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Why do garages charge so much for diagnostics??

Discussion in 'Faults, Problems & Solutions' started by piggoy, May 14, 2010.

  1. piggoy

    piggoy

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    I took my car to my local garage recently for diagnostics. They charged me £30 - they claim the £30 part covers the expensive cost of the diagnostic equipment they use - seems fair enough.

    People on here talk about all kinds of different diagnostics setups ranging in price. From what i've been told the Renault CLIP setup seems the best. But, on ebay you can buy relatively cheap OBD2 compliant code scanners and clearers for less than £20.

    My question is why the huge discrepancy in price? If OBD2 is some sort of compliant worldwide standard then it seems logical to me that all scanners complying with the specification should be able to do the exact same job :confused:
     
  2. piggoy

    piggoy

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  3. Will.

    Will.

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    They charge you because the general public will pay for it.
     
  4. Tunst

    Tunst

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    i change a whole £0 :wink:
     
  5. ABOO

    ABOO

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    Would look at changing your garage mate!!

    I've took both our cars to same garage for last couple of years. He charges nothing for diagnostics. Says he's got to do it, so is part of the repair(no extra charge) The garage is a one off though I think. You can just pop in and ask him for advice on things, really top bloke..
     
  6. mugglesquop

    mugglesquop

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    about £70 for a Vag Com scan and reset.

    £10 for the lead off eBay, and there is a free version of the software.
     
  7. bigup7

    bigup7 ClioSport Club Member

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  8. ScarySquirrel

    ScarySquirrel

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    A vag scan, that sounds painful.
     
  9. Psalm23_(UK)

    Psalm23_(UK)

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    The main difference with the one youre looking at on ebay is partialy that that one will give you a code which you then look up in a book to find out what it means. Where as a more expensive one tells you on screen what the fault is and the code. some like mine even give live feed data on screen such as temps, rpm and o2 level. Renault stealers wanted to charge me £85 for test so i bought mine from Talktomycar.co.uk for about £50 and its helped no end.
     
  10. Tom@JMS

    Tom@JMS

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    The reason diagnostics charges are seemingly expensive is that the equipment being used is often worth well in excess of a grand, even more in most cases - eg: Snap On gear. Different equipment gives you different levels of access. For instance take an RStuner - it will function perfectly well as a code reader etc - but a snap on unit lets you switch of faults / reset codes.
     
  11. NWPerformance

    NWPerformance

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    Good diagnostics equipment can cost over £5000 so there has to be some sort of charge.

    We dont charge anything if there is work getting done at the same time but if someone came in off the street, you have to change something for it.

    You can get them for less but they only tell you main codes not hidden ones. You can also get some that you can turn off sensors (if unused any longer)
     
  12. Tunst

    Tunst

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    Fail spelling from the iPhone once again..
     
  13. Gardus

    Gardus

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    A friend of mine who does all the work on my car as a diag box with touchscreen etc win98 on it, it can access pretty much every car with a OBD port.
    He paid it 3k euros and every year 1k for the updates...
     
  14. piggoy

    piggoy

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    Does the cheap ebay one not allow you to clear the fault codes? - i'm pretty sure that's what it says in the description, that you can 'cancel' fault codes. The description for the cheap k-tec scanner says the same. Does 'cancel' not mean 'switch off' or 'reset' ?

    I'm still finding it difficult to understand this concept of different levels of access. All these scanners whether they cost £20 or £2000 communicate through the same standard protocol used by all car manufacturers since 1996. It just seems hard for me to believe that all scanners are not all capable of doing the same jobs, at least in theory :wink:
     
  15. Laura

    Laura ClioSport Club Member

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    £120+ vat here :tongueout:
     
  16. Derelict-UK

    Derelict-UK

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    You can turn lights off (ABS/SERV/Airbag only with more expensive machines, not the K-tec one) but if you have replaced an item, it may need to be reprogrammed back into the computer, in which case it seems you need a CLIP computer to do so.

    I have a mid range machine that can turn everything off, give you live data etc. but you can't program new parts on. So you can turn the light off, but in a day or less the light will come back on until its done properly by a CLIP machine.
     
  17. stu-172

    stu-172

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    The cheap scanners will tell you what's wrong, and if you fix the part and reset the light this will be fine for most engine parts as the engine learns and adapts to the replaced part. The problem comes when you need to replace and airbag or something. This is where you need a better machine in order to tell the ecu that the new airbag is there.

    It's like saying my £20 spray gun uses the same compressor, so how come your £400 gun gives a better finish! You need to spend the money in order to get the equipment to do the job you need. £5k may seem excessive, but the kit does everything. And if you pay out that money for the kit, you need to get it back somehow!
     
  18. piggoy

    piggoy

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    Cheers for the responses people.

    So to conclude, my £30 spend on diagnostics at my local garage was not a wise decision. I took it to the garage to see if they could identify a throttle pedal error or something similar that was causing my car to go into limp mode - they found nothing. I could have spent my £30 on a cheap handheld scanner which would have done the same job .... doh :disappointed:
     
  19. sophiesdad

    sophiesdad ClioSport Club Member

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    anything i get
    no diagnostic tool will tell you whats wrong , it will only show a fault code and depending what level tool you have , will show some parameters linked to that fault at the time of the fault.
    also each fault is really only a guide , the mechanic (/technician/engineer/diagnostic technician or what ever they are called ,) will need to find the cause of the fault ,
    ie , very common one is emmissions light on , lambda fault code recorded (outside tolerance ) people change lambda sensor , fault returns very soon , its normally a slight blow in the exhaust .
    the small ones on ebay will read eobd fault and some will let you clear eobd codes , but most let you.
    for £30 though if it saves one visit its worth it. ok for diyers
     
  20. 182.

    182.

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    i phoned up renault and whilst i was asking about this charcoal canister i also asked how much a diagnostic check was. he said £70.
     
  21. AlexG

    AlexG

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    When you spend £5000 on a proper diagnostic machine. You have to make it pay for its self.
     

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