1. Welcome to the new home for MySportTrac.com!

    Please click here to find all the info about the move to the new site!

    To access your account you will need to reset your password here

Rant - Dealer Service Diagnostic Fees

Thread in 'Rants' started by Thomas Rogers, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. Thomas Rogers

    Thomas Rogers Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

    Messages:
    11,336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Sellersville, PA
    My son found out just how good a "warranty" is. His limited warranty for his "new to him" 2001 Sunfire didn't cover the Emissions Evaporator Purge Solenoid. The part and labor to fix wasn't that high, but the diagnostics fee alone was still almost $90.



    My question: Given that this presented itself as a "Check Engine" warning, can't I assume that the ODB II once hooked into probably told the service tech exactly the problem? If so, the $90 diag seems high to me, but then that's why they call them "stealers" not dealers.



    I took the car to the dealer service center because of the warranty. Guess that was my first mistake. Better to know what you are dealing with first.



    Next time with a CEL we goto Autozone first. I suspect they could have read the computer, told me the likely cause, and if not a warranty covered item, sold me the part cheaper and I could have installed it myself. Live and learn (actually, from this board I already knew this).



    The "stealer" was nice enough to go "halfsies" with us (50% off) on the entire repair bill: $90. Like I said...half the total cost was diag. Rip-off if you ask me.



    But I think the part could have be purchased from Autozone for probably around $20, with a gratis CEL diag.



    Argh!



    TJR
     
  2. EddieS'04

    EddieS'04 Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner 2 Wheel Drive V6 Engine

    Messages:
    16,964
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena, TX
    That is odd. Most dealers and shops wave that fee if they do the work. Warranty or not. I think I would have a talk with the Gen-manager...
     
  3. Doctor CAD

    Doctor CAD Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Location:
    Greenwood, SC
    So you want them to do the diagnostic for free?



    They spent 2 hours chasing down the bad part and someone had to pay the guy for those 2 hours.



    OBD is only a starting point, it may not tell you the EXACT part that has failed, but it can tell you what sensor has a bad signal. Its up to a PAID tech to find the bad part.



    Don't go to a dealer next time if you don't want to pay.
     
  4. Alan Peters

    Alan Peters Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

    Messages:
    1,149
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    Location:
    Troy, MI
    The experience I've had with either GM or Ford is if you choose them to replace the parts, they will wave the diag fee. But if you have them tell you whats wrong and you decide to make the repair on your own, they charge you the diag fee.
     
  5. Scott Tanner

    Scott Tanner Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

    Messages:
    1,148
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2003
    Location:
    Marcellus, NY
    is it over 100,000 miles? if not, by law it should be 100% covered, IIRC...
     
  6. Dre L

    Dre L Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

    Messages:
    1,856
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    I 2nd STanner's comment, and Big Al's.



     
  7. Roger Batts

    Roger Batts Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner

    Messages:
    1,351
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    Garland, TX
    To add to what Doctorcad said, when you go to the doctor, do you argue about paying your copay when you go to the doctor even though you have insurance? Granted, your copays usually aren't as much as a diagnostic fee or your warranty deductible, but a technician is the equivalent of your vehicle's physician.
     
  8. gary s

    gary s Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

    Messages:
    5,298
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    long island, NY
    all good points. and as mentioned, most dealers & independent shops waive the diag fee if they repair it.

    i have very good service from the toy dealer i use. on a few occasions, they even have repaired items out of warranty at no charge.

    my experience with "import" dealers is that strive to provide 100% customer satisfaction.
     
  9. Thomas Rogers

    Thomas Rogers Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

    Messages:
    11,336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Sellersville, PA
    STanner,



    What law requires that part (is it all emissions parts?) to be replaced under 100k miles? The car in question has 57k miles.





    Doctorcad,



    I really, really doubt they spent two hours chasing down a bad part. Around here $90 is the standard diag fee, with the diag takes 5 minutes or 5 hours. My hunch is that given ODB II that the failed part in question was "told to them" in a matter of minutes.





    All,



    I've never had a shop waive a diag fee if they do repairs. Frankly, I've even had shops try to charge a diag fee when I told them exactly what was wrong...and that was in fact what they diagnosed to be wrong.





    TJR
     
  10. Mike Yatkowitz

    Mike Yatkowitz Active Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Location:
    Monroe TSP., NJ
    FYI All emissions should be covered under 8 80. 8 years or 80,000 miles. There are always exceptions.
     
  11. scott degroot

    scott degroot Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

    Messages:
    2,355
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Location:
    chandler, az
    I find it amusing how many people think that you plug the scanner in and violla it tells you what the problem is. Isn't that the reason the parts places in CA aren't allowed to scan cars anymore because the parts they sold never fixed the car "but the scanner said that it was bad"





    Federal emissions warranty is 8 years or 80,000 miles AND DOES NOT COVER EVERY EMISSION RELATED COMPONENT ON THE CAR...the purge valve is not a covered part.





    Why do people always want their car looked at for free?? Do I go to your work and demand that you do your job for me without getting paid...I would never think about it but it's ok for people to expect that of me.



     
  12. Tom Schindler

    Tom Schindler Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

    Messages:
    13,973
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 30, 2002
    Location:
    Akron, OH


    Does a dentist charge you a "diagnostic fee" to tell you that you have a cavity? Does a grocery store charge you a fee to ring you out?



    I have no issue with a shop charging me to "look at my car". No problem. Then the nerve to charge me "labor" to fix the problem, and then some BS "Shop supply" fee.



    If I want you "telling me what is wrong", so be it. You charge me for doing a job. I pay the fee and I leave.



    To charge me a diagnostic fee to fix my car then charge me more to fix it and then charge me EXTRA to use supplies REQUIRED to perform the job is a crime, or at least should be.



    The dentist does not charge me "extra" for the little bib they stick on me, the tools to clean my teeth and then the squirt of mouthwash to rinse after they are finished.



    The shop supplies are "part of doing business".



    That is the reason I fix my vehicles myself. Not to mention I get the job fixed the right way.



    A guy at work has a Dodge Ram with a 318. He is getting an engine stumble at low RPM's while slowly accellerating. He replaced the TPS, but it didn't fix the issue. Dealer calls him, "the TPS is bad". He tells them that it was replaced. They replace it anyways and claim it runs better. They also claimed the IAC vave was bad and needed replaced. A couple hundred dollars later, they tell him it is fixed. He pickes it up and drives home. Off to work he goes. ISSUE IS STILL THERE! He is taking it back in tomorrow. I told him I would demand a refund since the repair did not do squat. I should not be required to pay for your R&R BS. He could do that himself. I expect them to tell him he needs to buy a new engine and computer.



    This was at a Dodge dealer and not some backyard mechanic.





    Tom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2009
  13. Dre L

    Dre L Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

    Messages:
    1,856
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    I'm starting to wonder if this is a problem in the phrasing of things.



    Around here "labor" is $175/hr at the dealer, $125 at some shops, and clearly posted. The cost of doing business is obviously in there. You only pay the diagnostic fee if you have them troubleshoot, then don't allow them to complete repairs. They generally charge you about $100 for that, which is pretty much a ballpark diagnostic fee in these parts.



    Now if other shops post $50/hr labor, then tag on an additional diagnostic fee at the last minute, that's shady and should probably go to the BBB. They should have put it up front on your quote, or repair authorization before any work was done.



    I love how mechanics think they're the only ones being taken advantage of. People try to get services free all the time from anyone. Do you think it is any different for a doctor, or a lawyer, or a computer tech? Anyone who has what someone else needs is subject to being asked for a "hook up". Sometimes mechs give a little courtesy and gain a customer, then there's the other guy.



    Some customers are defensive because of all the crappy mechanics who've tried ripping them off in the past. I stopped by a shop the other day where the guy wanted me to wait 3 hours and pay $279.75 to install 4 shocks in the Trac (I brought the shocks). Then I asked him if he was going to bother finding out what kind of vehicle I had for a more accurate quote. They were in the business of upselling parts, as the customer behind me was surfing the web and asking them why they wanted $1300 for a part that lists at $400. So a few of us walked out once we saw what was happening.



    I remember my $3000 estimate one time for an alternator. I told the writer it was a bad alternator. "How do you know?" I explained symptoms. He hooked up a multimeter, and confirmed bad alternator. "Cust. states car died on highway. Gauges acting flaky. All dash warning lights like CEL and GEN lit up. Battery died, jump start would not keep car running. Alternator test failed."



    2 days later... the estimate.

    New gauges. New battery. New Alternator. New wiring to CEL and GEN sensors. New sensors. Oh and your rear brake shoes need replacing.





    Another occasion:



    Mech: "Your vehicle failed inspection for bad shocks."

    Me: "They're under warranty at Midas, I have to go there to replace them."

    Mech: "Well your brakes are bad also."

    Me:"Midas did those too, last month."

    Mech:"Tires are worn?"

    Me:They're brand new."

    Mech:"I'll pass you this time, but you have to promise to get those things taken care of."





    It's gotten to the point I know when I'm about to get worked over. Usually I walk, sometimes I give them a little rope if I need something on the spot.



    Auto repair is an industry that needs a major overhaul as far as I'm concerned. For every good mechanic, there are 10 $h!tty ones out there that can't even change a spark plug. Same with the doctors, lawyers, computer techs, and bartenders. Just an influx of crappy workers in the past 15 years or so, with crappy corporations, with crappy ideas.



    edit: forgot about tire shops. $99 tire ad, $35 in installation fees... Just tell me the f'n tire is $134 installed. This is why I get my tires at the place that says "1 tire, $145, installed, lifetime balance, 3/36 road hazard, lifetime rotation, INCLUDED".



    I hate bait and small print. "Well since you're here already..." F that, I'll drive 90 miles to another shop to not do business with your shady @$$.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2009
  14. Thomas Rogers

    Thomas Rogers Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

    Messages:
    11,336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Sellersville, PA
    All,



    An update....



    I looked much more closely at the statement. The fee was $86 for "Emission system test and trouble-shoot"...



    I read that fast and figured it was the regular "Diagnostics Fee" that most shops around here charge a stock $80. I said $90 above, I know, but most around here charge around that amount.



    This still sounds like a diagnostics fee to me, but wasn't actually called "diagnostics fee." Yes, it does sound like work done to figure out the problem given a general indication of an emissions issue.



    P.S. The car is 8 years old (a 2001).



    TJR
     
  15. scott degroot

    scott degroot Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

    Messages:
    2,355
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Location:
    chandler, az


    Every one I have ever been to does. You don't just walk in the door and open your mouth and they tell what is going on without paying them money do you??







    So if I were to charge you a half hour of labor to go through your fuel pump circuit(which is what I would charge) and we find out you have a bad in tank fuel pump you expect me to replace the fuel pump for a half hours labor. Or what about replacing some injectors that are under the intake manifold but can be 100% tested at the wiring harness that is very accessible in the engine bay. Just because I can test the parts doesn't mean that I can get to them.





    I have no issues with that, but when the customer puts on an inferior part or messes it up while doing so and causes the problem to still occur they have no right to complain to me.







    Yes they do, you just never see the itemized bill that gets sent to the insurance co





    This has got nothing to do with pricing. Your friend needs to find a good mechanic. You wouldn't hire a contractor without references would you?? Why take your car to a stranger. I think just about everyone here has been around long enough to have found a good mechanic that they can trust by now.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2009
  16. Tom Schindler

    Tom Schindler Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

    Messages:
    13,973
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 30, 2002
    Location:
    Akron, OH


    I wasn't aware that I was an insurance company.



    On a side note...My sister is a dental hygenist. The reason dentists charge things they way they do is because insurance companies make them break it down. I do not have dental insurance. I do not get an itemized bill. I walk in, get my teeth cleaned, they tell me a total , I pay it, and I leave. My bill says "Teeth cleaning". No environmental fee (I am sure this is a state fee and is not your choice), no "shop supplies".



    2 rules I have when buying a car...



    1, I WILL NOT pay a documentation fee. I will not pay someone to "check me out". Don't agree with me? I wont buy a car from you!



    2, I WILL NOT pay any extra's like "dealer prep". That is like a store charging me extra to stock the shelves. I should be paying that in the cost of the item I purchase and not an "extra charge".





    I expect you to fix it in an honest amount of time.



    I know how "flat rate" works. Trust me, even a mediocre mechanic makes money hand over fist. An old friend of mine was a certified Jeep/Chrysler mechanic. An average day hours for him only working 8 hours, was over 12. He was making $17.00/hr at that time. So, on average, he was making about $25.00/hr over 10 years ago.



    I know many of the tricks mechanics do. Double charging for a job. You know, replace water pump and then charging for labor to replace the belt too. All the same job. They charge twice to do one job.





    Tom
     
  17. scott degroot

    scott degroot Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

    Messages:
    2,355
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Location:
    chandler, az


    So would it be better if we broke it down so you can see everything involved in the repair of a car. Lets start by charging you 1 hour for diagnostics, lets take that money and deduct for paying the mechanic to look at your car, the parts guy to look up and price the appropriate parts for your vehicle, the service writer to put together an estimate, the shop insurance, the utilities, employee benefits, and let's not forget the little extras like beverages in the waiting room or perhaps the customer shuttle so you can get to work if you need oh and last but not least our dear friends at the federal, state and local need theirs also. And then after all is said and done and you pay for it all...which you will either put on a credit card or use your debit card we can deduct 3% that I have to pay so you can use said card at my establishment...or do you actually expect us to do it all for free and give you a 12 month 15,000 mile warranty on top of it all







    I'm sorry that you know dishonest mechanics or worse yet owners of shops that allow this to happen.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2009
  18. Jeff Jolley

    Jeff Jolley Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

    Messages:
    641
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Location:
    Winter Garden , FL
    I find it totally hilarious some of the coments people have about what they are charged to have a service provided for them that they either do not have the knowledge to perform or just plain do not want to do.



    The best comments usually come from people that have never owned a business and have never had to cover overhead, payroll, liability and worker's comp insurance, EPA fees, or hazardous waste removal, etc.



    If you take your vehicle to a shop be prepared to pay it's that simple. If the owners of that business have the shop open then it is costing them money, the mechanic that is looking at your vehicle is costing them money. Why should they pay you to bring your vehicle to their shop? If you ask for free service that is what you are asking them to do.



    Vehicles and other items these days are so itricate that they require specialized equipment and specialized training and all of this cost money.



    Now, if you take your vehicle to a shop that takes advantage of you then you didn't do your homework and check them out first. :)



     
  19. Thomas Rogers

    Thomas Rogers Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

    Messages:
    11,336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Sellersville, PA
    AdrnlnRush,



    I don't mind paying for a service rendered. I couldn't have done this service myself. I also appreciate that the dealer only charged my son (since it is his car) 1/2 the total bill. But still, I have a general gripe (not for this dealer, but in general) for diagnostic fees (I have several bad experiences with them from other dealers) and a general issue with warranties that don't actually cover anything that might likely go wrong (or should I say the things that go wrong for me).



    Frankly, I'm just sick and tired of crap service. I'm sick and tired of a sales guy selling a car with with 3 month warranty and playing up how buying from them makes for a carefree, cost free experience during the warranty...but then having to pay out of pocket with less than one month owning the car.



    I hate showing up to the doctor's office, on time, for my appointment only to wait over 1 hour after my appointment time to see the doctor. I think I should be able to charge the doctor my hourly rate when he (or she does that).



    I don't think I expect too much. Just good service, and not to be bent over at every turn.



    TJR
     
  20. scott degroot

    scott degroot Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

    Messages:
    2,355
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Location:
    chandler, az


    I think that's all any of us ever want, unfortunately these days it's all about buyer/consumer beware, if your not on your A-game then you will be taken advantage of...sad but true.



     

Share This Page