Tag Archives: estimate

How much was your free estimate?

FREE Estimate vs Diagnostic Service

Estimate vs Diagnostic




When does a FREE automotive estimate become a billable diagnostic service?  Each auto shop could probably answer this question differently.

At Axleboy, free estimates typically take place at the service counter.  Whether your vehicle needs repair services or you’re trying to discover the next step in off-road modifications, you can call or walk in and one of our service writers will be more than glad to take the time to understand your vehicle needs.

A classic example of a free repair estimate would look something like this: A customer breaks an axle while wheeling over the weekend and would like to know what it will cost to replace both front and rear axles with Tera 60 axles.  Our service writer would then provide an estimate that includes the cost of all parts and book-labor time. At that point the customer could then make an educated decision to proceed or pursue an alternative option.

By contrast, when a customer comes into the shop with either a check engine light or a mystery noise, we can speculate only so much before the vehicle needs to come into the shop for further clarification or discovery.  It is at this point, that a free estimate typically becomes a billable diagnostic service.

Most shops bill diagnostic services based on an hourly rate, so we recommend that before you hand over the keys, first review with the mechanic or service writer their diagnostic plans, including estimated cost.

For a quick reference to the differences between a free estimate and diagnostic services, just check out the infographic to the right.