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sand_pike

Service Air Bag

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Service air bag warning just came on.

2003 Silverado 5.3, 61,000 miles

Dealer wants $115 just to diagnose, is that price reasonable??

Any simple things to look for before I cough up?

this sounds spendy frownfrown

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willing to bet that is a bad airbag sensor, possibly in the front of the truck up behind the bumper (airbag wire connectors are yellow) Just replaced one on my dads truck, look for white elec. corrosion around and behind it

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Most places charge 1 hour for diagnosis, so if the labor rate is $115, then that is about right.

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$115 is steep! It only takes about 5 minutes to plug in and run the diagnostic. The shop down the street only charges $40 to check codes. Yeah I know the machine aint free and diagnostic software is not cheap either but I just consider it a cost of doing business. If I charged $115 for an estimate people would think I bumped my head...and my estimating software is over $600.00 a month.

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$115 is steep! It only takes about 5 minutes to plug in and run the diagnostic. The shop down the street only charges $40 to check codes.

Its a bit off subject but I just wanted to clear up a misconception.

Running a "diagnostic" and "checking a code" are 2 very different procedures.

Running a diagnostic can sometimes entale many steps on a diagnostic tree that can be quite involved, in order to reach a conclusion as to what the problem is or where to locate it. $115 would be cheap for many systems. Checking a code on the other hand, is much more simple, far less time consuming, but much more general in nature. Knowing the code only tells you where to start looking, not always what the actual problem is.

To me, 40 bucks to check a code seems high, when most auto parts stores will check codes for free just for the opportunity to sell a part.

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Exactly Mac! There is a BIG difference in checking codes, and diagnosing the problem. Just checking a code and replacing a part will more times then not cost you more money then diagnosing the problem, since most parts now days cost well over a couple hundred dollars! If you gamble and you are right, you saved the diag fee, if you throw a few parts at it, then give up and then bring it in to diag, you will be WAY behind!

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I totally agree with Macgyver..Pulling out a code is only the start of the diagnosis. Many people believe if you can connect up a computer to the car it will tell you what to fix....end of story. Sure would be nice but in the real world it just isn't so. One hour for a diagnostic charge may be cheap if it takes two hours to find the problem. If it takes only 15 minutes to find the problem and you get charged for an hour it still isn't a bad deal. Try fixing it on your own and see what it costs without a clue as to what to look for. Just the cost of doing business....

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Sorry I stepped on yer wallets boys. Won't happen again.

I don't think anybody thought that.

Any chance we get to clear up the popular misconception of the magic computer that tells you exactly whats wrong with a vehicle with the push of a couple buttons we will probably do so.

Last night I had a good example. A buick raineir with a P0410 secondary air code. From past experience I know that I should here the air pump running with the key on. It was not! I could have easily within 5 minutes told the customer that the air pump is bad only to find out after the install that the new one didn't work with the key on either.

Instead I took the time to use the scan tool to turn on the air pump while checking for power and ground at the connector. It was good! Plugged it back in and it turned on. So now I know that this is something I have not run into enough times to know what to do next so I print the 11 page 60 plus step diagnostic flow chart. It took me about 30 minutes to find out out the switching valve was frozen.

The point is if my experience can knock out a correct diag in 5 minutes why should I make less than the guy with less experience that takes 45 or more minutes to find out the same thing?

Time is irrelevant in the diagnostic process. It has always been presented in every shop I have worked at as a flat fee that covers scanning for codes and up to an hour of diagnostic time. There have been very few times over the years that I have requested more time even though there have been many that have taken much longer than the hour I get. If its something new and takes me longer I chalk it up to learning experience and I'll know for next time!

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