There seems to be a misconception out there that a diagnostic can be performed on a vehicle and it will tell you everything that is wrong with the car. Not only that, but it should take no time at all and should be performed at no charge. I truly wish there was such a piece of equipment that could do that; unfortunately, it doesn’t exist. When it comes to diagnostics there are many different pieces of equipment that can be used. Each diagnostic procedure is based on the symptoms exhibited by the automobile. This means that if the vehicle is overheating, that symptom would be diagnosed. If the engine runs bad, that symptom would be diagnosed. If the Check Engine Light comes on, that symptom would be diagnosed. Each one of these, and all the rest of symptoms I have not mentioned, require different procedures to diagnose and different pieces of equipment. Diagnosing a problem is the first step in repairing a broken vehicle. This does take time, equipment and knowledge. This is where a skilled diagnostic technician comes in handy. We see all too often a person having codes read and parts sold to them based on the code. This is usually not a very effective way to fix a problem and ends up costing more in the long run. At the CARdoctors® of the Antelope Valley we have skilled technicians to diagnose problems. We have a wide variety of equipment to use in diagnosing a problem and we a vast computer database at our disposal to give us the necessary information to properly diagnose and repair a vehicle. Of course, all this equipment and information costs money and the technician performing the diagnosis does not work for free. This is why a quality diagnosis is something that should be paid for.
At the CARdoctors® of the Antelope Valley we understand the frustration of the customer that is trying to get their car fixed and is paying for parts that don’t fix the problem, paying for diagnosing that does not find the problem and repairs that do not fix the problem. Our policy when it comes to paying for diagnosis is that if we can’t tell you what it will take to fix the problem, we will not charge you for diagnostics. If we find the problem and you elect to not fix it, there will be a charge for the time spent to figure out what needs to be done. If we find the problem and you elect to have us fix the vehicle, there will still be a charge for the diagnosis as this is time spent and equipment used. A lot of repair shops will say that if you fix the car with them they won’t charge you for diagnostics. What we usually see in this case is that the diagnostic fee just gets put into the repair cost and the customer is told the diagnostics was free. We are honest about it and tell you up front if there is a charge for diagnosing the problem and how much that will cost in addition to the cost of the repair. We feel that always being honest with our customers is always the best policy.