Technician Talk

2003 Malibu LS diagnostic

  • So after several weeks of mechanics telling me different things and finding out that certain things were not done during this whole scanning testing stuff I just want to know what I should be paying attention to now. I'm taking my car to yet another mechanic and forking out another $90 for "diagnostics" so what do I need to make sure they are doing? I take her in Friday so any feedback before then is much much appreciated!!! Thanks in advance!

  • Beckitopia, I am wondering have you driven the car with a technician/mechanic or service writer to give them the best chance to duplicate the problem. Why I ask is that many times a technician may be a little shy when it comes to putting the pedal to the metal when its not their own car or the test drive course they have may not be permitting for this type of acceleration. You described in your first comment that the issue happens "when you try to gain speed fast like entering freeway the RPMs go higher then normal before it shifts". This sounds like a pedal to the metal situation or drag race type acceleration. Often not attempted by a technician unless told to do so directly from the customer or their manager. So make sure that you can drive with them or at the very least describe the best chance for them to duplicate the problem.

    I now this is not the answer to your latest question, but I just wanted to relay my thoughts to you. Duplication of the problem is step one for any technician/mechanic.

  • No tech or mechanic has even offered to drive it. They would have no problem recreating he issue as it is there more often than not. I just assumed they didn't do like test drives...shows how much I know I guess. So when I take my car Friday can I request them to drive it? Should they do that before or after they start the diagnostic? Thanks

  • I would say yes, yes you can ask that they or someone ride with you to experience the problem, keep in mind that the test drive is generally the first step for any drivability issue. If you are bringing this to a smaller repair facility you would have to make a point of this during your call that you would like to drive with somebody so they can experience the issue. With this request they can make arrangements in their planning of their day.  

    Noting some shops have a courtesy driver to get you home if you were not going to stay at the shop during your appointment. With your allowance you could have them use your car to drive you home depending on that you do not live far from the shop. On this drive home, you drive and drive it in a way that will duplicate the issue. Now they will have the experience of what you have concerns with. No denying they did not experience the problem. Many people have a spouse, friend or relative with them when dropping off a vehicle so they do not think of this.

    Most likely when you have agreed to the diagnostic service fee and have signed a work order/you are agreeing to allow the shop to test drive the vehicle as needed for their diagnosis and confirmation drives.      

  • Ok thanks! I'll stop I'm today and let them know I'd like them to test drive the car. I fully intend to stay Friday during the diagnosis bc too many other mechanics didn't seem to do everything they were supposed to do. Too much money to throw away when they aren't doing EVERYTHING they are supposed to do. I have questions written down for them...maybe you can help answer. During this diagnosis will fuel system be tested to see if it's fuel pump? Will they check for intake leaks or vac leaks? Check injectors? Cat converter? Transmission? If I don't know what all I'm supposed to be getting for my money then I'm probably throwing money away AGAIN...sorry to be such a pain about this but thank you for guiding me along.

  • I understand your frustrated, but I can not say what you should expect in regards with the diagnosis testing. Each shop has there own procedures and policy's. So you will have to do your own homework here, all the questions you have currently written down are valid questions but to expect all of the above may be stretching. The fees involved can also vary from community to community, Independent repair shop vs. Dealer repair. Good luck. I'm hoping they can find out what ails your car.

  • I thank you for all your advice. I stopped in yesterday to go over what all the diagnostic would cover, confirm pricing and ask about them test driving. I feel much better about it now so I really hope they can finally provide an answer for me. Thank you again! You're awesome!!

  • Just an update to close this thread out. No determination was made on what was causing the issues. Had my appointment all set and was getting everything checked from tranny, cat converter and fuel system ...sadly I was rear ended yesterday morning going to work...dude actually hit me twice, said foot slipped off brake and hit gas and he must've panicked and hit gas again when he tried to brake idk...anyway adjuster was out today and the car was totaled so looks like I will never know what the issue was. Thanks for helping along the way!