Automotive

Dealer diagnostic fee, are they really this high?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 23rd, 2018 12:02 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2018
1292 posts
1296 upvotes

Dealer diagnostic fee, are they really this high?

My wifes AC stopped working last summer and it's time to get it fixed as Summer is coming up. We went to the dealership to do deal with a recall and I inquired about checking the AC.
The dealer told me it would require a diagnostic fee of $159+tax, and that the fee is on top of the repair, it would not be deducted if I got the work done. I almost choked.

Does that seem insane to anyone else? Car is a 2007 Honda Civic if that matters
18 replies
Deal Addict
May 17, 2012
2598 posts
1430 upvotes
ontario
Your 1st mistake was going to the dealer for anything outside of warranty or recall work.

Luckily you have not made the 2nd mistake.

Take it to an independent shop.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 6, 2007
6545 posts
2104 upvotes
I called my local Toyota dealership just to see how much it'd be to run a diagnostic for a check engine light. They quoted me $112 + HST and like your situation, it would not be refunded if they did the work.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2018
1292 posts
1296 upvotes
RedStrikeCa wrote: Its an 11 year old car. Time to sell before it becomes a money pit/rust bucket, or just drive with the windows open.
It's an 11 year old Honda with 65k on it. it never gets driven and in 11 years the only thing wrong with it is a broken AC and a recall for an airbag, why would I sell it?
Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
19033 posts
7079 upvotes
Toronto
It's called stealership for a reason. Go to an independent garage and they will not charge you.
Deal Expert
Feb 24, 2007
15065 posts
2649 upvotes
HghSsociety wrote: My wifes AC stopped working last summer and it's time to get it fixed as Summer is coming up. We went to the dealership to do deal with a recall and I inquired about checking the AC.
The dealer told me it would require a diagnostic fee of $159+tax, and that the fee is on top of the repair, it would not be deducted if I got the work done. I almost choked.

Does that seem insane to anyone else? Car is a 2007 Honda Civic if that matters
Not sure where you are located but if you are somewhere in the west end of GTA I can pm you an a/c mechanic who is very reasonable and honest. Depending on the issue with your a/c system, there are certain remedies which can resolve refrigerant leaks.
The new family of 'stop leak" sealents will work on most systems where the leak is not too big. For a car that is eleven years old, I don't think anyone is foolish enough to spend a lot of money on any level of serious repairs.

http://goredangel.com/blog/ac-stop-leak-work/
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jun 20, 2015
647 posts
176 upvotes
Place
I get how they charged for a fee just to check the car, but man... its expensive!

Hopefully you get your A/C fix.
Good luck!
Sr. Member
Dec 10, 2006
599 posts
158 upvotes
carmaster wrote: It's called stealership for a reason. Go to an independent garage and they will not charge you.
Almost all shops charge a diagnostic fee.

The mechanic needs to diagnose what the issue is, determine which parts (if necessary) are required, develop a quote, and present it to the customer for approval. I've never heard of a shop doing this for free.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 13, 2009
21190 posts
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Iqaluit, NU
I just flushed $1250 down the toilet and haven’t solved my car problem yet.

Your $159 diag fee looks pretty good to me right about now.
Re: Procurement, Life & RFD
nasa25: say you won it in a raffle. That's what I do with like 86% of my purchases
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nasa25: lmao
Deal Addict
Jun 8, 2007
1001 posts
293 upvotes
Mississauga
Parts quote for drum brake auto-adjusters at Toyota: two for $120.

Parts quote from RockAuto: two for $8.

Dealerships can go to hell.
Deal Addict
Feb 6, 2011
1708 posts
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carmaster wrote: It's called stealership for a reason. Go to an independent garage and they will not charge you.
No charge? Which garage is this?
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2015
3480 posts
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Toronto, ON
billford wrote: No charge? Which garage is this?
I guess what @carmaster meant was indy shops will not charge you diagnostic fee to look at it. Obviously there's repair/parts/labor fees after when you do fix it.

The dealership's need to maintain their high profile in the public, so their rates are always higher for everything compared to everyone else.
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Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
6448 posts
3464 upvotes
Mississauga
Bleys007 wrote: Parts quote for drum brake auto-adjusters at Toyota: two for $120.

Parts quote from RockAuto: two for $8.

Dealerships can go to hell.
Yep. Replaced the magnetic ride rear struts on my car last year. Dealership wanted $1000 each; Rock Auto was $350.

I try to support local businesses when I can and I understand they need to make money, but that price difference is disgusting.
Deal Addict
Feb 6, 2011
1708 posts
1426 upvotes
lamboman wrote: I guess what @carmaster meant was indy shops will not charge you diagnostic fee to look at it. Obviously there's repair/parts/labor fees after when you do fix it.

The dealership's need to maintain their high profile in the public, so their rates are always higher for everything compared to everyone else.
So, if you have a drivability problem, they will diagnose it, spend a hour or 2 on it, tell you what you need, and you can leave for no charge?
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2015
3480 posts
1801 upvotes
Toronto, ON
billford wrote: So, if you have a drivability problem, they will diagnose it, spend a hour or 2 on it, tell you what you need, and you can leave for no charge?
Basically. Well at least at the place where I take it too.

LKA Auto Repair in Brampton. Very good mechanics but a very busy place. Expect long wait times to get it checked.
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Jr. Member
Nov 13, 2016
145 posts
68 upvotes
My 07 Camry was making some sounds so I took it to the Toyota dealership for diagnostic. The diagnostic charge was $50, and they advised the sound was coming from the tires and recommended to change all for tires at a cost well over $1,000. I went to a local tire shop and got all tires changed including alignment for about $600.
Deal Guru
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Oct 6, 2010
14872 posts
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Toronto
lamboman wrote: Basically. Well at least at the place where I take it too.

LKA Auto Repair in Brampton. Very good mechanics but a very busy place. Expect long wait times to get it checked.
lol, no doubt... Brampton. I drive around Brampton because this one time, I drove through Brampton, and was almost killed 10 times by awesome drivers in about 30mins. Place is a stupid free for all.

Diag fees range from $100-150 IIRC from dealerships. You run of the mill dealers, not exotics.
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10-no joke

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2008
1821 posts
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jsquared21 wrote: My 07 Camry was making some sounds so I took it to the Toyota dealership for diagnostic. The diagnostic charge was $50, and they advised the sound was coming from the tires and recommended to change all for tires at a cost well over $1,000. I went to a local tire shop and got all tires changed including alignment for about $600.

I've actually bought tires from the stealership twice over the past 20 years and have found that they are reasonably price competitive on the actual tires, but they do tend to bend you over on the installation. Are you sure that you are comparing the exact make and model of tire? You can't compare a Michelin from the stealership to a Chinese tire at Walmart.

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