Mechanics don't credit diagnostics towards labor any more?

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IronWing

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Jul 20, 2001
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Mechanics have to cover the cost of the diagnostic equipment and software subscriptions.
 

Bignate603

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Sep 5, 2000
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My mechanic typically charges the book rate for different jobs (book says job is supposed to take X number of hours, multiply that times his hourly rate and you get the cost). It was my understanding that the times shown in the book were just for fixing the problem after they know what it is. Thus, if it takes an hour to figure out the problem, then the book says it will take 3 to fix it you get charged for 4 hours total. However, most of the time I come in knowing what the problem is, so I don't get charged time for diagnostics.
 

coloumb

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Oct 9, 1999
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It's pretty much the same anywhere you take anything to be "diagnosed" to find out what's wrong. TV's, appliances, etc - they have to put food on the table too. :)

Some people don't realize this [or they just plain ignore it] and get very angry when you get charged to diagnose a problem and can't find a solution.
 

BoomerD

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Feb 26, 2006
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Some bigger shops will charge you for diagnostics but deduct that cost from a repair if you have them do it...others want you to pay the full cost of both.
I had a check engine light come on in the Jetta. The local mechanic shop that's done most of the repairs on my European cars wanted to charge $97 to diagnose the problem, then another cost for the repair, depending on what it was.
The VW dealership wanted $120 to diagnose the problem, but would deduct that from the cost of the repair.

I borrowed a code reading tool from my neighbor, (never knew he had one) hooked it up, read the codes, found out it wasn't anything serious, cleared the code with the tool...and it's never come back on. Once upon a time, I did all my own auto repairs, but since I got hurt, I have to have all that simple stuff done in a shop...it really sucks having to pay someone to do things I know HOW to do...but physically CAN'T do anymore.
 

fire400

Diamond Member
Nov 21, 2005
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shop charged me 20 bucks to look at entire suspension.

two hours. that's ten bucks an hour.

can't complain about that.
 

Rifter

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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thats why i do most of my own work. Even though my mechanic is a family friend and doesnt charge me diagnostic time anyways its still cheaper to do yourself.
 

Mike Gayner

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Jan 5, 2007
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shop charged me 20 bucks to look at entire suspension.

two hours. that's ten bucks an hour.

can't complain about that.

What kind of mechanic takes two hours to examine suspension? Even the most thorough inspection shouldn't take more than 30mins, unless he's literally removing struts to inspect them (which I don't see any mechanic doing).
 

cerebusPu

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May 27, 2000
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What kind of mechanic takes two hours to examine suspension? Even the most thorough inspection shouldn't take more than 30mins, unless he's literally removing struts to inspect them (which I don't see any mechanic doing).

maybe the car sat for 1.9 hours and he inspected it for 6 mins. that sounds like an appropriate amount of work for $20.
 
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