For those with instant cognition from scan data (no one I know), it takes more than four minutes. It takes an average of 15 minutes just to write the ticket and collect the money. Most of the time there is atleast another 15 minutes to discuss the findings. Of course all those involved with this work for free as you do of course.
After getting the car from the parking lot if I did you the favor and didn't road test it I probably could get the computer up and read your codes in a single module in 4 minutes but you have at least three modules that can be involved with the check engine light on a C220: DM diagnostic module (turned the light on), HFM runs the fuel and ignition, and the CC/ISC which may be in the HFM module on a C220 but is separate on most others (cruise control/idle speed control). If I wanted to fix your car pulling the codes would be the first in a long list of things I would do with the scanner, none of which would give me a final diagnosis if I am buying the parts. The tools I use to diagnose a check engine light cost over $100k. I will read codes and reset for one half hour labor. The only time I do this is for other shops that have turned a light on during other work and there isn't a real problem. I don't do that for the public because I can't write tickets for a half hour labor and have to deal with a customer also.
We believe that it costs us an hour of labor for all the accounting, coddling, government paperwork, and telephone time it takes for each ticket. If we ever charge less than 65 (our hourly rate) for a ticket someone worked for free. We do lots of work for no ticket or just for the part; wipers, bulbs, etc. for regular customers. We won't do it often for someone who obviously will not have us do the work that pays the bills.
I stay backed up with people that are more than willing to pay me to fix their car, many of them have already been everywhere else. I would have very little incentive to work on someones car who has any thought I may be ripping them off. Think about it!
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
Last edited by stevebfl; 03-06-2002 at 08:59 AM.