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How much should it cost to have computer code read?

Old 07-25-2015, 07:26 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 6
Default How much should it cost to have computer code read?

Hey, I'm planning on bringing my 2000 Saturn to a GM Dealership and have their service tech read the code on my 2000 LS2. How much should I expect to pay to have just the code read? I have received the mysterious service+wrench light that comes and goes and reeks havoc on my transmission. I have a post on it that you can read more about it, any help is welcome, thank you!
Old 07-25-2015, 11:39 PM
goaliemo's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Louisiana
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Bring it to an auto parts store. They do it for free.
Old 07-26-2015, 12:07 AM
derf's Avatar
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Location: My Saturn ;)
Posts: 7,708
Default Know your car

They will charge you one hour's labor, $105, likely not find a code.

If they do, MAKE SURE THEY GIVE YOU A COPY OF THE DIAG CODE (PXXX. Bxxx Txxx, Uxxx), NOT JUST ITS DESCRIPTION as part of your paperwork for the visit. You paid for the diagnosis, INCLUDING the fault code.

{PLEASE READ THE REST OF THIS POST IN ITS ENTIRETY; It directly concerns what ELSE will happen on your Diag visit........}
Here's what else will happen when they see your 15 yr old ride come through the service door......

Most dealership service depts will come out to "explain the problem", going out of their way NOT to tell you the actual code. Why? So you are only slightly better informed than when you walk in and can't take the core info with you. You're a captive audience--they want to tell you what's wrong and get you to agree to a repair ON THE SPOT.



They'll also tell you you need
---new motor mounts (just might be true but can wait)
---new tranny mount (just might be true but can wait)
---new struts all around (just might be true but can wait)
---an alignment (just might be true but can wait)
---Tranny drain n refill prob a good idea if not done recently)

They'll show you evidence of leaked fluids (PStr, Tranny, oil. These are real and indicate leaks. But how SEVERE are the leaks? This is where YOU need to KNOW YOUR CAR.

It's 15 yrs old....

If you need to add fluids more than once a week (100 mi) (excluding oil), chances it is a severe enough leak that requires attention sooner rather than later. Coolant leaks must be dealt with immediately to avoid overheating issues.

Oil on these cars can leak and it can burn. Again, KNOW YOUR CAR

Suspension parts can wear and bushings dry rot so you'll need all that replaced up in the front of the car..........control arms, tie rod ends, .........

KNOW YOUR CAR. Is it handling strangely? Making funny sounds? Wearing the tires unevenly?
Oh, back to your original question.

Based on what YOU told THEM, the lack of a code, and prob some obscure Saturn TSB written in 2000 we are not supposed to know about, they will tell you no code but behaves consistent with a defective Pressure Control Solenoid and will quote you $800 to repair.

So you will leave with
--likely no code
--their educated guess/opinion as to the problem
--the cost to fix what they think is causing the problem
--$105 less
MOST AutoZone or similar code READERs will not read Tranny or Body codes so you can stop there and give it a try -- it's FREE -- and if a Pxxx code comes up, you've found a code for $0.00

Private mechanics usually have rather sophisticated SCANNERS which can retrieve, watch and record data in real time.

But very few have the GM Tech II tool which can interface to the car and direct individual components to open, close. etc.


KNOW YOUR CAR before you go in
KNOW the game
KNOW the moves NOT to make
LEAVE with the CODE if they find one

Why did I take the time to type all that out?

Because if one other person reads this post and doesn't get ripped off or doesn't get strong armed into something based on s guess, I've done my part to help educate people that you need to KNOW YOUR CAR before driving to a GM dealership (or any repair shop for that matter). Some are very honest. Some just want $$$ and will keep pushing the upsell items and overcharge you for the actual work.

(Sorry this ended up in your thread. The phrase GM dealership just set me off on the whole topic.)
Old 07-26-2015, 12:10 AM
derf's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: My Saturn ;)
Posts: 7,708

Goalie, it's a service wrench light related to an L car well known tranny issue. Basic code readers won't read anything --hence my manifesto above
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