Friday, April 7, 2017


It seems to me that on a daily basis, I get a client who at whatever age, they still believe in the tooth fairy. How do I know that you ask?

It's about people thinking that other people, not themselves, will work for free.

On a really busy day, with all the bays full and all the technicians working as efficiently as possible, a client proceeded to educate me on the merits of "free diagnosis"

 You see he said, other shops don't charge for diagnosis, if I have the work done they recommend, they will waive "diagnostic fees" and you should do the same. Maybe then you will be more successful!
Mind you, this is the same guy who bought a new BMW and told me they had given him free oil changes for the length of the warranty. I tried to explain then, he merely had prepaid for those oil changes. He didn't believe me then either.

But that really got me going!  I proceeded to explain that the most important thing about a successful repair is the diagnostic work. I explained that you can do the best work on a missed diagnosis and the ensuing result is going to be a failure, always. You can't fix an engine misfire by having diagnosed it as failed suspension shocks

Backtrack to the beginning of this exchange.

2006 "Corvette" comes in with a mysterious intermittent squeek, It only happens at slow speed of 15-25 mph and the vehicle has to be under some kind of load. Difficult at best to try and recreate in the shop, you also need two people in the vehicle as one drives and the other tries to locate the ever so faint source of the noise.

It took about 3 man hours to find the source, it turned out to be coming from the drive line area. We explained we would have to remove it for further inspection. Gave him a quote to inspect and he agreed.

Once we removed the components and inspected, we gave him a quote for all the necessary parts and the labor to fix. He agreed again. That's when all the problems begun!

-you are not going to charge me for the testing time are you? After all, you get to do the work and you are still charging me for that. Besides, I saw how somebody else had a similar problem on you tube, if you had started with that, you wouldn't have spent so much time.

Sir, if I had started with that, as you say, and then ask you to pay me for 10 hours of work to remove the transmission for further access, based on a you tube video, do you think you'd be willing to do that?

-No! I'd want to be sure that if I was to spend that money, the problem would be in the area you pointed. I certainty wouldn't want to spend all that money on a guess, do you think I'm nuts?

Bite my tong,,,,,, silence,,,,

We now have two diagnostic choices, and they are:

1) The you tube way, no charge to test, goes documented as "owner request"
No shop responsibility if it does not produce the results the owner intended.

2) We test and it's a separate line item from the repair. We guaranty the correctness of  answer.

So! which one will it be this time Sir?

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