What’s up with the Diagnostic Fee?

First let’s get to the bottom of what a diagnostic fee is. Just like you go to the Dr. for a diagnosis when you’re sick, you will bring your vehicle into the service center for a diagnosis when it is sick. Diagnosis is simply the process in which a technician diagnoses a problem or issue with your vehicle. This process takes time, knowledge and expertise, and is why service centers charge a diagnostic fee.

One thing to mention about this process is the misconception that we plug your car up to a machine, and within minutes, we get a print out of what is wrong with your car. Wouldn’t that be so simple?! That’s not how it works. On board computers in newer vehicles offer a lot of data, but not the answers. Our technicians have to be able to decipher this data. A malfunction code may show up, but the technicians training, experience and trouble shooting skills are needed to figure out if the code is a symptom or a root problem. A technician will check service bulletins to see if there’s a similar problem with the vehicle model as described by the manufacturer. Tests are performed, and the technician follows a diagnostic path to find the source of the problem with the vehicle. Diagnosis can be the most difficult part of the process.  As vehicle systems are always evolving, technicians are constantly furthering their education, training and upgrading equipment. In the long run, for the customer, it is less expensive than to start replacing parts without getting a proper diagnosis.

I hope that this helps sort it out for you. If you would like to schedule a service appointment for a problem you’ve been having with your vehicle click here or call us at 479.646.8600. Also, don’t forget us for your general maintenance too. We have a coupon for an oil change, tire rotation and a 27 pt vehicle inspection for $29.95 (exceptions apply). Click here to make your appointment using this coupon. If you check in with facebook, foursquare or Google places while your here for your appointment, we will give you a free wash n vac too! Just show your phone to Amanda, Jeremy or Tim when you check in and they will get you taken care of!

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