So you have just dropped off your car at the local repair shop to have them diagnose what is going on with it. It seems that every time you turn on your stereo, your interior lights go into disco mode and it’s driving you crazy. The shop calls you a few hours later and tells you what the problem is and you decide to have it fixed next payday. When you arrive at the shop to pick up your car you are handed a repair bill for the diagnosis labor. Why, you ask, are you being charged when nothing was fixed? Well, the short answer to that is that somebody spent some time on your car to figure out what is wrong with it. That is what you asked them to do wasn’t it? And why shouldn’t they be paid for their time? Your doctor gets paid when he tells you what you already know, you have the flu. You wouldn’t argue with him about his bill and you shouldn’t argue with the repair shop about a perfectly normal charge for labor performed.
Sometimes it is a hard thing to understand and professional mechanics know that. Many service departments employ mechanics that have had many years of technical schooling under their belts and have paid many thousands of dollars for the tools that they use to repair your car. And when you factor in that the shop itself has spent tens of thousands of dollars on specialized equipment, it is easy to realize that they should get paid for every single hour of their diagnostic and repair labor.
When you break it down, it really is cheaper in the long run to have a qualified technician properly diagnose your car instead of just “throwing parts at it” as many people will do in hopes that a fix will soon come. Remember, it takes many years of training and experience to properly diagnose a car. Don’t you want the best diagnosis possible?