FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a diagnostic?
In simple terms, a diagnostic is the act of performing tests to figure out the root of your issue with your vehicle. There are
several types of diagnostics:
A regular diagnostic would be a check engine light diagnostic or a diagnostic on common issues (your vehicle is
rattling while in idle, your vehicle is screeching at every 3rd start-up, etc.)
An electrical diagnostic is performed if you have any electrical issues that involve chasing wires.
An evap/emissions diagnostic involves a series of lengthy smoke tests to determine where leaks are stemming from.
This is necessary if your check engine light is on due to an evaporative emissions code.
I can go to O'Reilly's or Autozone and get a FREE diagnostic. Why should I pay YOU for one?
Some shops advertise “free diagnostics.” What they're doing is pulling codes. Pulling codes involves hooking up a smaller,
cheaper, hand-held scanner to vehicles 1996 or newer and telling you what fault codes come up. We, along with just about
any other shop in town, would be happy to do the same for free as well. When you pull fault codes, you're basically pulling
up a generic list of POSSIBLE causes. Fault codes can stem from MANY sources and don't offer a specific diagnosis. We are
NOT in the business of guesswork or throwing unnecessary repairs at your vehicle in hopes that it will fix the issue. We
offer a warranty on all of our work so we are very confident in our diagnostics. We will not perform work based on possible
guesses from fault codes. We use highly sophisticated diagnostic equipment, as well as our own expertise to properly
diagnose the EXACT cause of the check engine light (or rattle, screech or 'weird' hum).
Why am I even being charged a diagnostic fee?
You are being charged a diagnostic fee for the same reason you pay a doctor a fee for an office visit. Diagnostics require a
highly trained individual to take time to check out your vehicle's issues and use their expertise to figure out what is causing
the problem. (Believe us, We WISH we had a magic diag fairy most days!) For regular diagnostics, we only charge for
approximately 45 min of labor time, which we feel is more than fair, as a diagnostic normally carries on much longer than
that (sometimes several hours). Electrical and emissions diagnostics are charged an hour of labor time to reflect the amount
of work it takes to track down the problem in those more complex systems of your vehicle. Every shop has their own way of
dealing with diagnostic fees. Some shops may hide the fee in the price they charge you for the work. Some charge double the
diagnostic fee, then take half off if you opt to perform the work. We like to cut the rubber band and be direct about what
charges will be on your bill.
If I opt to have the work performed at your shop, why don't you drop the diagnostic fee?
In asking us to do this, you're essentially asking us to tell our technicians to clock out, but still perform the work. Our
technicians are highly certified and work hard to maintain up-to-date certifications and expertise in all automotive areas.
They do not prefer to work for free, nor would we ask them to do that. Another way to look at it is this - if you went to a
doctor for a shoulder injury and you were informed you would need surgery to repair it, you would still have to pay for the
office visit, whether you elected to do the surgery or not.
Why do you prefer I drop my car off for diagnostics?
We ALWAYS recommend dropping your vehicle off and allowing us the time it takes to properly figure out what's going on
with it. Unfortunately, we don't have a magical diag fairy (we ask Santa for one for Christmas EVERY year!). Testing
procedures take variable amounts of time. Pacing in front of the shop and calling us for updates several times a day only
distracts us from the process and pulls us away from performing the work. When we are allowed proper diagnostic time, we
can sometimes catch other maintenance issues that might be coming up and check for specific information such as TSB's
(technical service bulletins) that have been put out by the dealerships. That being said, we want you to feel free to
communicate with us regarding repairs and ask questions. Our service advisers and shop managers are top notch and will
communicate with you as information comes to them from the techs. They like to send work estimates to you via email, so
that during phone communication, you have something to visually refer to. We will not abuse your email address by selling
it or bombarding you with senseless, annoying emails.
I had a check engine light on and paid for repairs. Now my check engine light is BACK on! What now?
Cars are nothing more than giant computers mixed with complex machinery. Plain and simple, things go wrong with them.
A check engine light is an indicator that some component of your vehicle is communicating with the on-board computer
that something is not functioning properly. Repairing the source of the check engine light does not guarantee that next year,
or next month, or even next week, something else might break down. In the event that we make repairs and a check engine
light comes back on down the road, please let us know immediately. We will diagnose the light and only charge the
diagnostic fee if it's a new issue. We stand firmly behind our work and our 24,000 miles/24 month warranty.
What is this shop supply charge on my bill?
Supply charges include nuts, bolts, cleaner, fluid, pins, or other small items that are not individually itemized on your
repair order but still cost the shop money.
The other shop didn't charge supply fees AND they dropped the diagnostic fee after work was performed!
More than likely, the shop you went to padded these charges into your bill, which we call “hidden costs.” We would rather
be up front and honest with you and let you know where you're being charged and why.
Do you provide a shuttle?
Unfortunately, we do not provide a shuttle at this time. However, we hope to offer that service in the future as a courtesy to
our customers. If you need a ride somewhere in the near vicinity (less than 5 miles), we will do our best to help you out but
don't always have someone available. It is always best to coordinate a ride before dropping your vehicle off with us, if
Why should I bother scheduling an appointment if I need to drop my car off anyway?
Appointments allow us to gauge our daily workflow and offers your vehicle priority over the drop-offs. If we're expecting
your vehicle, it also provides us with the option of ordering parts ahead of time, cutting down on the time your vehicle will
be in the shop. We make scheduling an appointment easy with our online scheduling tool here:
You can also request estimates for specific repairs here: