Particularly for issues that can be perceived as minor or quick fixes, it can be hard for customers to understand why there’s a fee associated with just diagnosing an issue.
Let's say customer arrives with a broken taillight. If the auto shop tech simply told the customer “you have a broken taillight”, this would not count as a diagnosis. A full diagnosis would require the auto repair tech to identify the specific root cause behind why the tail light is broken. Is the tail light not working due to a blown bulb? Is it because of an electrical or wiring issue?
Let's boil it down: a full diagnosis does not just describe “what” issue is happening, it explains the “why” behind an issue.
Figuring out why an issue is occurring takes far more time, training, and experience than simply seeing an issue’s symptoms. A proper diagnosis is crucial for auto shops too: it provides a clear direction on the fix that needs to be put in place to resolve the issue. Most people have probably had experiences with auto shops that simply "throw parts" at an issue, AKA haphazardly replace car parts to temporarily fix an issue only for the same issue to pop up again a week later. This ends up being a frustration for the customer, who has to take additional time to return to the shop and potentially pay for another repair. All of this can be avoided with a solid diagnosis.
In conclusion, a misdiagnosis can happen as nothing is perfect. We at Nate's Garage will always try to get it right the first time and pride ourselves on honesty & fair pricing.