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Revelation
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Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:01 pm

God, I hate the trend towards "diagnostic fees". I stopped using one mechanic because he charged $99 USD for every visit to the shop even if he didn't fix anything at all. The paperwork calls it a "level 1 diagnostic fee" and talks about how an ASE approved mechanic uses a diagnostic device to communicate with the car's computer, yada yada. I stopped using that mechanic because of this.

In the old days, "diagnostics" were just part of the fee you paid for each service task they performed. You didn't pay for a "diagnostic fee" to discover your car needed a tune up, you paid for a tune up! Now you walk through the door and you're already $99 or more in the hole.

Yesterday I had no choice because a part failed and I had to use a different local mechanic to get the car running again. Guess what? $129 diagnostic fee! That's more than what I pay to visit a doctor, and any minimum wage idiot can hook up a code reader to the car and look up what it says. $129 is 18 hours of labor at minimum wage. What a rip off!

Around here the trend is 100% clear - they're all doing it, and it isn't going to go away, just like airline baggage fees. I am going to keep looking for a mechanic who doesn't charge a diagnostic fee, but so far, no luck.

What's the trend like around you?
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:14 pm

The Nissan dealer where I had my vehicles serviced until the warranty ran out does not charge any diagnostic fees. Nor does the Chevy/GMC dealer where my youngest is doing his coop (or whatever is it called) and where he will start as an apprentice once he's done with college.
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desertjets
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:43 pm

I believe my mechanic charges a 1/2 hour labor fee for their diagnostic fee ($50 IIRC). Which I believe they waive if they actually perform any service. I had to run into their shop several months back because my car's check engine light came on. Called ahead and they were able to fit me in at lunch time. Took all of 5 minutes to plug in the OBD II scanner and check the code -- which they just ended up clearing for me and didn't charge me a dime. And I don't think any shop should charge for that, especially given that most auto parts stores will do that for free.

Otherwise I don't have an issue with a diagnostic fee if I don't have work done that day on my vehicle. I would have the issue with getting charged $100 bucks to determine my car needs a tune up, plus whatever else the actual service cost. Especially given in this case that diagnostic process took all of 5 minutes.
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moo
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:55 pm

Friend of mine who works at a garage here in the UK says they charge (but waive if work is carried out) a diagnostic fee because of the number of people who come in and expect a full health report (which can take an hour), and then take the car elsewhere for the actual work because the labour rate is cheaper elsewhere but his garage has all the diagnostic tools.

So, they charge a diagnostic fee now, which has driven off quite a few of those sorts of people - they were never getting money from them anyway, so no loss.
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:42 pm

So, you want the mechanic to use his time, tooling, expertise, facilities and experience to diagnose your problem at no cost to you? What's in it for him? The hope that you will have the work done there?

Any place I go, the diagnostic fee is waived if the work is performed there. Maybe you should look for a place like that or try to negotiate it before the diagnostic service is performed.
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:12 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 3):
Friend of mine who works at a garage here in the UK says they charge (but waive if work is carried out) a diagnostic fee because of the number of people who come in and expect a full health report (which can take an hour), and then take the car elsewhere for the actual work because the labour rate is cheaper elsewhere but his garage has all the diagnostic tools.

I can see the point of that. I guess I'm too used to honesty and couldn't imagine that people would do that. In retrospect I know this sounds naive but as I said I'm used to how things were done in the old days.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
So, you want the mechanic to use his time, tooling, expertise, facilities and experience to diagnose your problem at no cost to you? What's in it for him? The hope that you will have the work done there?

I would expect the cost of diagnosing the problem would be included in the cost of fixing the problem. Certainly not $129 to hook up a code reader, with no waiver of the fee if the work is done at that shop.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
Any place I go, the diagnostic fee is waived if the work is performed there. Maybe you should look for a place like that or try to negotiate it before the diagnostic service is performed.

That would be a reasonable policy. The first outfit ($99) would not waive the fee under any circumstance. I did not discuss waiving the fee with second one ($129) because I chose them under duress but wish I had, it's excessive, and now they're just going to lose my business forever because they are gouging me. I don't do confrontation well, I just find somewhere else to take my business. Yes, that too is the way things were done in the old days. You shouldn't have to get into people's faces to get respectful treatment. You don't get a second chance to take advantage of me.
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Ken777
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:50 pm

Car dealer and mechanics invest a chunk of money, especially when it is a dealer who has to buy their brand's products.

Some of the systems can cost a lot and they are going o get a return on their investment so look for a fee, especially when there are customers who get the information and run.

Odd thing is that now Caddy is sending me a monthly email giving me the status of the various systems, highlighting areas that need to have work done. Maybe they have discovered that is it more important to reach out to customers than push them away.
 
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falstaff
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:30 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 5):
I would expect the cost of diagnosing the problem would be included in the cost of fixing the problem. Certainly not $129 to hook up a code reader, with no waiver of the fee if the work is done at that shop.

A lot of people think that a "code reader" solves all of your problems and tells you what is wrong. Most of the time it does no such thing, the mechanic has to look at the data and decide what to do. Looking at codes doesn't not always tell you what a problem really is. I get people all the time brining their car in and telling me they want all their O2 sensors replaced because the guy at Autozone hooked up a reader and saw codes for all of them.. Most of the time all of the O2 sensors will not fail at once and the problem is really a vacuum leak.

I get people all the time who think that all mechanics is use electronics to fix cars these days. Cars have a lot of complex mechanical technology that needs a lot of skill to fix.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 6):
Odd thing is that now Caddy is sending me a monthly email giving me the status of the various systems, highlighting areas that need to have work done

I get the same thing.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
So, you want the mechanic to use his time, tooling, expertise, facilities and experience to diagnose your problem at no cost to you? What's in it for him? The hope that you will have the work done there?

Any place I go, the diagnostic fee is waived if the work is performed there. Maybe you should look for a place like that or try to negotiate it before the diagnostic service is performed.

Some people don't want to pay for a mechanic's time, which is really what you are buying when you have a car fixed. Not all repairs can be diagnosed easily and not all repairs may even be known until teardown. Last year I had a 2009 Mazda 6 come in with an occasional miss. A compression test indicated low compression in number 4 cylinder. A cylinder leakage test found the problem to be leaking intake valves. It took over an hour to diagnose the problem. We knew a valve was bad, but why. What is burned? What is cracked? Was the it a problem with the cylinder head? There was no way to know until it was torn down. Turns out the valve seat was damaged along with the valve. It was an expensive repair and it took a hell of a lot more work than using a scan tool.

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
Around here the trend is 100% clear - they're all doing it, and it isn't going to go away, just like airline baggage fees. I am going to keep looking for a mechanic who doesn't charge a diagnostic fee, but so far, no luck.

A good scan tool is a lot of money. Mine was $4400 dollars. It does a lot more than read codes.

As an ASE Master Automobile Technician I can assure you there is a lot more to fixing cars than using a scan tool. Why would a shop employ some flunkie to just use a scan tool and then have a mechanic do all the work? That is an extra person who isn't needed. .

I really love the people who think that their cars should never break down. When I first got into the business 20 years ago I had a woman come into the shop because her Toyota was not getting heat. I found the thermostat was stuck open and she was all worked up because she said she bought a Toyota because she though they never needed repair. I told her that she needed to check out the service department at the Toyota dealer. I said it would be full of mechanics doing all kinds of jobs.

I recently met a woman who told me that I was wasting my time teaching young people to fix cars because her son in law is a mechanic a the local Chevy dealer and he just fixes cars by reprograming their computers. She said "mechanics don't use tools anymore". I told her than if her son in law said that he was NOT a technician or he was telling you about a very specific aspect of his job. I told her than I buy parts at that dealer frequently and I see mechanics, installing water pumps, brakes, engines, suspension parts, etc; all of which requires tools. She then proceeded to tell me that nobody keeps a car longer than 5 years. I was blown away by a comment that stupid. I said that most independent shops make their living off of cars more than five years old. Sadly that level of ignorance is all over the place.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 5):
Certainly not $129 to hook up a code reader, with no waiver of the fee if the work is done at that shop.

That is high, but there may be more wrong than a simple reading of the codes can figure out.

Mechanics are generally paid flat rate which means that if a job is supposed to take 3 hours they get paid for three hours. If the job actually takes the mechanic four hours they are paid for three hours. If the job ends up taking two and half hours they are paid for three hours. If the mechanic does something for "free" on a car than that mechanic isn't being paid for his time. There is labor involved with diagnosis. Sometimes it's easy and sometimes it isn't. A set fee evens out the cost.
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fr8mech
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:25 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 5):
it's excessive,

Opinion. It's the price he's chosen and the price people are, apparently, willing to pay.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 5):
Yes, that too is the way things were done in the old days.

A lot of things were done differently in the old days. Some good, some bad. Get your own code reader and go in there fore-armed with some information.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 5):
You shouldn't have to get into people's faces to get respectful treatment.

Why get confrontational or in someone's face? Ask what the policy is up front and determine whether it is acceptable to you. If you'restuck, then you're stuck and you're their mercy, so to speak.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 5):
You don't get a second chance to take advantage of me.

As it should be. I've dealt with folks before, out of need, and never done business with them again, because of pricing/service.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 7):
good scan tool is a lot of money. Mine was $4400 dollars. It does a lot more than read codes.

I paid $50 for an interface cable and use an app. The internet helps me through the codes and their meanings. Doesn't mean I'll do the work, but I do have some knowledge of what to expect when I take it in.
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falstaff
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:44 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 8):
I paid $50 for an interface cable and use an app.

I have one of those too, but it really is good for just code reading (PCM only) and some data. The professional grade stuff does a lot more. It is good for simple jobs.

In Michigan a lot of people don't bother to bring a car to a shop for a "check engine " light unless the car is running bad. We have no inspection whatsoever so most people don't care if the light is on for an emission related reason, which is usually the case. A couple of years ago a guy in Missouri asked me what a good price for a catalytic converter replacement was. I told him I didn't have the slightest idea because I never had to buy one. In Michigan we just cut it off and weld a piece of pipe in its place. I remember Superfly once asked me about pricing for a smog pump for his '77 Lincoln. I told him that nobody in Michigan would ever replace such a part.

Sometimes you really need an advanced scan tool if you need to command something on to test it or to check the operation of various modules. A couple of years ago I had a Chevy Trailblazer in for an odd climate control problem. I diagnosed it with a scan tool (reading the HVAC module) It took about a half hour to trace the problem. Sure I just sat there and used a computer, but you have to know what to do and have the tools do it.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 8):
Opinion. It's the price he's chosen and the price people are, apparently, willing to pay.

I have often heard "if the customers aren't complaining about the price you aren't charging enough". I think there is some truth to that.
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LittleFokker
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:21 am

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 8):
Opinion. It's the price he's chosen and the price people are, apparently, willing to pay.
Quoting falstaff (Reply 9):
I have often heard "if the customers aren't complaining about the price you aren't charging enough". I think there is some truth to that.

That's fine except that the auto repair industry is the second worst offender about being able to easily and fairly obtain price quotes for services ahead of time behind the health care industry. Sure, you can probably compare prices easily enough on the introductory, get you in the door oil change, but otherwise, if you have any significant repairs, you don't get to find out how much the job will cost until your car is already half torn apart on the rack. It's the equivalent of a doctor asking a patient in the middle of surgery if they would like to have their spleen removed for an extra $10,000 (not a perfect analogy, but you get what I'm saying). When people already have their car in for repairs, they feel obligated to get the repair done when they see their car up in the air with the wheels removed. They don't feel comfortable driving their car without that repair being complete.

Granted, I'm typing this as I spent an hour this morning and 3 hours yesterday morning having a lousy experience with my car brand's dealership service center. I took my car in for a routine 90k inspection with my car running just fine, and was returned a car that drove terribly (extra noises, vibrations and grinding). Today's "fix" improved the situation somewhat, but I still feel like I have an inferior car to what I had two days ago. $425 to get a car that doesn't run as well as when I brought it in. And after this morning's "fix," I'm not sure if I believe they are capable of returning my car to the condition I once knew.
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:00 am

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
God, I hate the trend towards "diagnostic fees".

Yeah, I mean after all the shop should be working for free right. It is not like they need to pay staff, pay rent and utilities and others. I also really hate it when my doctor charges me too,
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falstaff
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:27 am

Quoting LittleFokker (Reply 10):
if you have any significant repairs, you don't get to find out how much the job will cost until your car is already half torn apart on the rack.

A lot of times the extent of the damage isn't known until somebody takes it apart. Earlier this year I had a Ford Escort that had been overheated a number of times. All indications pointed to a blown head gasket, which I found, but once it was apart I found a sizable crack in the block.

A couple of years ago a guy brought in a Corvette that was using coolant. I found a blown head gasket, but when the heads were checked for cracks one was found to be cracked. The block also had two four inch cracks in the valley. There was no way to see them without tearing down the engine, cleaning it and using magnaflux. The engine had frozen and cracked. The customer wasn't happy, but it was cheaper to buy a good used engine than it was to fix his.

The other thing that happens is people want to fix only one thing, but other things are wrong. I see this a lot with front end repair. People want an alignment but their ball joints are shot so it can't be aligned.
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LittleFokker
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:39 am

Quoting falstaff (Reply 12):
A lot of times the extent of the damage isn't known until somebody takes it apart.

I get that, and I don't know if I would change much about how the auto repair business operates (can't think of better ideas), but my point is that you're fooling yourself if you think prices are what they are because of the free market. It's one of the least free markets in America because the customer doesn't have as much choice as they think do.
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 7:12 am

Quoting desertjets (Reply 2):
Which I believe they waive if they actually perform any service
Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
the diagnostic fee is waived if the work is performed there.

in the end you have to pay. The shop will just roll up the diag fee in the repair. No free lunch.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 12):
A couple of years ago a guy brought in a Corvette that was using coolant. I found a blown head gasket, but when the heads were checked for cracks one was found to be cracked. The block also had two four inch cracks in the valley. There was no way to see them without tearing down the engine, cleaning it and using magnaflux. The engine had frozen and cracked. The customer wasn't happy, but it was cheaper to buy a good used engine than it was to fix his.

If you have a trusted mechanic you can have an agreement that he'll dive into the car and stop, then quote what it will take to repair. Most people want an upfront, not to exceed, quote and that fine but he'll have to quote enough time and parts to be sure to repair and make his money.

The problem is finding a good qualified mechanic. Around here anyone who opens a shop is a mechanic even if he has no formal training and that's ok for simple things but to diag correctly the mechanic needs proper skills and understanding of how a car works. Sounds simple but those skills are engineering skills and not all mechanics have them
 
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:21 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 5):
In retrospect I know this sounds naive but as I said I'm used to how things were done in the old days.

I wouldn't call it naive, but I would say that the market has changed considerably over the years - cars are more reliable, but when work is needed its invariably more complex because the parts are more complex these days. Its no longer a simple case of swapping something out, you may have to calibrate the new part - also fewer generic parts work across vehicles, so there are more parts to carry or source.

The same diagnostic tools also don't necessarily work across all makes of car, which means that garages may need three or four bits of kit, each of which cost them thousands of pounds.

So with less work to carry out, and the work that does need to be done taking longer due to complexity, the market is fairly depressed as it is - where as mechanics used to be seen (perhaps unfairly) as the job that the high school drop out went and did to pick up skills on the job, its now a highly skilled position which needs a lot of specialist training and certification before you can touch a customers car.
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:40 pm

Quoting LittleFokker (Reply 10):
you don't get to find out how much the job will cost until your car is already half torn apart on the rack.

I fix aircraft for a living. Do you know how many times I've pulled a wheel, for a simple change to find that the axle sleeve was damaged? Machines break and sometimes, what is broken is not readily apparent from the symptoms presented.

Quoting LittleFokker (Reply 13):
It's one of the least free markets in America because the customer doesn't have as much choice as they think do.

Of course you have a choice; whether you wish to exercise that choice is up to you.

Quoting mad99 (Reply 14):
The shop will just roll up the diag fee in the repair. No free lunch.

But, it sure does make people feel better, doesn't it?
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:43 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 15):
I wouldn't call it naive, but I would say that the market has changed considerably over the years - cars are more reliable, but when work is needed its invariably more complex because the parts are more complex these days. Its no longer a simple case of swapping something out, you may have to calibrate the new part - also fewer generic parts work across vehicles, so there are more parts to carry or source.

Some cars have parts that are very expensive to buy and or very time consuming to replace. A Cadillac Northstar engine has a starter that is under the intake manifold. It is VERY time consuming to replace and therefore costs a lot. Most owners don't know that and think that the starter should be an easy replacement, like it is on many cars. The VW Touareg requires removal of the engine to replace the starter, the job runs over $2000. I have a buddy who was a service writer at a VW dealer and every time that job had to be done the customer was screaming because they assumed a starter was an easy job.

A water pump on a Ford 3.5 V-6 Taurus (2008) books at 10 hours. People flip out when they find out how much it will cost. Not all cars are like that; a Chevy pickup with a 5.3 can is done in a couple of hours, which is what most people would expect.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 16):
what is broken is not readily apparent from the symptoms presented.

I see that a lot. People bring their car In for a brake repair and I find the wheel bearing destroyed. Or they think they need a simple pad replacement, but they drove until the backing plate ground down and the caliper pistons were cutting into what was left of the rotor.

People are always talking about being scared by drunk drivers and texting driver. I am more freaked out by the number of unsafe cars driving around, many times by people who are educated, employed and have the money to fix them. I have had people drive cars to the shop with NO brakes many times and find out they have been driving around like that for weeks. They slow down with engine braking and slam it into park to stop or use the hand brake, which is today is only certified for holding a parked car.
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moo
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:07 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 17):
A water pump on a Ford 3.5 V-6 Taurus (2008) books at 10 hours. People flip out when they find out how much it will cost. Not all cars are like that; a Chevy pickup with a 5.3 can is done in a couple of hours, which is what most people would expect.

I used to work in IT for a company which handled car maintenance for large car fleets, and had over 500,000 cars on its books (we also had no garages, but a large network of independent garages we put cars into - and we even told those garages how much we would pay them....)

We knew exactly how much to pay the garage for each job, including the labour rate based on how long a particular bit of work was said to take in our database. Garages never complained, so it was spot on.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 17):
I am more freaked out by the number of unsafe cars driving around, many times by people who are educated, employed and have the money to fix them. I have had people drive cars to the shop with NO brakes many times and find out they have been driving around like that for weeks. They slow down with engine braking and slam it into park to stop or use the hand brake, which is today is only certified for holding a parked car.

In the UK all vehicles over 3 years of age are required to have an annual test of roadworthiness (the MoT) - if your car fails the MoT, its not allowed to drive on the public roads (unless you are travelling to a booked MoT test).

These tests are held against your vehicles entry in the DVLA database - its easy to find out if a car is taxed and has a valid MoT, and the police have ANPR cameras tied into this system to catch offenders. If you are caught without a valid MoT, valid insurance or valid taxation, then the vehicle is seized and crushed within 14 days.

Do you not have something similar in the US?
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:38 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 18):
Do you not have something similar in the US?

Some states do, some don't. We used to have a "safety inspection" here, but all it really was, was an emissions test. I seem to recall NY and NJ being more of a safety type inspection. For the life of me, I can't recall what they did in TX.
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moo
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:44 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 19):
Some states do, some don't. We used to have a "safety inspection" here, but all it really was, was an emissions test. I seem to recall NY and NJ being more of a safety type inspection. For the life of me, I can't recall what they did in TX.

Ouch, that and the voluntary limit on insurance coverage in the US would make me scared to be anywhere near a road there  

Re the insurance thing, I'm talking about the fact that you can apparently take out insurance policies which only cover say $1Million of liability for example - in the UK, your entire liability to a third party is always covered, whether its £1 or £100Million. The only decision you can make is whether your cars repair or replacement costs are covered as well.
 
diverted
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:19 pm

I could care less about places charging a diagnostic fee. What gets me is the dealership "administration fee" of anywhere from $500 to $1000 when you buy a vehicle. And they usually claim it's a paperwork/financing/freight/pdi fee, which it isn't at all. The bank if anything, is giving you a kickback, freight/pdi is a seperate charge, and a paperwork fee?

So, I have to pay you for the privilege of giving you tens of thousands of dollars?? Could you imagine if the market charged you an administration fee because you wanted to go pick up some tomatos? Or you go to the bar and they charge you an uncapping fee?

Ludicrous.
 
tommy1808
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:28 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 9):
I remember Superfly once asked me about pricing for a smog pump for his '77 Lincoln. I told him that nobody in Michigan would ever replace such a part.

my first thought: P J's in DeWitt...

Quoting falstaff (Reply 9):
Sometimes you really need an advanced scan tool if you need to command something on to test it or to check the operation of various modules. A couple of years ago I had a Chevy Trailblazer in for an odd climate control problem. I diagnosed it with a scan tool (reading the HVAC module) It took about a half hour to trace the problem. Sure I just sat there and used a computer, but you have to know what to do and have the tools do it.

In the good old times I could do almost everything on my car myself, newer cars, not so much. In a plain mechanical system it's fairly simple to figure put what's not working, with computers between them there is a lot more interpretation involved.
But 99 or 129$ seems a bit excessive, there are still simple read outs that are done in minutes, not everything requires Sherlock at the controls. But then again, maybe they charge rock bottom for the technican hour, so the total bill is reasonable again.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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falstaff
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:19 pm

Quoting diverted (Reply 21):
I could care less about places charging a diagnostic fee. What gets me is the dealership "administration fee" of anywhere from $500 to $1000 when you buy a vehicle

I hate that too. Some call it a documentation fee. The dealership is in the business to sell cars and they already have the people there doing that job. The "Doc" fee is right up there with airlines charging for carry on bags.

I really don't get all of the oddball fees when buying a house, which in in my neighborhood is less than buying most new cars.

Quoting diverted (Reply 21):
Or you go to the bar and they charge you an uncapping fee?

That can happen and it is called a corkage fee.

I belong to an organization that has a craft beer night at the annual convention and the organization is charged a corkage fee by the hotel because we are not using their bar.

Quoting moo (Reply 20):
Ouch, that and the voluntary limit on insurance coverage in the US would make me scared to be anywhere near a road there

Michigan has unlimited coverage and we have the highest insurance fees in the country, which forces 1 in 5 drivers to not carry any insurance at all. In Detroit the monthly insurance premium usually is higher than a new car payment.
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moo
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:34 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 23):
Michigan has unlimited coverage and we have the highest insurance fees in the country, which forces 1 in 5 drivers to not carry any insurance at all. In Detroit the monthly insurance premium usually is higher than a new car payment.

How much?

Fully comprehensive insurance for our Landover Freelander here in the UK is less than $350 a year.

Why is it so expensive in the US?
 
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falstaff
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:56 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 24):
How much?

I pay $2200 a year for my 2014 Cadillac ATS. I don't live in the city of Detroit, where it would be higher. I have the bare minimum on my 1979 Ford F-100 and I pay $600 a year for that. My mother lives in St. Louis, Missouri and pays $600 a year (for full coverage) on a 2015 Mini Cooper.

Quoting moo (Reply 24):
Why is it so expensive in the US?

In Michigan there are lots of people who get lifetime disability from car accidents that are not really disabled. It has become an industry to have lawyers sue insurance carriers to get people their lifetime disability claim. Also health care providers can charge three times as much to auto insurers for injuries than health insurers. For example, if I fall off my ladder cleaning my gutters and break my arm my doctor can't charge my insurance company as much as he would if I broke my arm in a car wreck.

Every time somebody wants to change the system some attorneys and insurance companies wheel out a actual disabled person who is actually benefitting from lifetime disability coverage to drum up sympathy. However far more people abuse the system than are actually helped by it.

Each state has different insurance regulations. Michigan's system, which was claimed to make things cheaper back in 1974, no costs us more than every other state. Greedy lawyers and lazy people have gotten rich off Michigan's no fault insurance system.


The state keeps adding fees for the uninsured motorist fund. One in Five drivers don't have insurance in the state and 1 in 3 in Wayne County, where I live. The law says you have to have it but a lot of people can't afford it or don't want to buy it so they just go without. They can't renew the registration on their cars without it, but a lot of people don't bother with that. There are parts of town where the police don't even enforce that. It isn't uncommon to see license plates that expired years ago driving around in the Detroit area.
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jetstar
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:04 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 19):

Some states do, some don't. We used to have a "safety inspection" here, but all it really was, was an emissions test. I seem to recall NY and NJ being more of a safety type inspection. For the life of me, I can't recall what they did in TX.

Connecticut does not have any safety inspections, just emissions every 2 years, and some of the cars on the roads here are just rolling junk yards, long past their date with the scrappers.

But the police do have a useful weapon if they stop what they feel is an unsafe vehicle, they can order the vehicle to undergo an inspection by a DMV inspector within 10 days and if the owner does not show up for the inspection, the registration is cancelled and if stopped the vehicle will be towed at the owners expense..

JetStar
 
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DL_Mech
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Sat Jul 25, 2015 3:28 am

Quoting falstaff (Reply 17):
Or they think they need a simple pad replacement, but they drove until the backing plate ground down and the caliper pistons were cutting into what was left of the rotor.

Wow!

Quoting falstaff (Reply 17):
I am more freaked out by the number of unsafe cars driving around, many times by people who are educated, employed and have the money to fix them. I have had people drive cars to the shop with NO brakes many times and find out they have been driving around like that for weeks.

My favorite thing about shopping at Walmart is looking at all the bald tires in the parking lot. It is truly scary what people drive around me on the road.
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falstaff
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:24 pm

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 27):
My favorite thing about shopping at Walmart is looking at all the bald tires in the parking lot. It is truly scary what people drive around me on the road.

Those same people then ask me to balance their tires. When I tell them they can't be balanced because the steel belts are showing (sometimes they are through the belts) they tell me they will "think about getting new tires".
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tommy1808
Posts: 12875
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:52 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 28):
they will "think about getting new tires".

here that'll cost them 60 euro plus one point towards losing your license. That makes people think fast....

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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moo
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:00 pm

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 29):
here that'll cost them 60 euro plus one point towards losing your license. That makes people think fast....

And here it gets the vehicle removed from the road, a £100 fine and 3 points on your license.
 
TristarAtLCA
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:12 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 30):
And here it gets the vehicle removed from the road, a £100 fine and 3 points on your license.

And most don't realise its per defective tyre if the police officer decides to report you for prosecution rather than issue a fixed penalty. Four defective tyres could lead to an automatic ban.

My friends son was found to have one of his tyres 0.3 below the limit and got three points and £800 in fines and costs.
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compensateme
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:26 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 25):
In Michigan there are lots of people who get lifetime disability from car accidents that are not really disabled. It has become an industry to have lawyers sue insurance carriers to get people their lifetime disability claim. Also health care providers can charge three times as much to auto insurers for injuries than health insurers. For example, if I fall off my ladder cleaning my gutters and break my arm my doctor can't charge my insurance company as much as he would if I broke my arm in a car wreck.

It goes beyond that. There's people who buy police reports, contact victims, offer them a financial incentive to go to a sleezy clinic that will bill the insurance company $7500 for a 15-minute check-up. It's estimated that these visits have exceeded 10K a year.

The uninsured rate in Detroit is about 2/3, and even if insurance were cheap I doubt it'd drop below 50%.
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Aesma
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Sat Jul 25, 2015 6:53 pm

I have no problem to pay for work, as long as work has actually been done. If a mechanic has spent an hour on my car, I'll pay the hour. If he has spent 5 minutes looking at a screen, that's another story. One of my cars has a computer problem and 3 garages couldn't figure it out, I didn't pay. I just asked Google and the answer is that it's a known bug, I can change the computer (uber expensive) and one day it might bug again. Since the computer does nothing except alert of a overheating engine (that I know is not overheating), I keep it that way.

Now I'm working at a place large enough to have its own inhouse garage, they can even service electric cars, and a colleague is friends with the mechanics so they do my cars during off hours. I can lend a hand which I like.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Auto Repair "Diagnostic Fees"

Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:58 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 25):
I pay $2200 a year for my 2014 Cadillac ATS. I don't live in the city of Detroit, where it would be higher. I have the bare minimum on my 1979 Ford F-100 and I pay $600 a year for that. My mother lives in St. Louis, Missouri and pays $600 a year (for full coverage) on a 2015 Mini Cooper.

And imagine you'd be a youngster. My youngest (19 years old) is about to buy his first vehicle. A 1980 Dodge B250. He was quoted around $4500 per year. So it looks like the van will be registered to me and insured with him as a principal driver. $3270 per year.
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