Mobile diagnostic costs

Tanner Instructor Wellford, South Carolina Posted   Latest  

If you could have every vehicle diagnosed at your shop for a set cost per vehicle what would that cost be? I’m talking have someone you could call to come to your shop, diagnose the problem vehicle and then you could just pass the work needed on to your technician.

Many of you know that I own a mobile diagnostic business. I notice that many shops prefer to call a hotline like identifix or other service and spend the $35 to have them help their technician. I am all for this as it helps the technician learn. But if you pay $25/hr and it takes the technicians 4-5 hours on the phone back and forth with them to diagnose the vehicle, that added to the $35 you spent equate to about what many mobile diag techs charge per hour.

I’ve spoken with many shops and a lot of them are at the point they just want to do repair and I get that.

So if you are one of those shops or don’t have the ability to have a diagnostic tech, what is an amount per car that you feel would make you say “hey I’m not even going to attempt to go deeper than a code scan just call the mobile guy.”

I am considering setting a rate per car on vehicles under 10 years old that would be enticing for shops to just call in hopes of getting more new vehicles for case studies for several classes I am currently writing.

Your thoughts?

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Phillip Diagnostician
Anchorage, Alaska
Phillip Default
 

Personally I charge 150.00 an hour to the average go to door customer. 100.00 for shops. and 80.00 for shop employees. I am by no means booming with business. No has had a problem about my prices except one person but they wanted me to do a bunch of work for free.

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John Owner
Medford, New York
John Default
 

Tanner, I have plenty of thoughts on this subject. I will keep it short and sweet. Don't be in a race to the bottom to entice shops to call you so you have fodder for case studies. Keep the integrity of your business. Charge appropriately and let the chips fall. Shops will call you and you will have plenty of case study material. Trust me. The shops that think you are too expensive do not…

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Edwin Mobile Technician
Charleston, South Carolina
Edwin Default
 

Well said John. In the twenty five years that I have been a mobile diagnostic tech i have never given a shop a fixed rate. i am a specialist. Im the guy who the shop calls when they are desperate, in a panic state or if they have fired the parts cannon and have run out of ammunition. With the amount of tooling and training i spend each year i am not about to give away my hard work that I have…

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Lane Mobile Technician
Louisville, Kentucky
Lane Default
 

Hey Tanner, Are you currently doing work for any body shops? I personally get quite a bit of late model diagnostics from them. Some of the most interesting actually come from body shops. 100% agree with John's statement. This is something I'm still learning and dealing with in my business. Weeding out the bloodsuckers is hard enough, I don't want to invite them with lower pricing.

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Gerardo Owner
Schaumburg, Illinois
Gerardo Default
 

I’m agree. Sometimes waste time and we don’t have the specific software and you just have a migrain. I had some experience on a pass and I just figured moss off the time was waste. So think on those mobil Diagnostic Mobiles guy and get the opportunity management the job fast.

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Matthew Mobile Technician
Bartlett, Illinois
Matthew Default
 

As for the case studies, I would advise just buying them from people you network with on this site... might be cheaper than dealing with the BS involved with the shops that take you up on the lower price offer. There are a few different customers I have as a mobile tech - I will summarize them below. Bottom feeders - these are the ones that call you to bail them out. When you get to the shop…

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Robert Mobile Technician
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Robert Default
 

Hi Tanner! John Roger's has given you awesome advice. I have been doing this since 2007. When soliciting other businesses you must first set up a repour with them so they can see the value you provide. You must set standards for them to follow. You must explain to them your expectations and also understand their expectations. If they complain about your pricing but still agree to have you do…

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Scott Owner
Moreno Valley, California
Scott Default
 

Hi Tanner, I'd be willing to pay $25. That's what I pay my "A" tech, who in actuality is only a C tech. :-) Seriously, charge what you need to charge to have a profitable and lucrative business. Don't worry about the case studies as there's plenty of interesting things out there. As far as a flat fee, unless I'm misunderstanding you, I would never commit to a flat fee other than the fee to…

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Jim Mobile Technician
Southampton, Pennsylvania
Jim Default
 

Well, before responding to your request, I read all of the other responses, THEY ARE SPOT ON, Listen to them, specially John Rodgers. As Ed Hazzard mentioned, the schooling and tooling alone is what should keep the fee up where it should be. As many know, I basically inherited my mentor's mobile diagnostic business long before it became a "Normal" type of a business which was 90 to 95%…

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Bill Owner/Technician
Jackson, Michigan
Bill Default
 

When we can begin to remove the idea of "menu pricing" from our shops / industry we will all be doing better.....

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Chris Owner/Technician
Martinsville, New Jersey
Chris Default
 

Hey Tanner, I have to agree with what everybody has already said . The case studies can always be found and there are enough guys around that if you let us know your looking for a specific problem or manufacturer we can give you case study info. Please don't sell your services below value, it not only discount your value but hurts us all as a whole. That being said Matthew Shanahan I love what…

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
Rudy Default
 

Flat rate per vehicle? Ouch! From what youve posted here in the past,it seems you're no stranger to diags,why on earth would you set yourself up with a flatrate fee? So many things can go sideways and if you are an "all makes all models" diag tech then you are forever learning and tooling up and that must be accounted for.....

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Albert Owner/Technician
Towanda, Pennsylvania
Albert Default
 

I too am A mobile diagnostic tech and if a shop were to call me I'd charge them $85 per diagnose because some cars have a number issues so I would charge per diagnose.

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Tanner Instructor
Wellford, South Carolina
Tanner Default
 

Thank you everyone for the reply’. I should have explained further. I do not intend to do this for every shop as I would go broke and definitely devalue our knowledge. I am considering doing this for one or possibly two shops that have a large number of new vehicles while trying to get some classes done. The idea would be to get all of the newer vehicles from a couple shops with electrical or…

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Lane Mobile Technician
Louisville, Kentucky
Lane Default
 

Interesting, I see what you're wanting to do now. If you feel comfortable at that rate for them, then why not. Business is about learning and I personally don't see you losing your ass on this. The only issue I see is when a no comm or shorted circuit is presented to you. Are you still going to sit on $100-125 flat? Hope it works out for you.

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Richard Technician
Stony Brook, New York
Richard Default
 

I don't want to speak for a lot of other shops out there, but if I didn't have the fun of diagnosing cars, I would close this business up and find something else to do for a living. Maybe there are lots of places where they don't like that part of the job or are not confident enough to do it, but for me that's the best part of this business. You know, except for the groupies. :)

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Sam Mobile Technician
Flint, Michigan
Sam Default
   

I run a mobile diagnostics and programming business in the Detroit area. It started as a programming business and the diagnostics business came as a necessity. It started small. I probably did not charge accordingly. I was trying to get a feel for the business. We decided from day one that we were not going to be the cheap guys. We are becoming the go to place when the cheap guys fail. We will…

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