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Mechanic's Corner

Should You Have to Pay for Diagnostic Fees?

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Few topics in the automotive repair business are as controversial and confrontational as the fee for a diagnosis. Should a customer have to pay for the time the mechanic spends figuring out what is wrong with a vehicle or only for the repairs he or she actually makes? These days, don't technicians just plug the car into a computer to figure out what's wrong?

Everyone, from consumers to advice columnists, have a strong opinion on this topic. But what’s missing is a technician’s point of view on the subject, so here goes …

A customer dropped his vehicle off at our shop last week. He wanted us to find out why his power seat would not move forward. We removed the side panel and tested the wiring and electronic motor circuits. A few more pinpoint tests led us to the problem—a faulty seat switch, which, with parts and labor, totaled nearly $170. The customer declined the repairs and asked us to reassemble the seat.

When we handed over the bill for the diagnostic charge, he refused to pay, saying, “You just told me that my seat was broken. I already knew that.” In his mind, we hadn’t told him anything he didn’t already know, so he didn’t understand why he should be charged for anything when no repair was actually performed.

The manager of the service department where I am employed once said something to me that best clarifies and sums up our position—“We sell service.” Because service is not really a tangible item, it often doesn’t appear to have intrinsic value. But anyone who has experienced bad service knows how crucial good service can be.

Sometimes it’s difficult for a customer to understand the value of a technician’s time. At a grocery store, a pound of prosciutto ham and a gallon of milk have inherent tangible value that’s reflected in the price. You pay money and you get to take it home. But service in itself isn’t something you can take home—it isn’t something you can hold in your hands. But let’s say you are in therapy. After an appointment, you would never refuse to pay because you didn’t get the results you were looking for. We pay experts for their time, training, and the skills they have acquired—no results are guaranteed.

Many customers balk at paying diagnostics fees, especially when it comes to trouble codes. Often customers think that the simple reading of a trouble code (which takes less than five minutes) completes the repair process, when actually, it’s just the beginning. For example, the P0503 code, which indicates a malfunctioning vehicle speed sensor, has forty-one steps spanning eleven pages in a shop manual after the code has been set. Examining those forty-one steps takes time and expertise to examine—shouldn’t the technician be paid for that time?

Ultimately, it really is less expensive to pay a qualified technician for a proper diagnosis than it is to replace components based on a hunch of what might be wrong. They may have dirty fingernails, but some senior master automobile technicians actually have as much training as medical professionals—why should their time matter any less?

 

Add a Comment (36) Comments
  • Visitor, March 11, 2011, 05:25

    I have never understood why I had to pay someone to tell me what was wrong with my car when I already knew what was wrong. Now that you have explained it I completely understand. Thank you!

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  • jonelsr, March 14, 2011, 03:17
     Rookie

    I don't have a problem paying for service but when you hook a machine up to run a diagnostic test to search for why the service engine light is on. Should it cost $100.00?

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  • Bret Bodas, March 14, 2011, 14:08
     Master

    @jonelsr - This isn't much different than a doctor providing a cat scan or a dentist taking x-rays. The test should be seen as part of the service, but the real value comes from a professional examining the test results. You wouldn't want me looking at your cat scan and providing any kind of diagnosis, nor would you want a doctor telling you why the check engine light is on. Both require years of experience to properly read and interpret the results from such equipment. So in the end, you are paying for a service, along with expensive equipment and personnel training.

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  • Visitor, March 15, 2011, 06:12

    as much as medical personal when you go to school for 14 years after high school pay a half million for a educaation and a quater million for yearly liability insurance then you can compare yourself to someone whom actually is regulated by state and fed laws.Sounds like you want to be paid for a estimate, if you cant find out what is wrong in a timely manner why should yhe customer pay for your incompetance?

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  • Visitor, April 06, 2011, 09:40

    Brian, Thats a great analagy of paying for service that everyone should understand. You know the difference between a doctor and a technician. Doctors get to bury their rechecks.

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  • Visitor, July 14, 2011, 00:16

    I run a Mobile Auto repair biz and my customers ask this question all the time. My answer goes something like this: If you dont know what the problem is and the problem is not immediately apparent to me , and takes me time to run down the source, then yes there is a charge. However if you dont want me to charge you a diagnostic fee then #1 you tell me what is wrong, #2 tell me what part to change. If its the wrong part then thats on you and you still have to pay me for the work...and dont forget that part you didnt need.

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  • graylingauto, July 19, 2011, 13:39
     Enthusiast

    An estimate and diagnosis are two completly different things. An estimate is something that you the customer already knows is wrong with the car and can simply be looked up in a book and figure out a cost. If you choose to replace the part without it being diagnosed and it doesnt fix the problem who is to blame? We try to cover our basis. Some items you simply cannot diagnose for free. Scan tools cost alot of money and the ones at parts stores are much cheaper and can only retreive a code. From thier they try to sell you all the parts that could be wrong. Now why would you want to buy all of those parts put them on and not have your problem fixed? Why not pay someone 38-77 dollars to diagnose the problem and know exactly what is wrong.

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  • Visitor, July 25, 2011, 14:37

    I spent over 28 years Diagnosing Driveability Problems. (Car and Truck Tuneup Problems)I dont see charging a customer for somthing you cant fix. But let it be known first upfront that there is a half hour, (.5) Minimum Diagnostic Charge that will have to be paid weather the problem is found or not. If the problem is found then charge a full hour of Diagnostic Time. (1.0)plus labor to fix and part mark up for the part. You are in Business to MAKE MONEY not to give your time away for FREE! That Scanner cost me $7,000 to buy and and my tools cost another $10,000! My education and Certifications also cost me a few Thousand Dollars Also! Should I work on your Vehicle for FREE? lol Please visit my blog at: http://autorepairsavings.blogspot.com/ -The Autodude-

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  • autodude46, July 25, 2011, 14:42
    Profile_thumbnail
     Enthusiast

    Great Information here! Sorry I signed up above anomymous but I am in now. Please follow me Repair Pal on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Autodude46 -The Autodude-

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  • Visitor, July 31, 2011, 20:38

    If warranty work is being done, shouldn't diagnostics be covered?

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  • Bret Bodas, August 02, 2011, 08:53
     Master

    Warranty work doesn't always include diagnostic fees. Aftermarket warranties sometimes require you to pay the diagnostic fees. Manufacturer warranties will cover the diagnosis charges.

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  • Visitor, September 06, 2011, 17:27

    only one thing you left out the cost of the scan tool my was about $7000.00 from snap-on and the shop to bring your car to was $450,000 the insurance to cover the shop arownd $300.00 per mounth so yes we should get paid for every second we work on the $40,000 car

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  • TRansMan2, September 13, 2011, 08:10
     Enthusiast

    When you go to a place like Auto Zone and they run a scan with a small $50 dollar scanner that's what I call a "quick and dirty" scan. It gives you just about enough information to be dangerous. I believe that this type of "scan" should not cost the customer. Conversely, I believe that the customer should be charged for diagnostics when you use a scanner that costs $10,000.00, takes twenty minutes to set up and calibrate and can test 4273 different processes on your vehicle. The real reason for having your vehicle scanned is to ASSIST the diagnostics person in identifing and correcting the problem without guessing or replacing parts until the problem is corrected. Correcting the problem also depends on the knowledge of the person running the scanner to correctly interpert the information. Case in point: I recently had a customer bring in a BMW that another shop had done $3500.00 worth of work to and according to the customer, the vehicle still had the same problem. The "scanner" had said to replace coil packs, and multiple other components, all of which totaled $3500.00 which the "other" shop did. Upon my "scanning" the vehicle, multiple codes were present which indicated that several components needed to be replaced including the coil packs. The REAL problem was $25.00 worth of vacuum hoses which when replaced, corrected his problem. A scanner is no more than a "tool" that assists the diagnostics person in making the correct decision which ultimately costs the consumer less in the long run. ANYBODY can repair even a persent day vehicle if you replace parts until you correct the problem. I have been in the automotive business since 1965 and have lived through the transition of vehicles becoming a rolling computer. While the scanner is a helpful tool, it is just that... a tool and should not be considered "always right." You would be supprised at what the scanners don't know.

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  • Visitor, December 20, 2011, 17:03

    I HAVE FOUND THAT AN EXPLANATION OF SERVICES BEFORE THEY ARE DONE MAKES THE WORLD OF DIFF. MOST PEOPLE ARE OK AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT SURPRISED WITH THE BILL WHEN YOU ARE DONE THEY SHOULD ALREADY KNOW ABOUT WHAT IT SHOULD COST AND WHY AS IT IS UP TO US AS SHOP OWNERS TO DISCLOSE ALL THE INFO TO THE CUSTOMER SO THAT THEY FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND HOW MUCH YOU ARE CHARGING SHOP OWNER

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  • Visitor, August 16, 2012, 15:08

    ok i have a diagnostic done on my car and i paid the $100 to get it. Now can i take that diagnostic report to different mechanics to get the best price for my repairs?

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  • Visitor, February 13, 2013, 23:12

    I dont have a problem paying for accurate diagnostics. i object to having my car 'hooked up' and then being told after the analysis that the fuel injectors need replacing, but it may also need a fuel pump as well. Surely the diagnostics machine can tell what needs doing?? Or am I being simple?

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  • Visitor, February 26, 2013, 11:33

    ...and if you have a dodge you can utlize the self diagnostic procedure by turning the ignition on and off 3 times in a row, then turn it on again. When you do this the odometer displayes the error code. You go to the internet type in the errorcode and it will tell you the part that needs replacing and print it our for your friendly helpful mechanic. Saves a $100.

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  • Visitor, March 26, 2013, 06:38

    Here is my problem with it given the circumstance. I already knew the error code, and I knew what fix needed to be made. Me: "Just put a new thermostat in." Ford: "That will be $91 to diagnose the problem to determine if you need it.". Me: "Hmm, I will pay you to put a thermostat in, I don't need a diagnosis, don't waste your time and my money." Ford: "There is a $91 diagnosis fee.". Me: "Hmm, maybe we're not speaking the same language. I just need you to put a new thermostat in." Ford: "We can't do that without a diagnosis." Me: "I'm not paying for a dianogisis because I know what I want done, just put the thermostat in and I'll pay for the service and parts for that... just DO THAT.". Ford: "We can't do that without the $91 diagnosis fee." Me: !@#!@#%!#%!@#!$%!@#$!@#@#%$ *walks out, goes to find someone who has and will put a thermostat in for me*

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  • Visitor, April 16, 2013, 22:21

    I'm fine with paying for their time even if I opt not to get the work done there but not if they tell me that they can't determine what the problem is. Its their job to find out. I had a check engine light on and the diagnosis came back with an error code on a heater O2 sensor. Then they told me to go drive it for 50 miles and return so that they can get a reading on the 3 other sensors. I drove 200 miles, and still no answer except to go out and drive some more and come back again. To me it seems that they don't want to take the trouble to investigate what is blocking the information flow from the other sensors getting to the onboard computer. Instead if I drive it around enough, maybe something will "come unstuck" and get the results they need for a complete diagnosis. Why should they bother to do the hard work if they expect to get $90 for an incomplete diagnosis anyway?

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  • Visitor, May 18, 2013, 08:43

    As a 20 year veteran of the auto repair business, this is one area where I have learned to be as helpful as I can to a customer but still get paid for our time. Of course, repeat customers/loyalty/value all come in to play when I decide what to collect and when. I will always SCAN a 96 or newer engine light for free and report on the codes. This is NOT diagnosing. The customer usually appreciates the few minutes it takes and an explanation of whats involved in pinpointing the problem(s). From there if I cannot secure diagnostic time--no problem; I tried.. and quite honestly I'll move on to the next car. No mechanic I know makes $100 an hour. Our shop rate is $100 an hour for skilled technicians. (We do a $25 oil change that takes almost an hour, yet I don't charge $100--that's general service). My top tech earns $32/hour (flat rate). I need to pay for his medical benefits, workman's comp, uniforms, 401k, ongoing training/education and ASE certifications. Lets be conservative and say that puts MY COST at $65/hour. Now you can start adding lease, utilities, equipment, tools, insurance (OMG insurance!!), etc etc etc. None of this is the customer's problem, and I know most don't care. But here's the deal--no one's twisting your arm! If you're not picking up what the facility is puttin' down-- go! Drive around from shop to shop until you like what you hear--that's your choice! Why argue? We don't want to argue.. we just want to do our jobs and get paid for doing it--just like you. If I've accumulated experience, time-saving tools, short-cuts and can get things done well in half the time of a less experienced, ill-equipped tech-- should I be paid less?? NO! That is what you are saying when you say "That hour job only took you a half hour!". You have to trust the people you are leaving your car with. If there is no trust--just like a marriage--it is doomed from the start. You start looking thru their emails, their phones--they've got to be cheating--right?? I've popped hoods and found the problem instantaneously-- lean code-- blatant vacuum hose hanging off of the air box after the mass air meter. No customer would see that as a $100 value, and I can FULLY understand that. They dont care about my costs, feeding my family, overhead, computers.. 9 out of 10 times I will pop the hose on, tell them it was very,very simple.. no charge. I tell them I didnt diagnose anything--I saw an obvious problem, cleared the code and if it returns I will need to go further. Hopefully I earn a loyal customer from my honesty. I've always been in it for the long haul, not making a quick buck. I want long time, valuable repeat customers. I can weed out the bargain hunters pretty easily with the process I described. I don't install customer's parts, and I have no problem telling them that the #1 reason is YES--I NEED TO MAKE A PROFIT ON PARTS! No secret here! Autozone and Advanced are for do it yourselfers-- so do it yourself! Just my .02

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  • Visitor, June 30, 2013, 14:24

    I have a complete understanding of the value of your time for a completed service. In the case you describe you were able to diagnose the problem, why the seat was not working. A diagnostic service was rendered. But what about when the mechanic does not diagnose the problem? I consider that a failure to perform the agreed upon task. I should not have to pay for someone to not figure out what is wrong with my car. My car is currently in the shop because the battery keeps draining. I brought it in with a dead battery and asked them to find out what was killing it. Without any diagnosis of what was wrong they are returning it to me.... and charging me for a diagnosis. In my opinion that is a breach of our agreement and I should not have to pay. If they told me what was wrong and I chose not to fix it I would have no problem paying.

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  • Visitor, July 01, 2013, 12:50

    How much effort would you put in at work if you weren't getting paid? An hour's diagnostic time up front should have been properly explained and agreed upon. I tell my customers that within an hour's time I will either have the problem diagnosed, or at least a good idea whether I'm getting somewhere or it's out of my league (rare--but happens). If a problem can't be found in an hour (common with electrical) that doesn't mean the tech shouldn't be paid. He has ruled things out in this time and made headway. Ask the tech for a wiring diagram for the system he's working on, maybe you'll have a better understanding of what you are paying for. Intermittent problems are very, very tough to track down. What technician will work on a car if he knows beforehand that if no problem is found--he doesnt get paid? If a customer were to tell me they do not want to pay unless I can ensure I'll find the problem--I can respect that--I can understand that--but we won't be working on your car. (Of course, again, I have many regular customers that I will absolutely bend over backwards for--we have earned each others trust and I know they aren't here to waste my time or theirs). Try that next time at the doctor-- tell him something hurts but he's not getting paid unless he finds the problem. Tell him all his lab work, xrays, and experience doesn't qualify for payment until you are better. When he prescribes treatment or drugs, and it doesn't work-- is there a warranty or is he getting paid for further diagnosis? I am lucky to be very busy so I can't afford to diagnose (or attempt to diagnose) things without payment. For every person that doesn't see our time as valuable, they open a spot for the next vehicle owner who does. Remember, I'm talking skilled technician diagnosis--not visual inspection of brakes/undercar/underhood by a general service technician. The beautiful part about all of this--customers can go whereever they want--go to the place that meets your needs and stay with them. Like any other business you will most likely be rewarded for your loyalty and you will build trust. Jump from shop to shop for the freebies and coupons and you've got more patience and time on your hands than most.. Best of luck.

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  • Visitor, July 01, 2013, 13:40

    I wonder if police officers/detectives get paid when they don't solve a crime? The person that mentions a doctor can't be compared to a technician?? Are you serious? You're right--not many techs drive Mercedes/Lexus/BMW; have summer homes and boats, etc. A tech's education is never-ending! 14 years of education for a doctor? I'll take it! I'm 20 years in and now have to learn about electric cars, new diesel technology, hybrids, etc. I'm not complaining, I'm passionate about it and love cars--I love learning the new technology. I just don't work for free. Cars are getting more and more complicated while the human body stays the same! What do you think it costs for insurance and liability at an auto shop? I pay every time I go to the doctor, even when it's for the SAME THING I was there for a week before. Another copay, more prescriptions, another "guess".

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  • Visitor, September 21, 2013, 10:05

    To the gentleman who wanted Ford to put a thermostat in.. This happens often. A customer "diagnoses" their own engine light/trouble code. They go to the super-smart internet and figure out what it needs. Then they want someone to replace something based on internet diagnosis, yet be fully liable if/when that doesn't solve the problem. You can't tell me (and if you do, I won't believe it) that if Ford replaced the thermostat like you asked and your engine light returned, that you wouldn't be right back there telling them they must have done something wrong. They will tell you they didn't diagnose anything, they just did what you asked; then you will yell and scream and get your way telling them that they are the experts and they shouldn't have listened to you, you don't fix cars! Now a tech has to spend his time diagnosing the problem(s) for free because the customer is stomping his feet. Ford was very smart to not go off of your diagnosis (and I know you may have paid $91 for them to tell you, yes, its the tstat). Better you hate them for not running their business the way YOU want them to than you trashing them for charging you and the problem not being fixed. Someone way before you did that to that dealer, and that's why they said "no more".

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  • Visitor, October 24, 2013, 18:31

    If a shop owner wants to charge a door fee to step inside and consider becoming a customer, more power to him. He is the only one in a position to make that call. On the other hand, if I buy a new car and button stops working while under factory warranty, I sure as hell am not paying a diagnostic fee to a dealer before they will even look at it. I don't care if the fee will be waived in the event the problem is covered. The risk is on them, not me. Period.

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  • Visitor, October 26, 2013, 08:25

    They're not going to pay for a button that stopped working when they discover you had a remote start installed at Best Buy that interrupted the circuit, or your kid jammed a grilled cheese sandwich in your dvd player. My mother bought a brand new Camry in summer of 2005 and went back to dealer that fall because the heat/blower had stopped working and there was an odd smell. The car had about 2500 miles on it. They brought her out and showed her a mouse had made its way into the blower box and brought all sorts of debris into the blower wheel. The dead mouse was in the wheel and that was the smell. She had to pay for the repairs. Of course she was not happy but at the same time how is it Toyota's fault? Mice can get into almost anything--its not an engineering fault. The tech that fixed the car--not his fault either--he should get paid. They gave her a break and the bill wasn't substantial-- but this is why they secure time up front--in the event of something like this. Had my mom told them to not repair the car, they would have justifiably collected for their time and moved on..

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  • Visitor, November 22, 2013, 09:02

    As a service manager of a shop that openly charges for diagnostic, one thing that I wish is that consumers would understand is that when they get lured into a shop that offers free diagnostic one of two things is really happening. Either they are not really getting a proper diagnosis (ie: check the code then throw a part at it as a guess) or if they are getting a proper diagnosis THEY WILL IN FACT PAY FOR IT. It is common practise for places to add one hour of time to the repair estimate. So for example replacing X part would normally cost 2 hrs of labor so they actually charge 3 to cover their diagnostic time then still claim they didn't charge diag! Customers need to realize its all a game and shops can easily manipulate charges. The important thing as in any business relationship is TRUST. Find a good shop that you can trust.

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  • Visitor, November 22, 2013, 10:08

    I've been in the auto repair business for over 1/4 century and have seen many repair jobs all the way through the person first calling to the final word. People who think diagnosis should be free and/or bring their own parts are almost never good reliable customers, and they are doomed to bounce from shop to shop, choosing their next mechanic based on how cheap an oil change is, if diagnosis is free, and if he doesn't have any other customers IN LINE when THEY want to pop in for a quickie-something, but NEVER HOW WELL-QUALIFIED OR EXPERIENCED. Mechanics who don't charge for diagnosis hear a lot of, "Thanks, now I'll pay MY MECHANIC to do the actual repair." or, "I'll bring it in next week some time for the repair" then you can follow them straight to the auto parts store. As for bringing one's own parts or diagnosis and SWEARING you just want the mechanic to do the work and you'll pay and be happy even if it doesn't cure whatever problem you hope it would- experience shows that people forget that the second work begins. Before the job is even finished, they'll start in with, "So, I'm not going to have any PROBLEMS after you finish this, RIGHT?" You start to remind that they just wanted the one part installed with no warranty or guarantee and they go full idiot and interrupt with, "OH NO! I EXPECT YOU TO STAND BEHIND YOUR WORK! (Then with the sanctimonious tone turned up to 11) THAT'S WHAT I'M **PAYING** YOU FOR!!" Putting aside the thorny issues of who is responsible when a "free" diagnosis goes wrong, it disgusts me to find so many people come in believing that what I do all day for a living has a market value of exactly zero. I don't know what business you are in, but tomorrow is my day to come in and have you do it for me for free, while I tell you how to do it!

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  • Visitor, November 29, 2013, 16:15

    I took my truck to a Dodge dealer and they wanted $115 for the diagnostic. I told them I am not paying that amount of money to have them plug a cable into my truck.

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  • Visitor, November 30, 2013, 05:44

    Good for you. You showed them! And the qualified automotive experts in the industry thank you for not wasting anyone's time except your own! Now "get in the zone" at autozone and buy parts based on their scan. No one is getting over on you! BTW where do you work, I'd like you to use your skills, equipment, and experience but not charge me anything. I'm also going to tell me dentist I'm not paying $125 for them to put a dumb camera in my face and take xrays. Thank you so much for your help!!

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  • Visitor, November 30, 2013, 06:14

    Oh man bummer--I hate that! Come to my shop I won't charge you to plug a cable in. You bring the "cable" of course.. you're on your own after that, I have cars to fix. Just curious though, why don't you do it yourself? I mean, it's just plugging a cable in.. save yourself $115.

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  • Visitor, January 23, 2014, 13:45

    Just to be on a safe side... Diagnostic should cost some money - it's the technician's way of telling us WHAT the problem is. If customer thinks he knows what the problem is then just tell the technician what to change and ask for an estimate of that work. If you want a professional opinion as to what the problem is you HAVE to pay for diagnostic. The problem I have is when a technician charges me the fee WITHOUT finding the problem saying that unfortunately he needs more time and more time costs money. This is what I consider to be completely idiotic... After all, I do not think that the very same technician would feel happy about sending an application to renew say a registration on his own car, only to receive a response that they would have to charge him DOUBLE now because they had hard time locating his information in the DMV database and spend extra time entering his new info... Seems silly, doesn't it? For example I was told today that a technician spent 3 hours and was not able to find the problem with a check engine light or whining noise from the ABC pump. The rep called me to authorize another 160 bucks worth of diagnostics. I said he was out of his mind and if by the time I get to the dealership the problem isn't determined, he won't even get the original 160 bucks.

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  • Visitor, January 24, 2014, 04:51

    You're one of those people that thinks all problems are found in an hour. It's been 9-10 degrees out past few days. A lot of cars towed in. One particular no-start was a Dodge Caravan. 10 trouble codes in the PCM ranging from map sensor, O2 sensor, lean, fuel injector codes, etc etc. Technician knew couldn't be problems with all those parts at once out of no where, suspected a ground, wiring, or PCM fault. After about an hour and a half he found a section of the wiring harness that had been chewed by a rodent apparently finding a warm engine bay a nice place to be when it's cold. The harness ran along the bottom of the rear valve cover above the exhaust manifold, way out of sight. Essentially 3 wires had to be repaired properly, clear codes and monitor with scantool whilst driving to ensure repairs. Good luck as a non-technician finding that stuff on your own. If you can in a reasonable amount of time and make the proper repairs, you should be an auto technician, and can easily earn 100k plus in a busy shop. If the people at the parts stores that scan codes were any good, they'd be fixing cars, not a 25k a year cashier/key holder. Just sayin'. Another reason to secure diagnosis is for all the people that bring their cars in and when they find out what's wrong, suddenly their uncle/brother/boyfriend/girlfriend/neighbor is a mechanic and they can do it. Fine, no problem. Just pay me for my time/shop/expertise and be on your way..

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  • Visitor, January 24, 2014, 05:05

    By the way I am a fair guy.. you have no idea how many cars get towed in that are OUT OF GAS. I put a gallon in and it fires up. Technically, I diagnosed the problem. Customer argues "but it says 1/32 of a tank". OK. Didn't start. No fuel pressure. Add fuel. Starts. Wanna take it for the cost of a gallon of gas or should I start charging for my time??? Point is, when we find something very obvious we aren't here to beat people over the head. It's the tough stuff we have to make sure we aren't wasting our time, and I'd like to think most good shops operate the same way.

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  • Visitor, January 24, 2014, 13:53

    Just had a customer come in because defrost would not blow air out of top of dash, only vents and floor. Secured diagnosis. Problem was a start-interlock device was installed by a 3rd party (blow n go--DWI)that physically interfered with the mode door actuator lever under the dash to the right of the steering column. Pretty sure "plugging in a cable" isn't going to produce a code/repair for "blow n go device hitting actuator--please find and move it"

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  • Visitor, May 21, 2014, 08:03

    Diagnostic fees are okay, but should be waived if you go ahead and have the repair done at the shop where the diagnosis was made.

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