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Jul 18, 2017
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I have been charged for diagnosis, and myself charged for that, and I think that is a legitimate cost as it takes time, skill and often equipment to achieve.
However, I don't think stabbing in the dark by simply changing kit till the problem is resolved is "diagnosis", basically any idiot can do that. Here one IMO should be buying expertise.
No objection to paying for the diagnostic, but it is not exactly labour intensive, however the charge should be reflected on the invoice.

Even with using the diagnostics, the stab in the dark still applies in many cases. LOL!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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No objection to paying for the diagnostic, but it is not exactly labour intensive, however the charge should be reflected on the invoice.

Even with using the diagnostics, the stab in the dark still applies in many cases. LOL!
Dealerships and those independents that use the makers diagnostic software have to pay to use it. This can be an annual charge or a use-by charge. So it is a realistic element of the invoice.
 
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I think it is perfectly fair to charge for a diagnostic check, as others have correctly said, there is a not insignificant cost to the company to purchase the equipment, and the licences needed to access the relevant manufacturer's data bases to enable them to use them, and it does take some time to use them so there is some labour cost involved. But to be charged £90 twice in the same repair visit does in my mind seem unreasonable, and somewhat extortionate.

I have a local independent auto electrician who charges £25 for and ODB scan, but that charge is dropped if the repair work parts and labour cost more than that.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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It took my local Indie less than five minutes to diagnose the failure of glow plug number 5 using his expensive plug in lap top.
I’m trying to understand why a Jeep diagnostic takes one hour🤔🤔.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I would like to thank every one who gave me very valuable information and help regarding the mechanics of a vehicle. Just one last question and it is not mechanical.

To diagnose the fault the dealer connects up a scan machine and the charge for using this diagnostic tool is £90 per hour. The you have the cost of the part and labour. They did this twice for the first visit and again for the second more serious fault.

Can you request the print out from the diagnostic machine as you paid for it? Can you also request a breakdown of the costs as both invoices from the dealership only have a figure showing before VAT and a second figure including VAT? The invoice does not show labour cost and cost of alternator and any consumables.
Yes you can, and I did with my Vauxhall Vectra 3.0V6 twice, but at £110 each time. They diagnosed faulty fuel injectors but missed a fault code stating ignore fuel injectors , as another fault code stated HP fuel filter pump. Luckily I spotted the codes and had The Isuzu fault codes.
Save me a lot of money.
 
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It took my local Indie less than five minutes to diagnose the failure of glow plug number 5 using his expensive plug in lap top.
I’m trying to understand why a Jeep diagnostic takes one hour🤔🤔.
Its nothing to do with the make of vehicle, how long it takes very much depends on what you are looking for. A basic scan to reveal the logged fault codes normally only takes a few minutes, but dealer systems can also access data beneath the codes that can reveal much more granular information, and in some cases you might leave the system connected whilst you make adjustments or replace some parts to check their operation.

Just because you have a particular fault code, its a symptom not necessarily the cause, so you may need to interrogate the system or the actual mechanics further to reveal more clues to get a better picture of what the problem actually is.

As I think I said earlier, the scans are only a tool, not the be all and end all of car diagnostics. It still needs a human to collate all the clues and to formulate a hypothesis about what might be wrong, and then to prove it. Just like the medical profession, they are always "practicing", becasue they'll never be perfect.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I think it is perfectly fair to charge for a diagnostic check, as others have correctly said, there is a not insignificant cost to the company to purchase the equipment, and the licences needed to access the relevant manufacturer's data bases to enable them to use them, and it does take some time to use them so there is some labour cost involved. But to be charged £90 twice in the same repair visit does in my mind seem unreasonable, and somewhat extortionate.

I have a local independent auto electrician who charges £25 for and ODB scan, but that charge is dropped if the repair work parts and labour cost more than that.
Working the invoices backwards I have managed to come up with a breakdown of the invoice. The diagnostic is £75 excl VAT so £90 including VAT and is over and above the cost of the repair. No objection to cost. Comparing with an invocie from our previous Jeep dealer, because we authorised the repair there does not appear to be any change for doing the can as they did the work.

Before dealing with the dealer originally I was given the cost of labour at £90 per hour and that was incl VAT. When they quoted for the alternator plus labour is was definitely without VAT and exclusive of the £90 diagnostic charge however the final bill was all inclusive.

Lesson learnt! Don't believe a dealer and get quote in writing!
 
Jul 18, 2017
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That could be the businesses minimum charge?

As a complete aside; LINK ;)
The last of the three breakdown persons was a qualified mechanic and without using the OBDII tool he diagnosed that the issue was more than likely the alternator by doing a few basic checks.

However I appreciate that the dealer still has to verify as their mechanics are probably not skilled enough to diagnose that type of fault as they rely on computers. Isn't technology wonderful! :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Its nothing to do with the make of vehicle, how long it takes very much depends on what you are looking for. A basic scan to reveal the logged fault codes normally only takes a few minutes, but dealer systems can also access data beneath the codes that can reveal much more granular information, and in some cases you might leave the system connected whilst you make adjustments or replace some parts to check their operation.

Just because you have a particular fault code, its a symptom not necessarily the cause, so you may need to interrogate the system or the actual mechanics further to reveal more clues to get a better picture of what the problem actually is.

As I think I said earlier, the scans are only a tool, not the be all and end all of car diagnostics. It still needs a human to collate all the clues and to formulate a hypothesis about what might be wrong, and then to prove it. Just like the medical profession, they are always "practicing", becasue they'll never be perfect.
We need to differentiate the type of system used.

I fully agree Prof.
A simple code reader can in itself lead one down the garden path. In fact they are no more sophisticated than the dash board warning lights. According to my VW handbook the warning light said the Lamda sensor was faulty. Indie’s one had the full VAG model by model which as said earlier not only listed the basic fault codes but drilled down to the failed No 5 glow plug. It seems , as you suspect, the symptom is not the cause. The basic answer was the Lamda sensor, but only doing its job because the glow plug failure was messing up the emissions.

There is no question of doubt we all know and agree fault code reading in its basic form is only the start. Good Indies have invested in very high tech kit on par with Dealers own. But there is no substitute for a well seasoned experienced technician , who has been there seen it done it
 
Nov 16, 2015
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The last of the three breakdown persons was a qualified mechanic and without using the OBDII tool he diagnosed that the issue was more than likely the alternator by doing a few basic checks.

However I appreciate that the dealer still has to verify as their mechanics are probably not skilled enough to diagnose that type of fault as they rely on computers. Isn't technology wonderful! :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
Please don't underestimate the skills of the mechanics/technitions or engineers. They probably have a system to follow.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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We need to differentiate the type of system used.

I fully agree Prof.
A simple code reader can in itself lead one down the garden path. In fact they are no more sophisticated than the dash board warning lights. According to my VW handbook the warning light said the Lamda sensor was faulty. Indie’s one had the full VAG model by model which as said earlier not only listed the basic fault codes but drilled down to the failed No 5 glow plug. It seems , as you suspect, the symptom is not the cause. The basic answer was the Lamda sensor, but only doing its job because the glow plug failure was messing up the emissions.

There is no question of doubt we all know and agree fault code reading in its basic form is only the start. Good Indies have invested in very high tech kit on par with Dealers own. But there is no substitute for a well seasoned experienced technician , who has been there seen it done it
Question is, why is it always the number 5 glow plug fault?
 
May 7, 2012
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That reminds me of one daughters problem with her Peugeot, which kept cutting out when she was driving and then restarting later. Her mother n laws friend had a garage and failed to find the problem, he took it to the local Ford dealer where his friend worked and they failed to find the fault and they then tried a third garage who could not find the fault. A friend googled the problem and got an answer that it was a loose battery terminal, but my daughter said if that was it the garages would have found it between them.
The next time it happened she rang the AA and the patrol man went straight to it and it was a loose battery terminal. The only thing in defence of the garages is that the car did have a plate over the top of the battery covering the terminals but that is about it.
 
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Please don't underestimate the skills of the mechanics/technicians or engineers. They probably have a system to follow.
The system is to see who can make the most money for the company! :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:

Jokes aside there are some very knowledgeable technicians out there. Finding them is the issue and the nearest Jeep one that we know of is 75 miles from our residence. We normally take the caravan and stay over on a CL nearby while they service or do any repairs on the vehicle. We always get a loan vehicle.

With the Corolla it is only 12 miles and both technicians are highly skilled in Toyota repairs. As we do not have a Toyota that needs to be plugged in I have no idea how they access a more modern Toyota.
 
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Sam Vimes

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As mentioned earlier in this thread, the diagnostics may not indicate the exact fault. Two or more sources of fault can present the same diagnostic code. It then takes skill to dig further to find the root cause.

When we had our Motorhome, the EMU light came on. The diagnostics suggested the Mass Air Flow sensor was duff and it was dully changed. A coupe if days later the light came on again. This time, with the same diagnostics they changed the EMU itself. Problem came back again a couple of days later.

In between time I'd done some digging and found that the 12V supply to the EMU and MAF was in the same line as the reversing light bulb. Also that corrosion around the bulb could cause the 12v to trip when the van was put into reverse.

I suggested that was may be where the problem was as a common factor was the fault only appeared the day after I'd reversed onto the drive way and headed off later.

Sure enough they found that the 12v wire to the reverse bulb was trapped under the body and chassis. Going over a bump in reverse would trip the 12v.

So two expensive units changed, hours wasted but fortunately all under warranty, just for a wiring/assembly problem.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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The system is to see who can make the most money for the company! :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:

Jokes aside there are some very knowledgeable technicians out there. Finding them is the issue and the nearest Jeep one that we know of is 75 miles from our residence. We normally take the caravan and stay over on a CL nearby while they service or do any repairs on the vehicle. We always get a loan vehicle.

With the Corolla is is only 12 miles and both technicians are highly skilled in Toyota repairs. As we do not have a Toyota that needs to be plugged in I have no idea how they access a more modern Toyota.
Friends, in the pub ask me about problems with their cars, motorbikes, etc, I tell them I am more specialised in Sikorsky, Bell, Aerospatiale, and Westland, lawn mowers.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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As mentioned earlier in this thread, the diagnostics may not indicate the exact fault. Two or more sources of fault can present the same diagnostic code. It then takes skill to dig further to find the root cause.

When we had our Motorhome, the EMU light came on. The diagnostics suggested the Mass Air Flow sensor was duff and it was dully changed. A coupe if days later the light came on again. This time, with the same diagnostics they changed the EMU itself. Problem came back again a couple of days later.

In between time I'd done some digging and found that the 12V supply to the EMU and MAF was in the same line as the reversing light bulb. Also that corrosion around the bulb could cause the 12v to trip when the van was put into reverse.

I suggested that was may be where the problem was as a common factor was the fault only appeared the day after I'd reversed onto the drive way and headed off later.

Sure enough they found that the 12v wire to the reverse bulb was trapped under the body and chassis. Going over a bump in reverse would trip the 12v.

So two expensive units changed, hours wasted but fortunately all under warranty, just for a wiring/assembly problem.
Yes a hard one to find that, a friend had a problem starting his "old" Volvo v40 1980 ish. We ( both aircraft engineers) eventually found that the fuse for the heated drivers seat, was also part if the ignition system. It took us two days to find that one.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Car specific forums can be a gold mine of information and more often that not you get the exact cause of the issue! For example the dealer we used recently suggested that to cure the fault P0741 changing the transmission fluid and filter even though the car had done less than 12000 miles since the fluid was changed.

On a Jeep forum someone posted a link relating to the known fault code and nowhere is it suggested that the fluid or filter be changed. Apparently the issue could be with the solenoid or more than likely the wiring. See https://www.700r4transmissionhq.com/p0741-jeep-grand-cherokee/

At the moment the fault code is not showing and the Jeep did not experienced any flats spots for about two weeks prior to it being uplifted to the workshop.

I am wondering if perhaps the solenoid was sticking due to the Jeep being used infrequently since Sept last year, but on our last long trip making it work hard has freed it. Just a guess?
 
Jun 16, 2020
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On a similar topic, but some years ago, an incident happened which reinforced my thinking that some, (too many). Garages just work in the ‘what can we sting the punter for? Mode.

I needed a key reprogramming for my Scorpio. Local Ford dealer said it had to be done with a Ford computer, took a while and would cost £xxx! I tried another Ford main dealer. The mechanic did the reprograming by pressing a sequence of buttons on the key. (He would not show me). It took him seconds. No charge.

Volvo charge about £90 for a diagnostic check. But they will also do any updates at the same time. I think it is included in their service costs, but then their service costs are dear. My non specialist indie is magic on the diagnostics, and gives me answers in a couple of minutes. He also clears out loads of records which are historical but seem to have self cleared. He says that is quite normal. It is more than reading the codes. It is about interpreting them.

John
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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Friends, in the pub ask me about problems with their cars, motorbikes, etc, I tell them I am more specialised in Sikorsky, Bell, Aerospatiale, and Westland, lawn mowers.
Hutch,
Help. Any ideas why there is no voltage coming out of my Genny. Hasn’t been used for 15 years. Got the engine running fine but no AC output at socket. Done all the continuity tests I can think of. Friend has tested the capacitor, charged up to 350 v and discharged. Ok. I’m stumped😥It’s an old Wolf 780w.F1A79B71-EFDC-4534-A156-A8ACCDFC2960.jpeg

9A47AC95-611C-4AB0-8A52-5454583252A8.jpeg
 
Nov 16, 2015
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No fuel going to the carb. , but check the 5 phase discriminator, they tend to go out of sync.
 

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