But we have a lot of costs to keep our doors open. In that cases they may need some additional diagnostic tools. That I have to pay for diagnostic fees? It was explained to me that Ford will then charge me an hourly rate for the technician‘s time, in addition to a $74.99 diagnosis fee to decipher what needed repair. You go to the internet type in the errorcode and it will tell you the part that needs replacing and print it our for your friendly helpful mechanic. It was mainly for that reason that I stopped doing that type of work. ?LOL HAHAHAHAHA....Mechanics are a dime a dozen and a grease monkey should never make as much as a doctor or there is something terribily wrong with our country and people. Now why would you want to buy all of those parts put them on and not have your problem fixed? i object to having my car 'hooked up' and then being told after the analysis that the fuel injectors need replacing, but it may also need a fuel pump as well. On the other hand, if I buy a new car and button stops working while under factory warranty, I sure as hell am not paying a diagnostic fee to a dealer before they will even look at it. I'll be the first guy to admit that I am VERY aware that there are many auto repair ripoffs that occur every day in almost every shop. I can ramble on and on, and I don't reckon it matters what I say. @#@#%$ *walks out, goes to find someone who has and will put a thermostat in for me*. If you were to have a code p0300 for a generic misfire then at home you will replace all tune up components, maybe an ignition coil, then a fuel injector or two until you and your beer buddy are stumped and broke. It gives you just about enough information to be dangerous. Me: "Hmm, maybe we're not speaking the same language. The customer declined the repairs and asked us to reassemble the seat. Once home from work, I was able to remove the door panel, and quickly discovered that the cable within the power window regulator had become frayed and after some time, eventually snapped. Tell him all his lab work, xrays, and experience doesn't qualify for payment until you are better. But which one of the 35 computers is it? The dealer doesn't want to waste time, especially on a item that is expensive to fix and not really critical. If they get hurt.. here comes a lawsuit. The top won't go down completely after some work was done. An even if they don't find the part. ", so the charge would only be $125! Find a good shop that you can trust. I'd straighten out the question of if it's under warranty first, and then work out with the dealership a way to go about the repair, such as having the diagnosis fee refunded or halved if you go ahead with the repair. Am I being unreasonable or are they? 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. However, I won't be buying another Mercedes, as this left me feeling taken advantage of. The foregoing warranty is an express limited warranty and in the event of breach, Apple will either (i) re-perform the service, (ii) repair or replace the part, or (iii) refund the cost of the service provided. It's the same with a mechanic, is our vehicles not our babies? I fixed it in roughly two hours and after they paid close to 2k for nothing yes they paid the diagnostic fee. The tech that fixed the car--not his fault either--he should get paid. The grease monkey comment may be valid if you have had bad experiences at shops, however most shops we know actually repair cars and stand behind what was diagnosed or repaired. This, of course, was not acceptable to the dealership and I left without assistance in resolving the issue that rendered my power window useless. I pay every time I go to the doctor, even when it's for the SAME THING I was there for a week before. The dead mouse was in the wheel and that was the smell. By using this site, you agree to these terms: Should You Have to Pay for Diagnostic Fees. Left the dealership after 5 days in the shop and drove home about 40 miles. If I say that X is wrong, there are 3-5 reasons why X is wrong which the mechanic should begin to evaluate based on EXPERIENCE and EXPERTISE. Customers pay huge amounts of money for these cars, most times well over what it costs the manufacturers to make. HVAC contractors charge an hourly rate of $75 to $150 with a minimum service call fee of $75 to $200, which applies towards the first hour. Mice can get into almost anything--its not an engineering fault. Our free estimator calculates a custom price for your vehicle repair. The software updates cost $7500 per year. We did a trans drain, replaced the valve body with a brand new one, cleaned the pan and magnets, installed a new filter, refilled the transmission with the cheapest compatible fluid and ran it on the jacks for a half hour, drained that out, flushed the cooler lines, and refilled with +6 fluid. edit: office closed. Call Acura and speak to them about it, they'll know the warranty better than the dealer. Comparing good technicians to doctors? It's suppose to take 8 hours of labor and about $100 for parts plus the $100 diagnostic) It wouldn't of only been quick 10 minute diagnostic if the customer was present and did just a little homework like go to autozone where they will plug in the $50 scanner for free so he would have some general knowledge and go look up a few things on the net about the code and what can cause it. If it is worth ok. I would consider it a 1/2 hour labor charge and a $56 EXPERTISE charge. Oh, maybe I should add that the "recommended list of service items totaled $8,423.59, and they would only give me $5,000 on a trade in of a great looking 2006 Mercedes CLK 350. And I'm so upset. A couple weeks ago I had a flat tire with my ford Edge. Of course she was not happy but at the same time how is it Toyota's fault? I am amazed at how may people STILL add comments of indignance at being charged a diag fee. 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 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. For the diagnostic fee, my concern is that I end up paying more for a repair which actually was just a $30 job. Probably weekdays only. What part do you bolt in now? You should even have multiple problems and have him check multiple parts. This is your cost. **For years I have had friends and family who need advise for automobile(not to mention home & households)repairs**Yet we all know how expensive everything is now days**Personally I have been doing just that for them**Now its gotten to be an "Awe hell" just call him he will do it for free or almost nothing**Just sound pitiful and he will be like putty in your hands**Well I'm sure there are some other mechanics out there who have gone thru this plenty of times before**Yet we all can't be "Ol Saint Nick" year round**I can understand how tight money can be at times but for those penny pinchers that always pretend to be broke is the kind we all know to stay away from(friends or family)**Yet they have enough dough to feed the world**Some people just don't get it when it comes to**Quality Service**over**Guessing**what a problem might just be**Even though a Pro can tell you a probable for those who are uncertain or afraid to pay for something they know very little or nothing about is the key**The average joe/josie has to depend on someone other than local part stores for trouble shooting or DTC's**Unless you have some kind of knowledge(or money to throw away)about problems that can occur on your vehicle try to be a bit more considerate and not bite the wrench who knows better**Finding a Mr. Goodwrench may not easy for some people but you gotta trust somebody**Always remember**There is always going to be a complainer in some way or some how**We all know who he/she is and at times like these its not worth fixing them up at all**If I could collect from all the iou's I have done thru the years I'd have a fortune**Let's face it**Just Pay The Man or Woman**There are Warranties out there as well as Mechanic Thieves**So be aware of the Good**The Bad**& The Ugly**Do some homework(references/cost)and things will get easier to understand for all those concerned**, Ok! I would be charged 80 dallaors. There are many many small repairs that can be researched and done in an hour with $20 worth of tools from a store that shops would be more than happy to charge you hundreds of dollars to do. If it is, they can screw right off charging you money. 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. 10 trouble codes in the PCM ranging from map sensor, O2 sensor, lean, fuel injector codes, etc etc. If there is no trust--just like a marriage--it is doomed from the start. 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. Once they told me I of course did an Internet search and found that it's a $40 part that they were charging me $60 for. For years, our existing customers have been paying the overhead for our business. One mechanic, two bays. If you are an experienced auto-repairman, you don't need diagnostics. I completely understand a diagnostic charge, as your time is not free any more than mine is. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Here is my dilemma. I would had felt better paying the 120.00 if they actually did find the problem. Hello, as a customer of a dealership or independent shop, I suggest you ask for as much of the diagnostic info they can provide. They are more than glad to pay for the diagnostic fee then. I pay the mechanic about $75 per hour with benefits. You charge $25-50 for oil change and you get so many thousands of cars per month. Trust me when I say mechanics are crooks. They said even if I have only 3 lights that r not working they would change for all 8 lights. " No one expect you to work for free. Dealership service bays are some of the worst about bogus charges and unnecessary part replacements, but the bottom line is that most service locations will put the guy on a job that is minimally qualified and "hope" he does a passable job on your car. http://autorepairsavings.blogspot.com/ -The Autodude-, Great Information here! After a few more weeks of serious health issues your symptoms have snowballed . This is a good one! I agree if you go in for a check engine light and they say loose gas cap and it wasn't that, I'd have them do another diagnostic and tell them I'm not paying for it, and I myself am a mechanic, because that tells me they didn't look into the problem properly the first time and gave you bogus information, a potential lawsuit worthy mistake in the medical world. I certainly hope that as technology advances in the automotive field that they mechanics also advance... not just in their abilities to "read and repair only" but also in diagnostic abilities. Everyone, from consumers to advice columnists, have a strong opinion on this topic. 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. Sorry I signed up above anomymous but I am in now. The real problem with charging for diagnosis is human greed. When I asked if this fee was absolved into the repair costs (parts & labor) given that the dealership was indeed employed to fix the window, and was told no, and that it's a standard fee and would be charged regardless. All you know is your brake lights aren't working and would like to have someone who knows what they're doing figure it out. It's a combination of you took up a professional's time where it could have gone elsewhere and were given information to fix the problem. I should have just paid the F*N diagnostic fee FIRST!!!! He came up with a story told the customer something cause they paid and was a pretty regular customer. If not, then you are charged the diagnostic fee. Just pay me for my 1 hour. leroys73 and Fitz-0518 like this. PERIOD. It pays to make sure the limited warranty for equipment is … Someone would come to me with a 10-year old computer work $100 and ask me to fix it. Car sat for 2 hours and when I started it up again, had the same problem. since I am doing the $2K in repairs they recommended. I was amazed at how many people didn't understand the concept that an expert's time is worth money. Volkswagen Canada charged me $120.00 to tell me they couldn't figure out what the problem was and I would have to pay for additional diagnostics. We want to make the auto repair process less stressful and much more trustworthy. A shop with gripes posted that are mainly 'they didn't get it fixed right" or "they overcharged" or "they weren't as responsive as I expected" - these are gripes that are not an indication of criminal intent by the shop. Transmission had 150k miles on it, so I gave him the option of rebuilding the valve body with the 2 most heavily "used" solenoids, or going with a brand new valve body ($350 difference between the 2 options). I can weed out the bargain hunters pretty easily with the process I described. Then it's fine to bill the customer for the time you used if they declined the repair. That is unethical. But what if the labor runs up over $300 because the mechanic decided to "over-check" (i.e. 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. 90% of mechanics are liers. Good article. Check engine light on, hard engine start, throttling, smoke coming out back. Now can i take that diagnostic report to different mechanics to get the best price for my repairs? I feel like I would have been better off just saying "Something is wrong with my car, can you look into it? In this case, what I pay for is EXPERTISE and not information. He says there's an air leak, upper and lower intake gasket need to be replaced(900 dollar job. Brian, Thats a great analagy of paying for service that everyone should understand. We can't discount all but .5 for diagnosing. My detailed explanation seems to have cost me money and I was just trying to be helpful! My top tech earns $32/hour (flat rate). Get the “full coverage, no cost” warranty in writing. Smaller highly reviewed independents are my recommendation for general maintenance and straightforward repairs. Many customers balk at paying diagnostics fees, especially when it comes to trouble codes. More Less. Now a tech has to spend his time diagnosing the problem(s) for free because the customer is stomping his feet. 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. Let them diagnose it. The 10 minutes of time (or1/2 hr.) Now you can start adding lease, utilities, equipment, tools, insurance (OMG insurance!! Acura doesn't seems to use the word bumper to bumper. You don't agree to pay a diagnostic. We are also a one man operation. You want the work and business, complete the diagnostic then tell me whats wrong with my car and give me a quote. I checked the warranty booklet and what isn't covered are reasonable like glass, interior, rotors, etc. Should I work on your Vehicle for FREE? (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). A $5 to you is a $30 to them. I'd straighten out the question of if it's under warranty first, and then work out with the dealership a way to go about the repair, such as having the diagnosis fee refunded or halved if you go ahead with the repair. For every code stored there are several possible solutions. We hear from these dumb bells after they screw up their electrical systems and then try to make us feel guilty for charging for our work. When you pay that $70, it all goes to keeping our business afloat. But the problem is how do you know if they know what they are doing and for the average person that would be hard to discern. A Ford dealer tried to charge me 1/2 hour labor in the first year of ownership when they couldn't find an intermittent problem. If everything is found to be under warranty, then you don't actually pay the diagnostic. In my line of work, we charge a $98 service fee (diagnostic) up front on all warranty issues. I don't really care if it took them 5 minutes or 30. how much is the diagnostic fee at Apple if the computer wont turn on and has no warranty? Just my opinion. I'm not sure how to best advise consumers at how to avoid getting caught in a replacement parts nightmare. I believe the diagnostic fee should be paid if the person doing the work knows what they are doing if not do not pay. 14 years of education for a doctor? He is the only one in a position to make that call. The warranty issue is surprising considering Honda has great warranty service usually. Saves them time and money to have you do the repair right when they diagnose it. 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? I was initially appalled and ready to give them a negative review for overcharging. if all he done was to check why his seats weren't working, but they didn't fix it, then NO he shouldn't pay that $170, but he SHOULD pay the standard fee for checking it what ever that is, however @ the same time he could have asked the shop what was the price of just CHECKING to see how much it would cost to JUST check iit. Fine, I pay for the diagnostic, but if the shop is doing the work. If warranty work is being done, shouldn't diagnostics be covered? Here is my problem with it given the circumstance. But old car. In order to claim under the warranty you must return your product to … Are all of you other commenters mechanics? How does that make sense to anyone. This means they are paying a tech to do it, it will probably take more than an hour in real time. No matter whether I get billed for the work or not, there is never a "diagnostic fee" on the bill. The car had about 2500 miles on it. You just insisted we replace without diagnosing, so now that parts failed again because something else is what's causing it to fail. Are you serious? To understand what each part in each system does as we had to learn when I went to automotive school back in the early 80's after High School. I would suggest everyone go learn what they can about their cars. Does. Our hourly is $70/hr, half hour minimum. If you are out of warranty and have a problem, then your best bet is to seek out a well-equipped, well-respected independent who gets good reviews, and give them a try. So he charges the customer another hour to replace the coil pack and 60 dollars for the part. So I payed and left. The important thing as in any business relationship is TRUST. We planned to go sit in the parking lot, try to open the door multiple times until it doesn't unlock, then we'll ask a mechanic to look at it. Manufacturer warranties will cover the diagnosis charges. How about in my situation. Peter Pan BMW, just did the job and billed me $600. we took it to the dealer and they said they had to run their own diagnostics, $137, then they couldn't find the problem so another $300, Think they'll ever see the car again? We removed the side panel and tested the wiring and electronic motor circuits. I have to conclude that mechanics today only know how to read and replace and not diagnose as I do on the older vehicles I work on and restore. If you don't have the right tool, don't get into the car business. Instead of the $1260 that he paid. That code does not pin point the problem and say replace this sensor. What do you think it costs for insurance and liability at an auto shop? If a dealer is unable to fix your car then I absolutely feel you should not pay a fee. It has been at the shop for 10 days and I … 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. You & your broken car are competing for our time with our existing customers. If a shop owner wants to charge a door fee to step inside and consider becoming a customer, more power to him. You are in Business to MAKE MONEY not to give your time away for FREE! A Dr. doesn’t have to know a fraction of what a top level technician does. Audi charges $150+ I believe. If the problem is found then charge a full hour of Diagnostic Time. While the scanner is a helpful tool, it is just that... a tool and should not be considered "always right." They trust us & I trust them. Its their job to find out. I am all about paying a diagnostic fee. NEVER... been charged a "diagnostic fee" for investigating problems while the car is under warranty. help please!!! An hour's diagnostic time up front should have been properly explained and agreed upon. I should not have to pay for someone to not figure out what is wrong with my car. I gave him a free estimate because I knew what was wrong and I wanted to go home. If you're not picking up what the facility is puttin' down-- go! The way I see it I paid them a reasonable fee to diagnose the problem then call me with what it would take to fix it - giving me the option from there. The risk is on them, not me. That way I'm not that much in labor lose. Each manufacturer shall provide each of its dealers with a schedule of compensation to be paid to the dealer for any warranty work or service, including parts, labor, and diagnostic work, required of the dealer by the manufacturer in connection with the manufacturer's products. Use up the whole hour. They didn't give you anything tangible except information. 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. Please follow me Repair Pal on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Autodude46 -The Autodude-. Shops that do only diagnostic work and do not sell parts or repairs may be able to give you an objective opinion about which repairs are necessary. To replace it they ask me for $450, I said no, so they charge me $100, I shocked. Upon arrival, he diagnosed the stove, couldn't repair it. 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. There is no big guy tossing money into the air and laughing. Show of hands here, how many people commenting about how they don't understand diagnostic fees, would know how to do that or even where to start looking? I purchased the 10 year parts and labor Goodcare warranty when the unit was installed. In-Warranty or Out-of-Warranty. Soon they'll be doing the right job for the right price. 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. The rac said it was probably a fuel injector as he hooked it up and it came up with a code which was nothing to do with them , I then started the engine and it was driving fine so Benfield booked it into bmw who done a diagnostics report saying it needed 4 fuel injectors and the nitrogen oxide sensor needed fixed after they done there diagnostics on the car, Benfield sent there warranty assessors . Repairs were done as it was a manufacturing part fail. It may take a few minutes to get info from the computer, but that points us in a certain direction. The starter key doesn't work will and I need to replace all the entire parts to make the starter key turn on the car. Very annoying but nothing that made it undriveable. He posted his "discuss" on Yelp & refused to pay the $129. they thought it was the transmission, they started the paper work to bill my extended warranty & now they realized it still has warranty under VW, now theyre compared the car to another car just like mine & the sound is 'normal' yet the noise i hear on & off no one has heard.....SO WHY am i getting charged for diagnostic? I just need you to put a new thermostat in." You actually think you deserve to interrupt the work day and use the equipment & facilities that someone else is paying for with their hard earned money. Do you check the resistance, hook up your labscope and look at the data packets being sent between computers or do you try to narrow it down by what information is missing on the most modules? And there is NO "consumer friendly" repairman out there that you can trust. You know the difference between a doctor and a technician. A customer dropped his vehicle off at our shop last week. Heh. I need to call again. That is what you are saying when you say "That hour job only took you a half hour!". to diagnose a vehicle. It was immediately towed to the closest Nissan dealership for repairs. For appliance repair: Call us at 1-888-577-4342.We’ll do our best to reschedule a time convenient for you or have your local service unit contact you for rescheduling. Correcting the problem also depends on the knowledge of the person running the scanner to correctly interpert the information. Diagnostic fees are necessary and justified in most cases, last week when my car had a water leak problem I took it into an auto repair shop ( Apex automotive ) in Edmonton and they took almost 1-2 hours for finding leak. If I choose to repair the vehicle EXPERTISE is expected to be included in the hourly labor rate for the repair. From there if I cannot secure diagnostic time--no problem; I tried.. and quite honestly I'll move on to the next car. I don't charge to pull codes. I'm sorry your teachers & parents never told you any of this. Scan tools like any other tool run from cheap junk to extremely pricey, and on scan tools there are yearly updates. @jonelsr - This isn't much different than a doctor providing a cat scan or a dentist taking x-rays. That is NOT my problem. Before accepting the diagnosis, I went back to my car and noticed that the warning light was no longer on. Man was I outraged!! They worked for Chevy, ford and dodge. Me: !@#!@#%!#%!@#!$%!@#$! They will already have the door apart. Ford: "We can't do that without a diagnosis." But anyone who has experienced bad service knows how crucial good service can be. The idiots that think that isn’t worth anything, easy or that an Autozone scan can fix that won’t be coming to my shop anyway. 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). I mean, it's just plugging a cable in.. save yourself $115. Why would you ever be my loyal customer if I don't diagnose your problems for free? 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. I brought it there at the appointment time and turned the truck over to them,3:30 minutes later they mention to me that they can isolate a possible wiring issue related the IMRC coding, wiring issue. The best guy in the house is a valuable commodity and is reserved for working on the more difficult and most profitable job in the house. I will always SCAN a 96 or newer engine light for free and report on the codes. 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. HVAC repairs cost between $150 and $450 on average with most homeowners spending $319 on AC service, and $268 on furnace service. Doctors get to bury their rechecks. I'm actually thinking of getting a unlisted phone number and only deal with known customers or their referrals. I thought the initial article did a good job of a quick explanation, and then I saw that some of the following comments were even better. So in the end, you are paying for a service, along with expensive equipment and personnel training. To the gentleman who wanted Ford to put a thermostat in.. "Time is money, I'm sure that gentleman has heard that phrase befors. I offered to pay the technician for the hour it took him to figure out the issue, and the hour it would take to replace the part. The ambient temperature is in the instrument cluster module as well as the engine computer ( ECM ) but not in the HVAC module. I am lucky to be very busy so I can't afford to diagnose (or attempt to diagnose) things without payment. Big difference. 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). I felt bad cuz if the mechanic did the diagnostic right the first time and actually spent an hour that he was paid on the car, then the customer wouldn't of been charged $1000 extra dollars for his crooked diagnostic and it would have been only the coil pack cost and diagnostic. If after you tell me the thing is wrong and it took you 30 actual labor minutes to diagnose and then I REFUSE service, I think you are justified in charging me the $96. Hopefully I earn a loyal customer from my honesty. 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.