Car Time – April 2022


If I Tell Them Everything It will Cost Me More

    As a consumer, you may think, “if I tell them everything, it will cost me more” is an accurate statement. And there may have been times this could have been true, at least partially. The reality is, the more information you give your repair/service facility, the easier it is to get good direction about your vehicle’s corrective needs.
    This may be your first experience with whatever issue your vehicle may be having, but a repair/service facility may have seen this symptom dozens of times. Detailing as much information as you can gives us a better direction more quickly, which in turn, can eventually cost less.
    Facilities also have several “on-line” services they subscribe to that have common failure issues listed by system. Again, the more information the better.
    And, even if you give them all you know, it may still require time (i.e., money) to inspect and test for the particular issue. In many cases, this time may be noted as diagnosis or testing time.
    Some repair/service facilities may tell you that this “time” is included with the repair, but make no mistake, you are paying for it somewhere.
    Most technicians in the industry go to hours and hours of classes to keep up with today’s technology, as well as spending thousands of dollars on specialized testing equipment personally in addition to what the facility itself spends on equipment.
    Since those costs (as with doctors) get passed on to customers somehow and somewhere, don’t be fooled by facilities that claim they don’t charge for diagnostics or testing time.
    Reputable facilities always tell their customers up front how much such time will cost to avoid surprises when it comes to paying for services or repairs in the end.
    Remember, that the more information you can give, the easier it is to find the cause of the problem. Conversely, keeping something from them could result in a direction that takes more time (and, yes, more money) to find the answer to the very same issue.
    And for those of you who may think “auto-repair” is easy, think about this for a minute: There is more computing power in most newer vehicles today than there was in the Saturn rocket that sent a man to the moon!

Raymond Kunz can be reached at

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