Dollars & Sense: Are Free (or Cheap) Diagnostics a Myth?

You go to the doctor and tell her about all your symptoms and yet she’s stumped. She runs some tests and they all come back negative. You are sure your symptoms aren’t a figment of your imagination! Finally, someone is able to diagnose the problem and find a cure…or at least a treatment to help you cope with your symptoms.

Now, even though it took many tests and lots of your doctor’s time to figure out the problem, you are at least grateful for a solution to your health issue. Your insurance company and your bank account may not be as grateful – medical diagnostics cost a lot of money! It’s a good thing automotive diagnostics are free (or at least cheap)…or are they?

In my previous post I discussed whether or not cheap oil changes are worth the savings. In this third installment of this blog series, Dollars & Sense, I will introduce the realities of auto diagnostics, including methods used and why they’re not necessarily free (or cheap).

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Dollars & Sense: Do You Really Want a Cheap Oil Change?

As you cruise through town, the signs jump out at you:

20 Minute 

Oil Change 


You glance at the tag on your windshield and realize you’ve passed the 3,000 mile mark since your last oil change. You make a note to self to get your car in later in the week while you’re running errands.

Before you run into the nearest auto shop with the lowest price, I encourage you to consider your options. In this continuation of the four-part series, Dollars & Sense, you will get a clear picture of the importance of giving your vehicle to a proper oil change.

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Dollars & Sense: 3 Keys to Smart Auto Care

We’ve all been there. The light on your dashboard comes on and you get a slight sinking feeling in your stomach. You’re busy, money’s tight, and maybe you’re just not a car person so dealing with the problem makes you a little apprehensive.

If you have a regular mechanic whom you trust, great! Even if it’s inconvenient for your budget or your time, at least you can be assured the problem will get fixed.

However, I’ve spent enough time scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed (oh, and being married to a mechanic) to know that a good number of people are asking the same question, “Does anyone know of a good local mechanic who won’t rip me off?”

I decided to tune into my husband and some of his buddies to help us answer this question – How do I know if my mechanic is giving me quality service for a fair price?

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