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Dealer Diagnostic Fee

infiniteend

New member
Location
New York
Car(s)
'18 Golf R
Is it normal for them to be charging a diagnostic fee? My ACC/Front Assist is acting up. I'm only asking cause I've had an Audi ('18 S4) before and whenever I went in with random issues (due to my mods or not) they wouldn't charge me to diagnose - they'd tell me it's my issue or theirs and then we'd proceed accordingly.

But this time they told me if it's a warranty issue (sensor is faulty) they'll take care of it but if it's not a warranty issue (i.e., it's damaged, then it's on me). I have no knowledge of it being damaged at all - the rep on the phone gave me an example like say I was parked and someone tapped me and it "broke" but no visible damage outside - then it's a non-warranty repair and that's on me so I'll have to pay a diagnostic fee?

Is this normal because like I said - I've never experienced this before, usually the dealer just diagnoses and lets me know if I wanna fix it through them or corporates gonna foot the bill...

My issue:
I just got an issue with the Front Assist/ACC. It says "Front Assist is unavailable" or something along those lines. I tried cleaning the sensor and even starting my car w/o the badge. I tapped in via Carista and it was "fault code 00791" under the ACC section? But according to VW 00791 is "Air Con. Evaporator Temperature Switch" which makes no sense how it'd knock out my Front Assist or Adaptive Cruise control.
 
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jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
It's normal. It prevents people getting the dealer to diagnose the problem and then that person goes somewhere cheaper to fix it. If the dealer fixes it the diagnostic fee is supposed to be applied towards the work.
 

kevinkar

Go Kart Champion
Location
United States
It's under warranty and it's part of the car you probably couldn't have broken on your own without obvious damage being visible, they should easily take a look, fix it under warranty and be done. I don't see how they could say it's your fault and make you pay. If they did charge a diagnostic fee, they better damned well apply it to the repair. Problem is you never really know if they didn't just fold it in to the hours worked and you're on the hook for it anyway. You know, the fee is $80 but the repair is $160 for an $80 job.....

For all my previous new cars (a Ford, Chevrolet and Volvo) I've always brought them in for warranty service and they check the car without requiring a payment so I have not experienced this before. So, for me, it's not normal and I'd probably go to a different dealer to see if they'll handle it in a more consumer-friendly manner.
 

uberdot

Autocross Champion
Location
🇺🇸
Car(s)
17 S 6MT
Called a random Euro shop today for a diagnosis. Owner was an old German guy with terrible English who told me how to diagnose it myself because “he was just going to take my money for something I could do”. Spent an hour on the phone helping me and just shooting shit. He didn’t know jack about tuned cars and I really don’t know how applicable his suggestions were, but he was helpful and honest and I generally like talking to old folks. I wish dealers were like this.
 

jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
Called a random Euro shop today for a diagnosis. Owner was an old German guy with terrible English who told me how to diagnose it myself because “he was just going to take my money for something I could do”. Spent an hour on the phone helping me and just shooting shit. He didn’t know jack about tuned cars and I really don’t know how applicable his suggestions were, but he was helpful and honest and I generally like talking to old folks. I wish dealers were like this.
So basically you like talking to old car guys even if he can't fix your car? My number is...........😂
 

gixxerfool

Drag Racing Champion
Location
New Jersey
Car(s)
2016 Golf R
Completely normal. If a flat rate technician is taking time to look at your car for a possible out of warranty concern, then he needs to get paid. He gets paid through the diag fee.

Now that’s not to say that if you’re under warranty, it should be the other way around. You bring it in, it should be treated as warranty until otherwise determined.

There are plenty of times I see people bring cars in for say moisture in the lens. Come to find it’s cracked with no damage to the fascia. Unfortunately, we are required to return that part back to the manufacturer and if they see damage, the dealer is on the hook for the repair. So once damage is found it becomes customer pay or they can file through their insurance company.
 

infiniteend

New member
Location
New York
Car(s)
'18 Golf R
hmmm thanks guys! I guess Audi was just nice about it cause they never mentioned it and always just be like "it's cause you did this - it'll cost $x. do you wanna do it?" and if i refuse they just give my car back
 

jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
hmmm thanks guys! I guess Audi was just nice about it cause they never mentioned it and always just be like "it's cause you did this - it'll cost $x. do you wanna do it?" and if i refuse they just give my car back
They are supposed to apply the diagnostic fee towards the repair if they fix it. It's to prevent you from having them diagnose the problem and they then go somewhere cheaper to fix it. That's only fair.
 

slipperywhenwet

Ready to race!
Location
Calgary, Canada
Is it normal for them to be charging a diagnostic fee? My ACC/Front Assist is acting up. I'm only asking cause I've had an Audi ('18 S4) before and whenever I went in with random issues (due to my mods or not) they wouldn't charge me to diagnose - they'd tell me it's my issue or theirs and then we'd proceed accordingly.

But this time they told me if it's a warranty issue (sensor is faulty) they'll take care of it but if it's not a warranty issue (i.e., it's damaged, then it's on me). I have no knowledge of it being damaged at all - the rep on the phone gave me an example like say I was parked and someone tapped me and it "broke" but no visible damage outside - then it's a non-warranty repair and that's on me so I'll have to pay a diagnostic fee?

Is this normal because like I said - I've never experienced this before, usually the dealer just diagnoses and lets me know if I wanna fix it through them or corporates gonna foot the bill...

My issue:
It WASN'T normal years ago. Diagnostics used to be free at most VW dealerships, regardless of what they found. A couple of years ago they started charging the diagnostic fees. If they find something warrantable, then the fee is covered under that warranty item, but is they don't then you're screwed.

Yet another scam that VW dealerships are pulling to get as much money as they can from you.
 
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