371 W. Patrick St. | Frederick, MD 21701

371 W. Patrick St. | Frederick, MD 21701

Frederick, MD What is the Difference Between Diagnostics and Labor?

What is the Difference Between Diagnostics and Labor?

What is the Difference Between Diagnostics and Labor?

Car repair can be a confusing process. There are parts you may not know, aspects of your car you have never been aware of, and language that you are not familiar with. Luckily, you are not alone. Every year, thousands of car owners wonder, what does it mean to pay for diagnostics and what does it mean to pay for labor. Keep reading to find out.

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Your car is equipped with different computers. These computers control things such as your automatic transmissions, ignition systems, fuel injection systems, braking systems, etc. The computers that control your car are constantly receiving data from the systems in your car. If something goes wrong in any of your car’s systems, it sends it to one of the computers and your check engine light comes on. Not all concerns/problems will result in a check engine light. 

A diagnostic test helps to identify the reason why your check engine light is on or why you may be experiencing driveability issues. It will access the data that is in your car’s computers and generate a report. This report will show the technician where they need to begin looking for the problem. With the combination of the diagnostic test, scanners, tools, test driving, an ASE Technician’s experience and knowledge, and a lot of troubleshooting, we can then identify the problem.


Depending on the issue or the concern, the diagnostic fee will vary.  It may be a Transmission diagnostic, Driveability diagnostic, a no start diagnostic, or perhaps a noise/vibration diagnostic. The price of diagnostics can range anywhere from $100-$200 for the first hour of diagnostics. If the technician needs additional time for diagnostics, there could be an additional charge.


Labor is the term used for when a technician uses their expertise and experience, their tools, and some specific specialty tools to make the repairs on your vehicle. An auto repair shop in MD will determine how much they charge for labor based on multiple factors, such as:

  • Overhead costs
  • Technician skill levels and certifications
  • Shop type
  • The vehicles year, make, and model 
  • Location

Honest and Transparent Pricing 

Ken’s Automotive & Transmissions offers honest and transparent pricing for all their clients. Have a question about your bill? Our Service Writers are happy to explain anything you have questions about. Go with an auto repair shop that you can trust. If you’re having a problem with your car, schedule an appointment with Ken’s Automotive & Transmissions today!