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"Another option for figuring out what's wrong with your car is to purchase a diagnostic code reader. Consumer Advice Editor Ron Montoya at Santa Monica, Calif.-based says it costs $50, but some cost much more. It plugs into your car to diagnose when the check engine light is on."
This comment is pure Bullsh!t. I have never seen a code reader Diag and car yet. It will give you the code and the problem area, but the technician will still have to diag the problem. All the code tells you is the PCM is receiving a signal that is out of the expected range it is programed to receive. Now the technician needs to find out why.
"You need to know that at 30,000 miles your car needs to have an oil change and the tires rotated so a dishonest mechanic doesn't do it at 5,000 miles."
Uh...my manual says oil changes at every 7,500 miles. I do it every 5,000, and tire rotation every other change.
I have a sign in my shop , that says get an estimate , get more than one , ask for your old parts , and if it is not fixed , take it back and demand some thing for your money . would you buy a TV and keep it if it did not work , and those oil changes for cheap , by the dealers , is to get your car in there so the can , tell you how much work you need , its a scam . that's why my oil changes cost around 50.oo bucks , no cheap oil no cheap filters , and if we see some thing that can cause future problems or just need to be serviced , we tell the cutomers how much how long , and the amount of time they would have before its a real problem , no horror storys of exsplosions or acceident involving bus loads of orphans
This article was obviously written by someone who knows NOTHING about the auto repair business. Over paying and 'upselling' are mostly done by facilities that pay their service writers or techs very little money UNLESS they sell additional work, in which case the seller gets a percentage of the fees. Mostly, when you are told that your vehicle needs additional work, it is true, and you were unaware of it.
As previous commenters wrote, many parts have a 'core charge', meaning, the shop HAS TO RETURN the part to the supplier, in the original packaging, or pay an additional fee, anywhere from a few dollars for a battery, to hundreds of dollars for a transmission or engine assembly. Also, if I handed you an alternator, how on God's green earth are you going to determine that it is working or not? That would require a test bench, or, remounting it on the car and testing it, something you couldn't do in the first place or you wouldn't have brought it to me to fix it!
Pricing parts on the internet is a very unrealistic way to determine the true cost of having a professional repair your car. Remember, it is a business, not a charity. All shops must make a profit on any part they sell or they will not be in business very long. And, the price will vary by market, something an online supplier in Arkansas won't be aware of in Bergen County, New Jersey...Also, cheaper prices usually mean cheaper parts. Cheap ball joints that blow out after only one year are no bargain no matter how inexpensive they are.
Estimates are just that, an ESTIMATE of the price to repair, not a quote. Very often, more parts or repairs are needed and not realized until the job is being performed. If I could see the future, I certainly wouldn't be repairing cars for a living!
Code readers don't always read all codes in a vehicle's computer. And codes only give you basic info, they don't diagnose the problem. Just last week, a customer had a code for his rear oxygen sensor. The auto parts store who read the code sold him a sensor, code still there. They sold him another rear sensor, (there are two rear and two front), code still there. He bought the two front ones, code still there. He needed a computer all along. He wasted almost $4oo on 4 unneeded oxygen sensors and still had a $900 repair to solve the problem!
Owner manuals are written by the vehicle's manufacturer, so you'd think they had the most accurate info in them. Honda stated during the mid 2000's that most of their cars only needed an oil change every 10,000 miles, that with less than 4 quarts of conventional oil. Try to find an oil manufacturer that will tell you their conventional oil will last 10,000 miles. We have seen sludge in these engines, and now Honda has shortened the interval to 7,500 miles. OOOPS! Toyota has no interval for transmission fluid flush. Yet transmission fluid does have a service life limit in ANY vehicle. OOOPS again!
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Find and trust a local repair facility and stick with them. That's the best advice. These articles are junk and just hacked out to fill the space on pages like this, and to get you to look at the ads. Feel like you've been had? Good luck!
Cars are an item that needs constant maintenance and repairs. Its just the nature of the beast.
Learn to do what you can yourself to save a few bucks... Find an honest repair shop to do the rest.
Shop the repair cost online to see if its in range but if the shop is honest, pay them. They have to make a nickle too ya know. The shop, tools, technology, and training are a cost they have to pay just to stay current.
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