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Senior Contributor

Paying to read engine codes

My 2001 Buick LeSabre shows a Service Engine Soon light.  I called the local dealership, which was just bought out by Billion which i think is out of South Dakota, and was told that there was a fee ranging from $50 to $100 to read the code.  Not to do any work on it, just the diagnosis.  He was very encouraging that most were closer to the $50.  I was comforted.

I know that some local parts stores such as AutoZone and some gas stations will read the codes for free.  Of course, Buick will tell you that the outsiders can't read all the codes.

What is your experience in using outside providers for code readers?

BTW, if they do find anything wrong, labor is $100 per hour.  Oh, excuse me, that's night right.  It's $99.99 per hour.

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5 Replies
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Contributor

Re: Paying to read engine codes

My scanner cost $3500, it costs over $500 yr. to keep it updated.  I don't know of any codes I can't read, I think that dealer is blowing smoke up your rear end.  There is much more to diagnostics than knowing which code is stored in the computer...Most likely you knowing that code number will not do you a nickels worth of good.  On second thought you could research it here on the internet....go with the parts store first, you have nothing to lose.  I'm not a techie but I'll help any way I can.

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Contributor

Re: Paying to read engine codes

I bought a small tester for $70. Used it 15 to 20 times. So far I've been able to fix everything my self. Workes on Ford, GM & others. I feel it's paid for itself. Got it online.
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Advisor

Re: Paying to read engine codes

Jim, I presume your car has over 60-70 K miles on it.   At this amount of miles it's usually the oxygen sensor that causes the code warning. 

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Re: Paying to read engine codes

Go to the part's store first if they can find the problem- Great, If not you can still go to the dealer! 

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Advisor

Re: Paying to read engine codes

Or buy a code reader if you plan on having the car for a while or have similar cars.

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