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Charge for diagnosis

Should I have to pay a dagnostic fee over and above the parts and labor repair charges if I had the garage do the work? How else would the garage know what needs to be done?

You end up paying it anyway, whether it’s included in the repair cost or broken out as a seperate line item. Many shops now put it down as a seperate line item, others do not. In some shops it depends on the level of the diagnosis. If they hook the vehicle up to specialized equipment the itemize a seperate charge, if they only read the codes or do something simple they don’t bother.

Yes you should because it takes valuable time from a skilled person to diagnose.

Find out what’s wrong, fix it, then I’ll pay you for fixing it but not for finding out what’s wrong.

If that’s how doctors were paid, they’d have some serious motivation for doing a better job!

They could be more creative in billing an lump the diagnosis labor into the repairs labor charge.

It could greatly depend on the time lapse between diag and repair too.

If they don’t know that you’re comming back to them for the repair they will, quite naturaly, charge the diag on that first bill.

If a degree of dis-assembly and re-assembly has to be repeated because of that time lag…you will pay overlapping labor there too.

( you didn’t say what work was done. )

It takes time to diagnosis a problem, don’t you think they should be paid for theit time?

You might spell out the details behind your question but the short answer is yes.
It’s entirely possible to spend 4 hours diagnosing a 20 minute fix so the onus of billing for 20 minutes of labor should not be eaten by the shop or the mechanic; the latter of whom likely works on the flat rate pay system.

People who run shops will usually see someone on a daily basis, or by phone, who have no intention of spending one dime at the shop. They’re simply on a fishing expedition for free diagnostic advice so they can do it themselves, have a buddy do it, or whatever.