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Old Yesterday, 02:41 AM
 
9,977 posts, read 7,714,869 times
Reputation: 24445

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samiamnh View Post
Engine light was on in my 2013 Avalanche.I have a OBD meter so I knew exactly what the problem was.
Brought it to the dealership for a fix and when I got the bill I was charged $120 "diagnostic fee"
Previously I've never been charged for that....takes two minutes to plug in the meter and read the code.
Also...ever sat in the waiting room for an oil change and watch the parade of techs come out because they've found some mysterious problem?
Techs get %5-%7 for upsells.Filters,fluid changes ,belts.....anything they can get away with.
They didn't cover the full estimate before you agreed to have the work done?
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Old Yesterday, 03:29 AM
 
31,294 posts, read 24,942,908 times
Reputation: 18151
yeah lets complain about every little fee the shops charge, forgetting that the mechanic gets a part of that diagnostic fee.



remember that just because a code reader spits out, using my merc as an example, a fuel pressure sensor issue, does not meant the sensor is the problem. it only means that is the system being affected. in my case is was a faulty sensor, but there are a number of tests the mechanic is supposed to run to find that out. the code reader only narrow down the process. in the old days the mechanics and the shops didnt charge for diagnostic time, and often times the the diagnosis was far more difficult than the repair itself.


for instance one of my college professors spent about 100 hours trying to find an intermittent miss in a car, and he finally got a wiring diagram out and traced the wiring and eventually figured out that the solenoid that ford used was the problem on that particular car.


as for dealerships having the car for long periods of time, remember they have more than just your car there to work on. you might make an appointment, but chances are that there are still 50 to 100 cars ahead of you. its the nature of the dealership.
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Old Yesterday, 05:33 AM
 
12,223 posts, read 6,354,048 times
Reputation: 22483
I watched a Subaru dealer charge a woman $150 for replacing a missing fuel cap. $120 for the diagnostic. $30 for a fuel cap. I thought that was a bit excessive for 5 minutes of labor.
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Old Yesterday, 06:48 AM
 
Location: trapped in the body of a dying animal
3,425 posts, read 1,447,770 times
Reputation: 3672
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
I watched a Subaru dealer charge a woman $150 for replacing a missing fuel cap. $120 for the diagnostic. $30 for a fuel cap. I thought that was a bit excessive for 5 minutes of labor.
So why didn't you do it yourself?
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Old Yesterday, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles County
11,378 posts, read 9,399,881 times
Reputation: 29995
If you are diagnosing yourself you should fix yourself. Why go halfway? The overhead to actually diagnose your car isn't free, they still have to pass up other work, buy the scanner, have a tech scan, etc...Also, you are free to ask about diagnostic fees before they do any work and you can take your business elsewhere if you feel they are charging too much.
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Old Yesterday, 12:36 PM
 
2,010 posts, read 470,521 times
Reputation: 2289
Quote:
Originally Posted by turkey-head View Post
So why didn't you do it yourself?
Lady probably brought the car straight to the dealer when the CEL came on - didn't have to stop for gas on the way. By the time they found out what it was, she had already signed the papers for the diagnostic fee.

It's a "sunk cost" psychology that gets people to commit to repairs and not shop for estimates. Not only "we don't work for free!".
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Old Yesterday, 01:59 PM
 
Location: trapped in the body of a dying animal
3,425 posts, read 1,447,770 times
Reputation: 3672
Yeah, if you take your vehicle to a place that charges for diagnosis and sign on the dotted line... you do tend to get charged for diagnosis.

No reason she couldn't check her own codes and make her own repairs. But she chose otherwise.
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Old Yesterday, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
25,344 posts, read 60,702,639 times
Reputation: 28093
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbohm View Post
y


as for dealerships having the car for long periods of time, remember they have more than just your car there to work on. you might make an appointment, but chances are that there are still 50 to 100 cars ahead of you. its the nature of the dealership.
THat is mismanagement by the dealership. If there are 30 cars ahead of me, they shouldn't schedule my car to be there until it is 3rd or 5th in line or better yet, 1st in line. Good private mechanics can figure this out. So can pretty much every other business in the world. How would it go over if you arrived for your doctor appointment and they said there are 50 people ahead of you, you need to sit here for the next three days and wait turn we get around to your turn.
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Old Yesterday, 04:19 PM
 
2,010 posts, read 470,521 times
Reputation: 2289
Quote:
Originally Posted by turkey-head View Post
Yeah, if you take your vehicle to a place that charges for diagnosis and sign on the dotted line... you do tend to get charged for diagnosis.

No reason she couldn't check her own codes and make her own repairs. But she chose otherwise.
You can't know everything. What you don't know, common sense tells you not to attempt to fix it if you don't understand it. She had no way to gauge the severity of the issue and no idea where to begin troubleshooting.

I'd even go so far as to speculate she may have trouble Googling using proper terminology to get the right answers.

Think of this, and time-value of money. What does she do for a living? How much money is she losing by spending a few hours searching, buying a scanner, referencing codes, then applying the troubleshooting steps one at a time?

That... vs. $150. If you make $40/hour, that's half a day in a climate controlled office, or half a day outside messing with your car not getting paid.
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Old Yesterday, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
25,344 posts, read 60,702,639 times
Reputation: 28093
I am starting a new business. I will read your codes and look the result up on google for you and tell you the most likely reason for the code. My rate is $1,440 an hour. Sign up fast, I have decided I only need to work ten hours a month, so I will only accept select customers.
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