One of the most frequently searched questions on Google regarding automotive repair is, “Why do automotive technicians charge for diagnostics?” Put simply, automotive repair shops need to charge for diagnostics due to the complexity of the diagnostic systems in today’s vehicles. Running diagnostics requires the time and effort of a well-trained and experienced technician as well as the proper diagnostic scan tool. To properly diagnose a malfunction in a vehicle, it must be accepted that the process is complex and a technician must be completely thorough.

So, how should you be charging customers for diagnostics? Today Triad Diagnostic Solutions explains the importance of charging your fair share for diagnostic services and just how you should charge for these services in your shop.

Why Do Automotive Repair Shops Charge For Diagnostic Services?

When pondering whether or not to charge for diagnostic services, it’s vital that you ask yourself one important question: Which type of work in your shop typically requires the skillset and experience of your most knowledgeable technician? That’s right, diagnostics. Additionally, which service performed in your shop usually requires the most expensive equipment? Again, the answer is diagnostics. When you take these facts into account, it becomes much clearer why you are cheating yourself if you don’t charge for diagnostic services.

Still, even when considering these factors, you may be asking yourself when you should and shouldn’t charge for diagnostics. We highly recommend taking the difference between observing and testing into account to answer this question. If you’re able to make a specific observation of a problem with a vehicle without having to run a diagnostic process with your MaxiSYS ULTRA, you should charge appropriately. On the other hand, if the problem is less obvious and you need to run an in-depth diagnostic process to uncover an issue, you should be charging for this time and effort.

Remember: It is less expensive for your customer to pay a diagnostic fee than for your shop to cover replace parts based on a repair that began with a hunch. When you take the time to fully diagnose a vehicle’s problem and read through the fault codes, you can pinpoint the exact solution. Additionally, Autel’s software will walk you through the entire repair process, so there is no more guesswork involved, further elevating your level of customer service. And that’s something most customers will be happy to pay for!

technician putting steering column back together

How to Charge for Your Diagnostic Services

So how should you charge for your diagnostic services as an experienced technician? When deciding on your fees, you need to take a few things into careful consideration. Basically, the exact diagnostic fee that you charge your customers will (and should) vary depending on a variety of factors. Here are just a few to consider when deciding on your diagnostic charges:

  • The overall cost of labor.
  • Whether you are an independent or OEM dealership.
  • The vehicle brands that you service.
  • Overhead costs for tools, training, equipment, and taxes.
  • Costs associated with mortgage, rent, and utilities.
    The cost to maintain the training and certifications of your technicians.

While some of your customers may not understand why a fee is charged for diagnosing an issue, you need to remember that a diagnostic check ensures that the shop and mechanic are appropriately compensated for the time needed to diagnose and repair the issue.

Again, while diagnostic fees may vary, these fees are typically around $100 dollars before taxes for dealerships. However, diagnostic fees can range from $50 to $500 depending on the location of the shop, the type of vehicle being serviced, and the extent of the problem being diagnosed.

The Diagnostic Process Made Easy With Autel Diagnostic Tools!

Now that you understand why you should be charging for diagnostics within your automotive repair shop, it’s time to equip yourself with reliable diagnostic tools to assist you in the process. Here at Triad Diagnostic Solutions, we specialize in offering a range of diagnostic scan tools that you can rely on to deliver the most straightforward and accurate data every time. There are a range of benefits associated with using Autel tools for diagnosing vehicle malfunctions, and we’re firm believers in the power of using the right diagnostic tools.

We offer financing options so that you can get the tools you need at a price you can afford. Additionally, we offer free training for your technicians so that they can get well-acquainted with your new Autel tools quickly! We look forward to working with you. (317) 939-3690.

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash
Photo by Kato Blackmore 🇺🇦 on Unsplash