employees.

Steve Mullaly, Equipment Maintenance Instruction Manager for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority says, "Training is very important when using diagnostic software. Training is needed to show the technician how to properly connect between the laptop and vehicle for proper communication with the software. It is also needed to show the technician how to properly launch and navigate each of the areas inside the diagnostic software." There are many types of training available including: classroom, web-based, and self-paced computer instruction. Mullaly adds, "Classroom training coupled with hands on exercises are usually the most effective method of training."

The Vehicle Diagnostic Technician and Management must both understand the safety and cost saving benefit of using a vehicle diagnostic system. Benefits range from: service throughput and better vehicle up-time to improved warranty recovery and better employee morale. The key is to empower the employee with a comprehensive working knowledge of all systems and to maximize each and every turn of the wrench. With proper training, diagnostic tools become simple to use and almost second nature.

Proper Hardware, simplicity of use Software, and the implementation of cogent Training intersect to form great value and a clear understanding of Benefit. This collision of purpose forms the very basis of a successful vehicle diagnostic system for today and tomorrow.

Brian Cord works in Marketing at Diagnostic Innovations LLC. He can be reached at (248) 850-7690. If interested in commenting you can send your response to to Diagnostic Innovations LLC at email: or fax us at 248-281-0873.