Quantcast
Jump to content

One Diagnostics, Two Diagnostics, Three.... the song and dance of diagnostics.


Gonzo

Recommended Posts

One diagnostics, two diagnostics, three

The budget conscience customer at a repair shop asks, “Why do you charge so much for diagnosing a car? The machine does all the work. I’d rather just take my car to one of those places that offer free code checks.” The mechanics answered, “If those “machines” do all the work and those free places can tell you what’s wrong, why are you here?” It’s the typical song and dance of the one diagnostics, two diagnostics, three.

Apparently, I was misinformed as to how or what knowledge is necessary to diagnose the modern car. It seems, to some people, that all you have to do is hook up a scanner and the answer pops out like bread in a toaster. If so, why do most of these folks that head for these free code jockeys, still end up going to next read-code-change-part shops before a “real” mechanic finally figures out the problem?

Of course, you have to consider where this information about diagnostics is coming from. It’s a safe bet that neither captain code reader or his first mate cheap skate customer, have any high opinions that a trained professional mechanic is needed to find out what’s wrong with the land yacht. The opinions vary, but you can basically whittle them down to just three variations especially when it comes to diagnostics.

A – “All mechanics are alike”
B – “Always go with the cheapest mechanic you can find because they all have the same scanners and tools.”
C – Combine A and B.

It’s the term “diagnostics” that has several different meanings too. The charge for the diagnostics is always a question that someone will have, but I’ve never had anyone ask me, “What makes your diagnostics better than the next guys?” Just in case I ever had to answer that question, I’ve divided up this song and dance of diagnostics into three categories. So here goes, diagnostics, and a one, and a two and a three….

1. Be the code commander at one of those “free read” places, and grab your low-end-can’t-do-much-else-but-read-generic-codes and give your interpretation of what the display is telling you after your brief instructional lesson on the use of the tool to an even less informed consumer.

2. Be a code jockey at a more professional shop than your local parts store code commander ever could possibly imagine of being, and grab your high end scanner but only to use it like a code reader.

3. Actually testing the component or system that is coded and determining what the failure is with the aid of a scanner and other various tools of the trade.

The big problem that I see is that some people that have the same misconceptions that all mechanics are equally trained also have mistakenly determined that all scan tools are the same. Code reading is one thing, giving your opinion of the meaning of said code is another. Trying to diagnose by just reading a code is the real problem.

It still surprises me when someone questions the diagnostic fee, or asks, “Now you’re going to take that off the bill if I have the work done right?” Answer that question with a no and you’re liable to see a majority of those type of customers walk out the door. Say yes to the question and you’re into a situation that after you’ve spent time on finding the source of the problem that the estimated repair is going to run more than the customer wants to put into the car, and now they decide not to have the work done. All the time you just spent on the car is lost dollars that you’ll never recover.

I’ve tried it both ways over the years and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m better off getting paid for the use of my scanners, diagnostic charts, meters, scopes, and various other tools needed to perform the correct procedures and tests than I am of letting all my efforts slip out the lobby door.
What’s the solution? Everybody has their own opinion as to what works better. Quite frankly, I think the only way it will ever change is with time. When enough time has passed and less and less repairs can be made without solid and proper diagnostics maybe then it won’t be such a big hassle.

For the here and now, maybe I should offer diagnostics as a “One, and a two, and a three” types of diagnostics. But, I’m no jockey and I’d make a terrible captain so I might offer different code diagnostics but that doesn’t mean I’m going to like it.

As it is now, most everything such as turn signals, engine performance, theft systems and the like all go through more than one computer module. Coding is taking on a whole new era of diagnostics. One thing can lead to two and two can lead to three. That’s where more in-depth diagnostics plays a major part in solving an issue with the modern car more than just read a code.

I wouldn’t put it passed the engineers to monitor balljoint wear with a sensor, or even tie rod ends in the near future either. All those wearable items on a car could eventually be monitored in some form or fashion. Then, when a car comes in for a front end alignment it won’t be so much the technician putting it on the alignment machine right off the bat, they would have to start the diagnostics off with a scanner. There would be less of the customer coming in that tells the mechanic that the last shop said they needed a laundry list of suspension parts when nothing checks bad at the next shop.

For the most part, if you’re reading this and you’re a shop owner or tech you’re probably nodding your head right about now. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Been there, done that.” Yea, “we” know what it takes to diagnose some of these problems but what “we” need to let every consumer know that it takes more than a code jockey or captain code reader to diagnose their car. Diagnostics isn’t as simple as “A one, and a two, and a three”.


View full article

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good one Gonzo, When a customer comes to me with a code someone or themselves have pulled and say they know the problem, I ask them why did they not fix it them selves if they know the problem.. Then I put it in layman's terms as easily as possible for them to understand. I let them know there is a diagnostic charge and that will stick and that my scanner costs a little more than the 19.95 they paid for the one at the parts store and there is a good reason why.

I need to be able to see what all sensors and actuators are doing understand what the computer is seeing and how it is reacting.. I put it to them like this ...

 

A code you pull from the computer is like a number on a door, you open that door then there is a huge hallway lined with doors all with numbers say 50 doors per side, now behind one of those doors is the problem, we can open each door one by one say for 50 bucks each or you can let me diagnose where the problem lies and open just that one door. Which would you like me to do?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes I have heard the story just today as Pat Goss explained on his radio show today why a free diagnostic code reading, usually turns out costing more then if you just would have paid for the diagnostic in the first place. They read the code sell you a part and clear the code and your on your way as a happy customer, but not for long. Then later on your back with the --money light-- on "check engine light" on again, ready to spend more money!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I've tried it both ways... Paid and unpaid. From a mechanic standpoint, paid is the only way to go. But from a business marketing standpoint, there's a benefit to the the "take it off if you get the work done". It's all in #s, and wording. And yes you will need to be creative AND sleesy at times. That's why the marketing way of looking at it solely is hard to do. But I've found a nice in between for MANY scenarios: Mark the repair labor hours up, require customer purchase parts from you in order to get the "free diagnostics"... U make part money, cap the free diagnostic time to 1 hour, or cap on the type of diagnostic (electrical not included, removal of parts not included). All of these worked for me but it's all in the wording. But I'll tell you what works BEST.... Give them something else for FREE that they value in exchange for paying you for diagnostic. Example : FREE towing with paid diagnostic and repair (up to 20 miles radius). I grabbed MANY folk with this one. The tow was $50, my diagnosis started at $85....and i marked up the labor to compensate for the difference.... I win, they pay regular price, car is purring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SKM, This is BEAUTIFUL !

A code you pull from the computer is like a number on a door, you open that door then there is a huge hallway lined with doors all with numbers say 50 doors per side, now behind one of those doors is the problem, we can open each door one by one say for 50 bucks each or you can let me diagnose where the problem lies and open just that one door. Which would you like me to do?I

 

I'll trade you. I tell the customer that my guy "interprets" the codes. If he gets 7 codes, for example, many times he notes that this code caused this one and this code caused this one, therefore you only have 3 codes. He just saved you an oxygen sensor.

 

Your free code reader guy would have sold you an oxygen sensor and then had an excuse ready why that didn't fix it. You ALSO need a ... and maybe a ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

newport5, thanks. I won't go in to it any deeper because is will just become a rant on my behalf about how the industry has really been hurt by free code readings and the lack of trained mechanics along with all the internet "sensations" and back yard mechanics that have given the general public these ideas that there is a machine you hook up to the car and it "tells" you what is wrong along with the code that "tells" you what is wrong. Unfortunately this industry has taken a huge hit by bad information given out by uneducated individuals . It will take a long time if ever for the industry to rebuild from this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.

    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our Partners, NAPA TRACS, AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching, and Today's Class In this groundbreaking episode, shop owner Brin Kline undergoes a first-of-its-kind 360-degree review by his team. The session unveils insights into leadership, stress management, communication, team dynamics, and the importance of training. Through candid discussions, Brin and his team explore opportunities for growth and improvement, highlighting the value of feedback in enhancing leadership skills and business operations. Brin Kline, Shop Owner, Assured Auto Works, Melbourne, FL Carlos Mercado, Lead Technician Matt Cusick, Technician JD Winkler, Service Advisor Jeremy Good, CSR
      Brin's Review Plan (00:02:12) Brin discusses his long-standing plan for a 360-degree review, expressing excitement and nervousness about the process. Initial Employee Feedback (00:05:17) Employees introduce themselves, discuss their roles, and provide initial feedback on Bryn's leadership and communication style. Brin's Leadership and Recognition (00:06:42) Employees share their experiences with Brin's recognition and feedback style, highlighting his quiet but supportive approach. Brin's Problem-Solving and Approachability (00:08:53) Employees discuss Brin's willingness to solve problems and his approachability in addressing their needs. Innovation and Motivation (00:11:01) Employees acknowledge Brin's encouragement of innovation and positive influence on their professional growth and motivation. Direction and Advice (00:12:27) Employees affirm Brin's clear communication about the company's direction and his availability for advice and guidance. Conflict Management (00:14:50) Employees discuss Brin's role in managing conflicts and providing support for resolving issues within the team. Celebration of Wins (00:17:16) Employees share their experiences of celebrating wins as a team, highlighting Bryn's support for acknowledging successes. The small wins (00:18:04) Brin and the team discuss the importance of celebrating small victories in the shop and recognizing the challenges in the automotive industry. Celebrating achievements (00:21:20) The team emphasizes the significance of acknowledging and celebrating achievements, even small ones, in the shop to boost morale. Trust and company culture (00:22:06) The discussion revolves around the high degree of trust within the company and the value of the company's culture. Access to training (00:23:58) Brin's commitment to providing access to training for the team, including support for attending conferences and joining training programs like Toastmasters. Stress management (00:28:26) The team discusses how Brin proactively manages stress within the company and encourages employees to take time for themselves. Opportunities for collaboration (00:34:25) The team shares experiences of collaborating with Bryn to improve customer experience, policies, and procedures, highlighting Brin's encouragement for collaboration in problem-solving and diagnostics. Brin's Reflection on Feedback (00:36:20) Brin reflects on feedback and the importance of long-term thinking and motivation for his team. Brin's Training Approach (00:37:17) Brin discusses his approach to training and empowering his team to make decisions, emphasizing the importance of open communication. Brin's Leadership Improvement (00:38:17) Employees provide feedback on areas where Bryn can improve as a leader, including stress management, setting deadlines, and communication. Brin's Reflection on Employee Feedback (00:44:55) Brin reflects on the feedback received from employees, acknowledging the areas for improvement and expressing gratitude for their input. Brin's Acknowledgment and Praise for Employees (00:49:12) Brin acknowledges and praises his employees for their work, expressing gratitude and trust in their abilities. Thanks to our Partner, NAPA TRACS NAPA TRACS will move your shop into the SMS fast lane with onsite training and six days a week of support and local representation. Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at http://napatracs.com/ Thanks to our Partner, Auto-Fix Auto Shop Coaching Proven Auto Shop Coaching with Results. Over 61 Million in ROI with an Average ROI of 9x. Find Coach Chris Cotton at AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching on the Web at https://autoshopcoaching.com/ Thanks to our Partner, Today's Class Optimize training with Today's Class: In just 5 minutes daily, boost knowledge retention and improve team performance. Find Today's Class on the web at https://www.todaysclass.com/ Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Join Our Private Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734687266778976 -Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/carmcapriotto -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on X (Twitter): https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Visit the Website: https://remarkableresults.biz/ -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections            
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Changing The Industry
      The Basics of Owning An Auto Repair Shop - Advocacy Over Sales in Auto Repair
    • By carmcapriotto
      Matt Fanslow and Chris Jones discuss the similarities between sports and business, focusing on talent development, leadership, and team dynamics. The conversation covers the importance of creating a winning culture, being open to new opportunities, and the impact of long-term thinking versus short-term decisions. They also touch on the role of leadership in fostering a supportive environment and the parallels between a football team's offense and defense with the front and back of the shop in auto repair.
      Show Notes
      The parallels between sports and business (00:00:40)  Mark Cuban's practicality and work ethic (00:01:11)  Examples of underestimated talent in sports (00:11:13)  The importance of work environment (00:15:42)  Players leaving toxic environments (00:17:19)  Players restructuring contracts (00:18:39) Finding talent beyond high draft picks (00:22:21)  Building a winning culture (00:26:00)  Isaiah Thomas and the New York Knicks (00:32:13)  Aging Player Syndrome (00:34:35)  Creating an Environment for Talent to Succeed (00:35:52)  Impact of Compensation Structure (00:37:15)  Respect for Time and Collaboration (00:39:28)  Leadership and Culture in Sports and Business (00:40:37)  Cultural Impact of Key Players (00:43:24)  Leadership and Passion for Winning (00:47:42)  The comparison between football and shop management (00:48:25)  Managing and improving shop performance (00:50:36)  Evaluating talent and maintaining a positive culture (00:54:51)  The role of the coach in shaping the team's culture (00:58:45)  The intense competitiveness and dedication of Michael Jordan (01:03:05) Draymond Green's Incident (01:05:17)  Warriors Culture (01:06:32) Durant's Leadership (01:07:30)   
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Autotech napaautotech.com
       
      Email Matt: [email protected]
      Diagnosing the Aftermarket A - Z YouTube Channel HERE
      Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com/
       
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Thank you to our friends at RepairPal for providing you this episode. As shop owners we were part of RepairPal’s Certified network and you can learn more at RepairPal.com/shops.
      Show Notes
      What do you think has been the most significant change in marketing for auto repair shops over the last decade? How do you anticipate the rise of electric vehicles will change the marketing needs of auto repair shops? What's a common marketing mistake you see auto repair shops make and how can they avoid it? With the evolution of social media, which platforms do you find most effective for auto repair shop marketing today? How important is content marketing for auto repair shops, and what kind of content do you find resonates best with their customers? Looking ahead, what emerging marketing technologies or strategies do you believe will become crucial for auto repair shops in the next few years? How can auto repair shops differentiate themselves in a crowded market through their marketing efforts? What role do you see AI and automation playing in the future of marketing for auto repair shops? What's the most underrated marketing tactic that auto repair shops should pay more attention to? How can auto repair shops leverage local SEO to their advantage? In what ways do you think customer expectations from auto repair shops have evolved and how should marketing strategies adapt? What advice would you give to a new auto repair shop about setting up their marketing strategy for the first time? How do you see the role of customer reviews and online reputation management evolving in the marketing strategies for auto repair shops? Can you predict any major shifts in the auto repair industry that might necessitate changes in how shops market themselves?  
      How To Get In Touch
       
      Group - Auto Repair Marketing Mastermind
      Website - shopmarketingpros.com 
      Facebook - facebook.com/shopmarketingpros 
      Get the Book - shopmarketingpros.com/book
      Instagram - @shopmarketingpros 
      Questions/Ideas - [email protected]
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio


  • Our Sponsors










×
×
  • Create New...