I can't charge for diagnostics

Expert advice from Trevor Roper of Snap-on Diagnostics

Published:  12 December, 2013

As I go around the country talking to mechanics about diagnostics, a couple of statements keep coming up - 'There's no money in diagnostics,' or, 'I can't charge for diagnostics'. A few years ago, this is how I thought about diagnostics; a necessary evil something I had to offer my customers. As time has passed, I soon realised you can't hide from diagnostics, the modern motor car is bumper to bumper diagnostics.

The mistake I made was treating diagnostic jobs like any other job that came into my garage. If a customer has a slipping clutch we know how long the job will take and how much the parts will cost, so can give the customer an accurate price for the job. We can't treat diagnostics in the same way. I treat diagnostics as two completely separate jobs - the first part of the job is to find out what's wrong with the car, this diagnostic process may require more than one test with more than one tool. Only when I have accurately diagnosed the problem can I quote the customer on the repair. In many cases, the diagnostic part of the job is more expensive then the repair. The conversation below is one I've had many times with customers.







After my customers have been through our education process we back up all our work by giving customers printouts and proof of all tests carried out. On the modern scan tool this is a painless process giving your customers confidence and building the reputation of your garage.

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