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5 Star Auto Spa

When/if To Charge For Diagnostic Charge?!

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Just wanted to get a better feel for other shop owners and how they handle charging for diagnostic work. We classify diagnostic work as anything that the customer comes in to have fixed but does not know what parts need to be replaced. Do you all usually charge a diagnostic fee and then charge a parts and labor fee after you find out what the problem is or do you roll the diagnostic charge into the labor to replace the part if the customer has the work performed at your shop? What do you all classify as diagnostic and what are your charges? We currently have diagnostic charges for under car/under hood starting at $40 or 1/2 hour and electrical/computer diagnostic starting at $80 or 1 hour. Some feedback would be greatly appreciated!


Would you have a diagnostic charge for the following or just the 1.2 hours of labor and parts required to replace the alternator:


Customer comes in and states that there was a large popping noise heard this morning and now she hears a constant smaller popping noise. Our tech figures out that it is the coupler attached to the alternator. He performs an alternator test to verify that the alternator does in fact work properly. The CSA presents this information to the customer and he chooses to replace the entire alternator versus just the coupler.

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