proprietary service codes for air bag warning

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  #1  
Old 06-19-17, 03:30 PM
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proprietary service codes for air bag warning

I'll try to make this short.

Got the air bag warning light and local mechanic can't touch it. Simple code readers can't decode it. So, despite online searching pointing to front right sensor there were other possibilities and i wasn't anxious about DIY on this.

First step was to get the code checked to see how bad, est $75 to $100 just to diagnose. Unknown if that involved anything beyond reading the code. Took it in, 30 minuted, $100 regardless, and confirmed it was the R.front sensor. They could do it then as the truck was in the rack and mechanic standing their waiting, additional $275 I was told. I said OK.

Waited another hour and got the bill.
Total labor $117
Total Parts $250
Tax @5.5% $13.75

Ridiculous. Hiding codes so owners can't see them. Gouging on OEM parts. For the extra profit they derive from this practice I wonder how much they lose in sales.

If I were younger and had more time I would have $250 in my pocket instead of theirs.

Bud
 
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  #2  
Old 06-19-17, 05:37 PM
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Bud, I feel your pain. But today's electronics and such, most likely you could not necessarily do it if you were younger. The dealers must pay a premium for the diagnostic machine and the time to teach and train the mechanics. And the car companies have made much of the error codes proprietary just to make the owner go back to the dealer. Actually the bill presented to you is not so bad by today's standards. Happy motoring!
 
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Old 06-20-17, 08:07 AM
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Hi Norm,
"The dealers must pay a premium for the diagnostic machine"
Probably cost less than a set of Snap On tools and the testing equipment is used for thousands of repairs, reasonable cost per repair.

"the time to teach and train the mechanics." Actually, the test equipment is intended to simplify the repair process so they can hire mechanics with less experience.

The proprietary codes are definitely an attempt to shut out the independent garages, but in the long run I think they are shooting themselves in the foot. My wife's new car only went back to the dealer for warranty work because everything else they did was overpriced. In reality they have a corner on service due to familiarity with their own vehicles, parts, and documentation. With that they should be able to compete on quality, price, and customer service. But they seem to like gouging a few rather than promoting sales by way of offering better service.

Their waiting game was ridiculous as well. Half an hour to plug in the code tester and then an hours wait for a vehicle that was already in the lift to install 1 part with 1 bolt that sits right in the open where they can get to it. 10 minute job at most.

But I did get the part number so if the other side fails I'll let you know how this old guy does.

Bud
 
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Old 06-20-17, 09:24 AM
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I'm thinking maybe the dealers don't want air bags serviced by anyone for liability reasons.

I had an air bag recall on my Tundra and Toyota went to great lengths to alert me and kept alerting me until the truck was fixed.
 
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Old 06-20-17, 11:42 AM
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Even in appliance repair there are proprietary service codes, You must be a service rep. for appliance.
 
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Old 06-20-17, 12:12 PM
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Other machines, certainly. One of the major copier mfgs used to (probably still does) watch the copy count and when it reached the suggested service level they would turn the bloody copier OFF. I didn't like them any more than GM. I just don't believe the auto industry needs to be as arrogant and could easily operate a profitable service business at competitive rates.

I'm actually surprised that in this computer age the entire process of service codes hasn't been automated into plain language. When the vehicle drives through the door it gets scanned and the service person hands you a complete evaluation at the desk before you even make your request. At no charge.

I know, I'm an optimist.

Bud
 
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Old 06-20-17, 01:47 PM
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Whoops... I thought you said brakes.... not airbags.
 
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Old 06-20-17, 06:09 PM
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I'm thinking maybe the dealers don't want air bags serviced by anyone for liability reasons.
In this instance I think you're right. TAKATA is on the verge of bankruptcy due to class action suit. I doubt if any garage or auto mechanic would want to touch it without a world company to back them up.

Also it's my understanding that the code readers and diagnostic machines (not what AutoZone uses or the hand held you can buy) are very expensive. Not unlike the X-ray, CRT, CAT Scan and MRI machines in medicine.
 
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Old 06-21-17, 04:38 AM
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The dealership-only proprietary issues may eventually come to an end. I was reading in a trade mag recently that Massachusetts has already enacted legislation making manufacturers share technical repair info and there is support to make it federal.
 
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Old 06-21-17, 08:35 AM
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Thanks tg. As some have mentioned the airbags may be a special concern but I actually think releasing all service codes and information would be a benefit to everyone. Now, if we can get the mfgs to incorporate a plain language notification instead of some idiot light. The one that floored me was an important warning light, either air bag or brakes, that cost me $35 to get turned off. Turned out to have been tripped because the wife backed up more than 15' with the hand brake on, Odyssey. I never did understand their logic.

Bud
 
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Old 06-21-17, 10:19 AM
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Well, that's a new one, Bud. Will have to remember that for future reference. Daughter's Corolla has the "service engine soon" message come up every 5k miles to tell you to change the oil. Near as I can tell, that's the only cause of that message. So why doesn't the message just say, "Oil change due"?
 
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Old 06-21-17, 10:22 AM
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Here's the article I referred to:

https://www.motor.com/magazine-summa...ort-june-2017/
 
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Old 06-21-17, 11:21 AM
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Thanks, interesting link and it does state "nationwide."

Bud
 
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Old 06-21-17, 02:03 PM
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why doesn't the message just say, "Oil change due"? -
My jeep has an oil change light that comes on every 6k but you have to reset it to get it go out and it doesn't matter if you just changed the oil, reset the idiot light - if another 6k interval comes up in the next 500 miles it will flash that message again. IMO it's nothing but a pain in the rear!!

It also has an idiot light that comes on if the rear wheels slide or spin .... who needs a warning light to tell them that?
 
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Old 06-22-17, 06:47 AM
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There has to be some devious intent behind strange codes and messages, like pushing more owners back to dealers for service. A plain language message and a "got it" button to acknowledge the message was received. Too much big brother going on all the time.

Bud
 
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Old 06-23-17, 04:52 AM
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What ticks me off is the change oil light. In order to turn it off after an oil change, you can't just trip a switch or choose a yes or no menu. You must turn on ignition, but do not start the car, press the break three time within 5 sec or some such maneuver and then chant the Hail Mary, bay at the moon and hope for the best. Then you bring it to the dealer turn it off.
 
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Old 06-23-17, 04:54 AM
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Norm, I forget - is your vehicle a Chrysler product. That is how my 2010 jeep works



On mine I think you press the gas pedal .... but I have to look in the manual every time so I could be wrong. Haven't shut off that message in the last 10k
 
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Old 06-23-17, 04:56 AM
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Mines a ford product and have to do a song and dance to set. Hate it.
 
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Old 06-23-17, 05:04 AM
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Ford product, but their all the same. A simple on-off is not good enough.
 
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Old 06-23-17, 05:11 AM
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LOL, the song and dance comment reminds me of one routine I had to go through. I forget all of the details but it involved driving at a certain speed for a certain time, stopping, open and close drivers door, and more, the whole routine took about 15 minutes. I remember thinking about how hard the geeks who created this reset were laughing. And if you got out of sequence you had to start over.

Unbelievably stupid.
Bud
 
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Old 06-24-17, 08:43 AM
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Toyotas are pretty easy. Turn key on, push the trip odometer button until you are on Trip "A", turn key off, press and hold odo button in while turning key back on. Resets after a few seconds.
 
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