Lexus-Scion Diagnosis/Diagnostic Charges/Estimates
People sometime ask whether we give free estimates, when what they really mean is whether we will diagnose their Toyota, Lexus, or Scion for free. In answer to the question of estimates, sure, we provide free estimates. If you ask us the cost of a specific routine Toyota repair, we won’t charge you to tell you.
Regarding diagnosis, it depends. Sometimes we can simply step out into the parking lot with you and casually look at your car and tell you accurately what the problem is. In that case we are happy to have provided you with a diagnosis at no charge and without your being obligated to follow through with having us repair your vehicle.
Sometimes we can provide a quickie but accurate diagnosis with a quick test drive, and we’re often happy to do that at no charge. If, however, we have to have a technician spend time diagnosing it, which often involves his time, the use of special equipment, and access to his knowledge and judgement gained through years of experience, then yes, we charge for diagnosis.
It’s not uncommon for people to mistakenly believe that our use of a computer eliminates the need for diagnosis. The computer is a wonderful tool that aids us in diagnosis. It’s useful enough that we’ve spent thousands of dollars buying computers and keeping them updated, but a computer is still just a tool; it’s not magic, and it doesn’t know everything. We are still heavily reliant on the technician’s knowledge, experience, and judgement. Depending on the complexity of the system, we will normally get permission to spend a range of time and money for our initial diagnostic time. Within that time we will do whatever we think will best further your purposes. Once we engage with it, it can go three ways. Best case scenario, we diagnose your problem and repair it.
Next best, but very common, we diagnose your Toyota and then call you up with a quote for the repair. At that point you can say yes or no, however you want us to proceed. Worst case, we get to the end of our allotted time and we still haven’t come to a conclusion as to the cause of the problem. This worst case is unusual, but it’s a real possibility that should be acknowledged. People often ask if we charge for diagnostic time. The answer is yes. They also ask if we still charge for diagnostic time if the agree to do the service or repair. The answer to that is that to the extent that the diagnostic efforts and the repair efforts overlap, the customer gets the full benefit of that overlap.
To the extent that diagnostic efforts and the repairs are separate, they will be charged for separately. So, for instance: If we have to disassemble something in order to tell you that it’s defective, then we may already be half way through the labor required for replacement, and of course you’ll get the benefit of that. But, if we diagnose something that doesn’t require disassembly, then the repair is a whole new activity on top of the initial diagnostic time, and you’ll be charged for each individually.
Certified Independent Toyota, Lexus & Scion automotive service and repair specialists serving PDX, Portland, Fairview, Forest Grove, Gladstone, Gresham, Happy Valley, Johnson City, Beaverton, Clackamas, Oregon City, Fairview, Wood Village, Maywood Park, Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Troutdale.