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  #1  
Old 07-19-2002, 11:22 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Virginia, USA
Posts: 44
Angry Paying Labor Cost to look for problem!!!!

Here is my situation:
I brought my car in to my MB mechanic (not a dealer) due to an A/C problem.

This thread is located at: Intermitent A/C Problem ?

To make the long story short, they finally figured that the problem was the evaporator sensor, a $51 part, but I am being charged $380 (including labor).

Should I be paying for them to look for the problem which they claim took 6 hours because there was no code? If I brought it to a dealer,who I assume will be more experienced on my problem, maybe it would not take them 6 hours to figure it out. Shouldn't we only pay for what it would normally take to replace the part as if the mechanic knew what the problem was?

If I am offbase on this one, somebody please tell me so I know what to expect next time. Please advise if I should even bother arguing with my mechanic about the charges.

Thanks.
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'98 C230 Smoke
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  #2  
Old 07-20-2002, 04:35 AM
Jason M.
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Well keep in mind, that just because they are in the process of looking for the problem, doesnt mean that they arent devoting time (read as money to be made while working elsewhere) on your car. Its a normal practice to bill for diagnosis time, and believe me when I say that the dealers will often take ALOT of time troubleshooting a car, and they dont have any regrets about charging you for the diagnosis time.

Atleast he's honest in saying its a 51 dollar sensor, I know alot of mechanics who after 6 hours of diag. time would have been calling for overhauls... whether they needed them or not. If you feel that he's been honest with you, then you shouldnt really have a reason to argue with him

Jason McNeese
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  #3  
Old 07-20-2002, 04:41 AM
Jason M.
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Just to give you an idea... I had a woman bring a 1988 subaru turbo wagon in, for me to take a look at it. It suddenly stopped running one day and it had about 150k miles on the clock... The dealer charged her 400 dollars for diagnostics, and told her that they couldnt figure out the problem... didnt take me long to realize that the timing belt had broken... but she still got charged for diagnostic time by the dealer w/ no fixes. So really, you didnt get hurt too bad, and no one has ever told me a story about a Mercedes leaving the dealer for less than 380 bucks heheh


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Old 07-20-2002, 10:11 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 378
I had a similar experience with my car; the shop spent quite a lot of time diagnosing my trouble. They checked parts, swapped in new and used parts but in the end, they gave the car back to me as it was. I was charged for some diagnosis time, but they forgave a part of the bill. I was happy to pay the bill and wouldn't have a problem paying the full bill. The shop, like yours, could have told me that everything needed replacing. Instead, they said that the O2 and air flow sensors look bad as do the throttle cutoff and body switches but that the trouble was mostly liveable. (The car has since worsened, which is another story.) I suppose the shop expects to get the job to replace these big dollar items so a little goodwill on my diagnosis is just good business.
I don't like to spend money, but it seems to me that spending hundreds on diagnosis time has saved you and me some big money. That is good value to me.
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1967 250SL
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  #5  
Old 07-20-2002, 10:13 AM
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Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 378
As a second comment, Jason, that Subaru dealership sounds like complete ripoff. At the very least, they must be total incompetent.
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