Tag Archives: rant

The Truth Behind Diagnostic and Testing Charges

The Truth Behind Diagnostic and Testing Charges

Your check engine light comes on.  Panic sets in. What do you do? You call the shop, dreading what they are going to say.  "What do you charge for diagnsotics?" you ask. "Testing starts at $95 for a check engine light" the service advisor responds. GASP.  Why so much? Can't I just go to AutoZoom down the street for a free test? Here's what you're paying for: "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" The code pull is just the first step.  The rest of the story happens while we test different sensors and systems to find out which one is the culprit.  The sensors are dumb, they report what they see, not what the cause is.  You may have an oxygen sensor that is reading out of range, but is that because the sensor is ... read more

The "dealership" doesn't love you

The "dealership" doesn't love you

  I just got off the phone with yet another customer that is tired of getting the run-around from "the dealership".  Which one?  Does it matter?  I field these calls regularly and I spend my time commiserating with customers that just want to be heard.  They want to know what the urgency of the recommended repair is.  They are tired of scare tactics and huge estimates that "HAVE TO BE DONE IMMEDIATELY" because the car is broken.  Do I want to fix all the things that are wrong with your car?  Of course!  Am I going to try to scare you into a repair that doesn't need to be done today?  Of course NOT!  Why?  Because that's not how I like to be treated.  *whew* Sometimes you just have to vent.  Why does this upset me so much?  Because every time a person comes out of an experience like this their impression of the auto repair industry as a whole suffers.  It makes my job harder be ... read more

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