Diagnostic Fee

Felix from Miami Diagnostician Posted   Latest   Edited  
Discussion
Driveability
Industry
1999 Acura TL 3.2L (J32A1) 4-spd (B7VA)
Start-Stalling

This case is just to see the importance of educating the customer about paying a fair diagnostic fee. This car came to me with stalling and hard to start issue and he gave me a diagnostic paper from one autopart store P0401. 

So he wants me to change the EGR valve and do a tune up because it was about a year that he changed the spark plugs and other parts so I told him that I can do that. However, I was sure that those things that he wanted me to do don't have anything to do with the problem he has. So I sell him a hour of electrical testing and he agreed. After a few minutes, I told him that what he needed was an ignition switch and he was happy to save some money in parts that he didn't need and thanked me for being honest and professional. And for me, just a nice feeling of doing what I think is right. After all that is the reason we prepare for this moment and we should be paid for what we know for all the hours we spend trying to improve. But I know that the good customers are the ones that value your work and we have to keep educating the others. 

Go easy on me, was my first post. Thank you.

+5

Albin from Leavenworth

 

Diagnostician
 

Good job!! I am always amazed at shops that do not charge a fee for testing. Then again, I see a lot of shops that have no idea about testing other than pull a code and toss a part. I started selling a testing fee about 20 years ago, and its amazing how much money that saves the customer, and how much money it makes the shop and the tech.

Now if this concept is not supported by management, then its a tough road for the tech.

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Felix from Miami

   

Diagnostician
   

Thank you. couldn't agree more 

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Steve from Puyallup

 

Owner/Technician
 

You absolutely need to charge for the diagnostic process. If you were to replace parts based on the customers recommendation and the problem wasn’t fixed the customer would hold you responsible. By properly diagnosing the problem you saved him the cost of unneccessary parts. Great job!

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Felix from Miami

 

Diagnostician
 

Thank you Steve, you are right buddy

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Luis from Lake Forest

 

Technician
 

Great job and yes always get a diag fee for testing. You fixed the start and stall issue by replacing the electrical portion of ignition switch that is very common, even it was a recall back in the days. In regards the P0401 Egr dtc was that present, history, erased by autoparts stored. did you do any testing in regards that DTC, were all monitors complete? is also very common for egr passages getting partially plugged up/ or already plugged up and or valve failure or carbon build up stuck in the bottom of egr valve pintle 

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Felix from Miami

 

Diagnostician
 

Yes I did, and he is coming next week to take care of the P0401, it needs a new egr valve and clean all the passages of the intake manifold, I own a acura mdx 02 and I just did the same job 3 weeks ago.

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Michael from Clinton

 

Mobile Technician
 

I remember this was a hot topic when I was in College back in the 80's. The comment was that it took 15 minutes to change an Oxygen sensor and an hour to diagnose it. At that time, we were moving from the type of diagnostics that you can see to the type that requires testing. In 30 years we have not as an industry taught the customer that our diagnostic time is worth more than our wrenching time. Meanwhile the automotive systems get more and more complex.

Many of us invest our time and money in training. Hours studying on the internet. We buy tools. What do we get for that? We get difficult electrical jobs and 1/2 to 1 hour diagnostic time. Meanwhile the guy next to you goes home and relaxes every night slurps up the gravy all day. He "doesn't know much about electrical".

Technicians that learn electrical and diagnostics should be the highest compensated in the shop. The shops who employ them need to charge appropriately for the high end work that they do. I was in the older part of a dealership a few years ago. This part of the shop was from the late 1970s. There were rates painted on the wall. Shop Labor, $30 per hour. Electrical, $45 per hour. What is electrical work worth now?

+2

William from Ashland

 

Diagnostician
 

I agree! I have tried for years to get my boss to charge a higher diagnostic labor rate to no avail. He will charge more for motorhomes and large trucks, but not diagnostics. He does charge for the time it takes, just not at a higher rate.

+1

Felix from Miami

 

Diagnostician
 

that sucks man , thanks for reading my post

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Felix from Miami

 

Diagnostician
 

Hey Mike,

Well at our shop we charge 1 hour labor for diagnostic and about 1.5 for electrical troubleshoot, not much but fair.

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Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

"Technicians that learn electrical and diagnostics should be the highest compensated in the shop."

You could run for president with just that for a campaign, MC, and every single guy on this site would vote for you!

I am that guy here, btw, but I'm also the only L1 let alone CMAT. And I have more tools than everyone else, including the ESO put together. On the days that there is nothing for me to do, loaning a few suspension or engine tools earns my keep.

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Felix from Miami

 

Diagnostician
 

that’ s right , but let’s keep doing what we really enjoy, learning and trying to fix cars 

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Adrian from Winter Springs

 

Owner/Technician
 

I totally agree and charge for diag work. A large part of the not selling or not being able to sell diag to customers comes from the parts stores. They have used large TV advertising and broad internet advertising that they can diagnose your car in the parking lot. Now we all know thats not actually possible with just a code reader. We can educate select customers, but when the masses have seen large corporate companies explaining that they will do it for free and then they see the obd2 devices with title statements such as "dont get ripped off by your mechanic again" on you tube etc they believe its that simple. Add to that shops that just read a code and change a part and what hope do we have. I would prefer if the parts stores didnt do this and generally really dont buy from them. I explain to the sales reps that they are effectively telling customers that I am ripping them off as it is this part look the print out says so, so why should i buy from them. I believe we as an industry should not be doing business with those that are dumbing down the diagnostic testing skills we learn and practice.

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Felix from Miami

   

Diagnostician
   

I totally agree. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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