What Does Driveability Mean?

A driver and a car that won't start when the key is turned. Concept image of “What Does Driveability Mean?” | Lonsdale Auto Works in Lonsdale, MN.

If you’re in the market for a new car or truck, you’ve probably heard the term “driveability” used by service technicians. It is a term widely used by auto mechanics but not always consistently defined from shop to shop.

What does driveability mean in simple terms? And how can you tell whether a vehicle has good drivability or not?

Let’s look at what drivability means, starting by establishing a consistent definition.

Let’s Define Driveability.

Driveability is a diagnostic term that refers to the ability of your vehicle to drive. It can be simplified even further to “how well your vehicle runs,” although this could be defined differently by various sellers, buyers, and vehicle mechanics.

What’s not subjective about drivability, however, is how it can be diagnosed on a vehicle. For example, cars that don’t start or shudder while operating fail some of the most basic tenants of driveability.

Most shops base the drivability of a vehicle on nine specific questions:

  1. Does the vehicle turn over when the key is turned?
  2. Does the vehicle actually start when the key is turned?
  3. Does the engine stay running after it’s turned on?
  4. Does the vehicle stay running when stopped?
  5. Does the vehicle stop or stutter during acceleration?
  6. Does the vehicle require specific temperatures to run?
  7. Does the vehicle stop running for no discernible reason?
  8. Does the vehicle struggle to maintain power up hills?
  9. Does the vehicle misfire during acceleration?

Let’s look at how you can diagnose poor drivability quickly.

How Can You Diagnose A Vehicle That Lacks Driveability?

As mentioned, the definition of drivability depends on your vehicle’s performance. If a car or truck fails any of the nine basic operability questions, it doesn’t have good driveability.

There are several ways to identify drivability issues in a vehicle. Perhaps the first way to discover immediate matters is to take the vehicle on a test drive. If you notice any misfiring, stalling, or shaking while accelerating, move on to a different vehicle.

Not noticing issues while driving doesn’t necessarily mean your vehicle is problem-free. Instead, it’s time to get a professional opinion. The experts at Lonsdale Auto Works can perform diagnostics to help you make an informed decision about your next steps.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • A full evaluation of your vehicle’s performance as per the nine questions defined in this guide.
  • Associating named issues with diagnostic OBD-II codes so you can get greater clarity surrounding specific problems or repairs.
  • Our professional judgment regarding the state of your vehicle and an honest opinion regarding whether it’s a good buy or not.

You can schedule a convenient driveability diagnostic by contacting Lonsdale Auto Works today.

Take Your Vehicle To Lonsdale Auto Works For Driveability Diagnosis

No one wants to buy a car with poor driveability. To avoid a lemon (and an expensive repair), you need a professional team with world-class equipment to catch issues well in advance.

The highly trained experts at Lonsdale Auto Works can help you do all this and more. We remain one of the most trusted auto repair shops in Lonsdale, MN for pre-purchase inspections, evaluations, and more. Whether you’re worried about a dud or just checking your six, you can rely on our team to keep your needs in mind.

You can connect with the professionals at Lonsdale Auto Works to set up an appointment for your drivability diagnostics. Feel free to give us a call at (507) 744-3304 or book an online appointment with us today.

KC Eyton


KC Eyton is our Light Duty Auto Technician where she serves in support for our other technicians and provides inspection, maintence and tire services and assists the front counter. KC has been with us since 2021.

Being an automotive technician at LAW has allowed me to learn & do what I’m passionate about. I enjoy the fast-paced environment filled with challenges & feeling a sense of accomplishment when I’ve used my knowledge & experience to solve an issue. I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful people who care about my personal well-being & professional growth. I love how my boss Scott constantly believes in me. He pushes me to take on projects that I think are way beyond my abilities. I am so grateful for the mentorship & support. This truly creates a family environment where everyone is there for each other. I love my job!

Chris Waskosky


Chris Waskosky is a Master Auto Technician and has an extensive background in vehicle diagnostics, powertrain management systems and electronics. Chris joined our team in 2011. Chris has a lifetime of mechanical experience from vintage steam engines, to carburetors, to the latest in high-tech modern automobile systems.

Along with having a fun work environment, I enjoy a variety of jobs I can do. One vehicle may be an oil change, but the next vehicle may be using a lab scope to find a communication problem between computers. Every day brings new vehicles and new challenges.

Denise Davis

Service Manager

Service Manger, Denise Davis joined our team in 2018. Her experience in customer service, retail sales as well as store & employee management is extensive.

Denise has a great ability to transform the complexity of modern automobiles into easy to understand explanations that help bring comfort & confidence to our clients. Whether dealing with a simple oil change or a complete engine replacement, she will take the time to explain the issues in a manner that is understandable and she provides our clients with the information required to help them make an informed decision about their vehicle repairs. She is always willing to help with whatever questions & concerns you may have.

Scott Palava


Lonsdale Auto Works was founded in 2005 by owner, Scott Pelava.

As an ASE-Certified Master Auto Technician, Advanced Engine Performance Specialist, Undercar Specialist, and Service Consultant, he saw the need for a more modern auto service center in the fast growing community of Lonsdale. A strong background in domestic and import vehicles helped formed the vision of what Lonsdale Auto Works is today.

Starting with one apprentice, he built a reputation for quality service and fair pricing. As the need arose, additional technicians joined his team to keep up with our customers’ need for fast, quality service.

Scott is also very active in the community. He is currently in his fourth term as a Lonsdale City Council Member. He has held numerous leadership positions with the local Boy Scout Troop and at the District and Council levels. He is the Past President of the Chamber of Commerce and a past member of the Lonsdale Lions Club.

Scott has been recognized multiple times for his contributions to the auto repair industry. In 2017 he founded ASOG (Auto Shop Owners Group) in an effort to provide support to other repair shop owners. The organization has grown to the largest in the world. As a result, Scott was named in the Top 100 People in World the Automotive & Transportation as well as listed in the Marquis Who’s Who of Business in America.