Diagnosing the Problem
Diagnostics and its associated cost can be a difficult thing to accept when trying to get your car fixed. Why? Diagnosis is usually not tangible – you can’t touch it. You can however own a diagnosis because it’s information that you paid for – specific information about what’s wrong with your vehicle. Once you own a specific diagnosis then, and only then, can the path to correcting the problem be formulated. Diagnostics is know in some circles as Root Cause Analysis or RCA.
How can Colchin Automotive “diagnose” my vehicle’s problem?
At Colchin Automotive, we have the tools, training, experience and technology to expertly handle a wide array of diagnostic issues, such as a Check Engine light. Performing a complete diagnostic is key to accurately assessing your vehicle’s problem. This saves you time, frustration and, most importantly, money.
You might be asking yourself the question “If I spend money to have a diagnostic done then how is that going to save money?” This is a valid and fair question.
The very purpose or intent of a diagnostic is to end with a “diagnosis” – a conclusion – a root cause – a final decision – a path to follow.
There are thousands of parts and a myriad of systems in today’s vehicles. When problems arise it is completely impractical, if not impossible, to begin guessing which part or parts need to be replaced to correct any particular problem. As you are beginning to see by now, your money is best spent on diagnostics. Proper diagnostics expedites the repair process which will save you money in the end.
Why Do I Have To Pay For A Diagnosis?
As explained above, diagnostics has become a necessary component to properly and efficiently correct vehicle problems. Diagnostics requires time and, in some cases, significant amounts of time. On a pure mechanical level you can compare automotive diagnostic processes to that of the medical industry. When you go to your doctor the first thing you’re going to pay for is a diagnosis and rightfully so. Diagnostics is the most important phase because without it all bets are off.
Here’s a list of what you get when you invest in an automotive diagnostic performed by Colchin Auto;
- Knowledge of vehicle systems
- Training / continuing education
- Intuitive and critical thinking skill
- Tools and equipment
- Data base access
- Warranty – 2 years / 24,000 miles
How Much Should A Vehicle Diagnostic Cost?
This question can be answered but must be qualified first. The very nature of diagnostics is making the “unknown” – known.
- What is the nature of the problem we are diagnosing?
- Does it occur constantly?
- Is it intermittent? If yes how often does it show up?
- Is it intermittent but easily replicated?
- Is it intermittent and only occurs infrequently?
- Is it engine or transmission related?
- Is it a noise, clunk, rattle or squeak?
Well, you see where I’m going, there are many variations and types of diagnostics.
The best approach to estimating diagnostics we’ve found is to break the process and cost up into phases or quadrants. What this does is put a finite dollar amount on each phase of the diagnostic. Each phase contains valuable steps and tests that will be executed for that dollar amount.
You want to know what you are paying for as a consumer – are you buying a can full of hot air or are you buying valuable information?
- 96 percent of all our diagnostic processes cost $75 to $125
- 3 percent of diagnostics at Colchin Auto cost $125 to $220
- Just 1 percent of the cases go big – up to $500
This gives you a good idea of your financial exposure when your vehicle needs to be diagnosed.
Please know that we want nothing more than to get to the root of your vehicle’s problem as quickly as possible. At Colchin Auto we are focused on delivering value for your hard earned dollars.