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Are You Aware? Diagnostics Charges

Terry's Auto, located on Blackstone St. in Woonsocket, charges $90 for a service Auto Zone conducts for free.

For Woonsocket residents, one of the most conveniently located mechanics in town would have to be , which is now owned and operated by Gil Denomme. Located right on the corner of Main and Blackstone St., it is an establishment which caters to many folks who live here in Woonsocket.

Auto Zone, which is located in the Park Square Plaza, offers free testing when your “Check Engine” light comes on. That should tell us that this diagnostic test  cost virtually nothing.

Terry’s Auto, however, will not accept the codes from Auto Zone diagnostic  test.  According to Gil Denomme,  they have to do this diagnostic test themselves. Why? Hmmm… not really sure. When I asked Kelly, the receptionist there at Terry's Auto, I did not feel I was given a clear answer.  Could it be the extra $90 they’d be missing out on?

Gil charges $90 for the five minutes it takes to diagnose the “Check Engine” light.

Although Kelly will tell you –if you ask – that they do indeed charge extra for this, she did not tell me how much.

I made the mistake of not asking how much it would be.  I assumed that since Auto Zone conducted this service for free, it couldn’t possibly cost more than a few dollars. Well, I got stuck with a near $100 bill before any auto work was even done.

Many mechanics charge fees for diagnostics and it may take a little searching to find a place that will listen when you tell them just what you want fixed. At least now, you are aware.

Steve June 11, 2011 at 06:43 PM
Tell you what Sandy, while you're at it, suspend my account too! I can't take this type of sensorship anymore. I'm done with the "Patch" !!!!!!!! $venGali and others, thanks for the support!
Jim Bobb June 11, 2011 at 06:43 PM
Sandy...has this business purchased advertising space on Patch?
$venGali June 11, 2011 at 06:56 PM
Sandy...no matter how you try to cover your tracks, it is wrong. You singled out one business. It may be a fact that there is a $90 charge, but you should have mentioned that most other shops will charge. You left this business exposed for additional comments like the people you say found this 'useful'. They just took it as an opportunity to knock a business...stop fooling yourself. You made a mistake..apologize!
RonW June 11, 2011 at 06:56 PM
No matter what you do, your not going to make everybody happy.
Sandy Phaneuf June 11, 2011 at 06:57 PM
Honestly, I wouldn't know either way. We separate editorial and advertising departments here at Patch - I have nothing to do with the sales department.
Sandy Phaneuf June 11, 2011 at 07:00 PM
"Many mechanics charge fees for diagnostics and it may take a little searching to find a place that will listen when you tell them just what you want fixed. At least now, you are aware."
Jim Bobb June 11, 2011 at 07:00 PM
i don't think you would have run such an Expose if they did advertise - honestly!
$venGali June 11, 2011 at 07:11 PM
Sandy...Patch in no way contributed to how aware i am of diagnostic charges across the city/region. When i bring my vehicle for service - either the dealer or a mechanic, i get a quote for service that is to be performed. If i am not happy with the price - which is why i have been going to Terry's, i can take my business elsewhere. This article did not need to go into the practice of one particular business. It could have been simply stated that Auto Zone offers free diagnostics on your vehicle - period. What you decide to do with that information is up to you...the caveat could have been that some mechanics won't accept it and would rather perform their own diagnostics for a charge, and as i mentioned, most will apply the charge to the service performed. This article simply came across as a grudge against a local business. There was nothing informational about singling out one business that would not accept your free diagnostic...irrelevant. As i said, there is no way you can convince me and i'm sure many others that this was not a smear campaign against this business....would you show up at a restaurant with a bottle of wine or a six pack - to save money - and expect them to be okay with that? I don't think so....just apologize already!
wayne Carroll June 11, 2011 at 07:25 PM
Obviously this article has started a discussion.....I think a more thorough follow up on the rest of the service stations in Woonsocket is called for in a timely fashion.
Sandy Phaneuf June 11, 2011 at 07:28 PM
An excellent suggestion Wayne - thanks! I would add that anyone who would like to submit comments regarding positive experiences at this or other shops would certainly contribute to the usefulness of the information.
Meesh June 11, 2011 at 08:04 PM
I happen to have a connection to the previous owner of Terry's and was always treated well and with respect. I continued to bring my car for service after the business was sold. I too was charged $90 to be told my gas cap was loose. I ate crow that time and paid the money. I then brought my car back once more for service. On this occasion I was charged 3x retail on just the parts alone! After that incident, I never went back and told everyone I know of his business practices. If he is doing this to acquaintances of the former owner, then I can only imagine what he is charging strangers.
wayne Carroll June 11, 2011 at 08:36 PM
A missed opportunity by Terry's .....put the gas cap back on and the customer would had been forever grateful and word of mouth would have more than taken care of the $90 fee....cheapest and best advertising you can get....
wayne Carroll June 11, 2011 at 08:44 PM
Really people, I don't think the intention was to hurt the business....I just think the article for whatever reason was not complete. More service stations asked and results published would have been a service to all consumers. Would you not like to know what service station in Woonsocket does not charge for this service? How about their hourly repair rates? How about free towing if the work is perform at the premises? In these times where everyone is trying to tighten their belts this can be vital information.
P.E.H. June 11, 2011 at 10:34 PM
This seems to be simply a review on this one establishment that this writer chose to do. No different than all of the other reviews that are done by the patch like the Bites Nearby. Just because the review was not a positive one does not mean it should not have been done. It is true that many other places in the city probably charge similar rates but those were not being reviewed. Maybe in the near future they too will be done. These businesses should simply take the criticism in the reviews and use them to improve their company if needed.
give me a break June 11, 2011 at 10:45 PM
now let me see autozone said the doo hickey is no good went to terry's, terry's fixes the doo hickey but that was not the so are you gonna go to for a refund, A-- auto zone for guessing wrong B -- terry's for fixing what YOU told him to fix did you make the right choice A oh by the way I never went to terry's
wayne Carroll June 12, 2011 at 02:04 AM
I agree....
WoonSuks June 12, 2011 at 04:19 PM
Thats why I don,t go to Terry,s Auto for service , I go to Art,s on the corner Front & Transit. his prices are fair and Honest
Jay Dionne June 16, 2011 at 05:17 PM
My family and I have have been customers of Terry's for many years - dating back to when Terry opened his doors. Gil is a top notch mechanic...his prices aren't the lowest (he's a business not a charity) but he stands behind his work.
Jay Dionne June 16, 2011 at 08:08 PM
Bobby - I think your mistaken, at least with respect to Terry's. They do charge you based on the hourly rate but it's pro-rated based on the duration of time it takes to complete the job - it's very clear on their receipts. I'm standing up for Gil because he's been fixing my cars for 20 years so I guess I do know him personally but it's not like we're friends. If you really think Gil charges $51 to change a fuse you're really off-base. If you think charging someone to do a job is taking advantage then I don't know what to tell you. It's a business.
Steve June 16, 2011 at 10:30 PM
Well Michelle, what say you to Gil's response. Seems like there were a "FEW" things missing in your account of your visit to Terry's. As I said in a past post, Gil, Kelly and co. have always treated my wife and I great from a service, price and quality of repair standpoint. He even went as far once as to take my wife's car into his shop the next day for a new water pump because she needed to have it for work the following week, thereby avoiding a major headache! Hopefully, you're not using the Patch as a means to vent your frustrations to a larger audience.
Michelle Couchon June 16, 2011 at 11:57 PM
It’s unfortunate that you felt you had to air my car's dirty laundry in order to defend a fact. (my poor car is dreadfully embarrassed at having missing her last oil change, lol). Auto Zone is not a repair shop, that much is true, but the following places are. Let the Facts Speak For Themselves. Check Engine light Diagnosis Fee: 1.Meineke Car Care Center, 240 S. Main St., Woon: FREE. 2.Forbes Auto, 773 Front St., Woon: FREE. 3.A & W Tire & Services, 375 Farnum Pike, Smithfield: FREE 4.Cerroni's Service Center, 124 Pleasant View Ave., Smithfield: FREE 5.Uncle's Transmission, 5 Larch St. Smithfield: FREE. 6.A 1 Radiator - $25.00 7.Moe's Broad St. Garage - $32.50 but it’s FREE if you allow them to do the work. 8.Speedees Oil Change & Tune-Up, 547 Kelley Blvd., N. Attleboro -$40.00 9.Wayne’s Service Plus, 269 Silver Spring St. Prov:: $44.50 10.Midas, 1290 N. Main St., Prov - $45.00 11. Terry’s Auto & Repair, 36 Blackstone St., Woon - $90.00 3 of the above auto shops advised me to tighten up my gas cap if my check engine light was on. (Cerroni's, Forbe's Auto, and Meineke). Apparently most mechanics are aware of the fact that if your gas cap is loose, it causes the check engine light to come on. An honest mechanic will tell you that right off the bat.
Michelle Couchon June 17, 2011 at 12:01 AM
Many of Gil's facts are incorrect, but I do not stoop so low as to argue trivialities, especially in print. I will say that I've certainly not been a customer for years; I only moved to Woonsocket last June. The fact that Terry's not only charges $90.00, but fails to inform you is the crux of the entire article. I ask you, who is going to agree to a $90.00 bill just to find out what's wrong with their car? Isn't that what a mechanic is supposed to do? Hasn’t this service been free since the invention of the car? Isn’t it bad enough we have to pay for parts and labor? Now we have to pay for the diagnosis as well? In his article, Gil stated that I wished to find out what was wrong with my car so I could take it elsewhere. Well, so what? Am I not entitled to take my car to whom I choose? Am I not entitled to locate the best possible rate? Am I not entitled to learn the problem with my vehicle without spending another small fortune in addition to the outrageous amounts of money it costs to fix the car?? My sole intention was and is to stand for those of us who live honest, hard-working lives and against the injustice and dishonesty that surrounds us.
Steve June 17, 2011 at 12:25 AM
Michelle, what exactly did you pay for? According to Gil: Michelle paid UNDER $100 for scanning the check engine light code, a pressure test, and a smoke test done to the vehicle to diagnose the problem. PLUS, she received her much needed oil change, all for UNDER $100. Please comment on the facts!
Jay Dionne June 17, 2011 at 01:55 PM
Michelle - IMHO...In order to truly assess whether the $90 daignosis charge is appropriate and reasonable, you need to confirm if those other service providers are using the system and software (or similar) that Gil described in his response (which costs nearly $10k and requires regular software updates) or are they using a less expensive and less accurate machine of the ilk that people can buy themselves over the internet. I'd be interested to know how you framed your inquiry to the other service providers. If my knee hurts, I can go to the doctors for 1. examination, 2. x-rays or 3. MRI, all of which are methods of diagnosis and all of which have different accuracy rates and costs. If you were not advised ahead of time of the cost of the diagnostic, that's an all-together different discussion and clearly not appropriate nor good business.
Steve June 17, 2011 at 02:31 PM
This is the crux of the problem.... Michelle, what exactly did you pay for? According to Gil: Michelle paid UNDER $100 for scanning the check engine light code, a pressure test, and a smoke test done to the vehicle to diagnose the problem. PLUS, she received her much needed oil change, all for UNDER $100. Please comment on the facts!
Jason D June 17, 2011 at 04:06 PM
Michelle thank you for making me aware of the fee and Gil thank you for sharing your side of the story too. One thing that sticks out is AutoZone is a parts store that doesn’t provide any mechanic services like Terry's or any other mechanic. Also they are probably using the $100 model to do the scan. Opinions are just that opinions, everyone has one and is entitled to it. People should be a little more respectful of each other here. It is ok to disagree but don’t get bent and start personally attacking each other. Also expect when you put an opinion out there that people are going to disagree and it is ok for that. I have never been to Terry’s for repair work but I have heard good things about the business and I see lots of cars running around with Terry’s Auto stickers on them. IMO Terry’s has a right to charge for this service there is a direct cost to the business to provide this service to his customers. Also as a mechanic he needs to protect himself from “customers” just coming in and asking for a code scan or diagnostic and then fixing themselves. It takes time and a mechanic to perform this. Why shouldn’t they be compensated for this? Also who the heck shops around when your vehicle needs to be repaired? I mean if it is needed right away, and why would you go to a place you don’t trust working on your car?. I am not talking about getting tires or a brake job, but rather repairs that are needed right then and there.
Jason D June 17, 2011 at 04:06 PM
cont'd I work in IT field and I have/do personal computer service on the side. When someone asks me to look at there computer I talk to them about what they are expecting. Are they just looking for an expert opinion? Are they looking for me to diagnose and repair the issue? For the 1st one I would charge a flat diagnostic rate, from there they may decide to fix it themselves or have me do it. For the latter I would apply the flat diagnostic rate to the repair work. Only time someone was unhappy was when I charged them $25 (discounted Diag. fee) to plug back in their network cable. Total time to diagnose and repair was 5 mins. I had spoken to them via phone for 15 mins and asked if they had checked the cable. I had to drive 30 mins to get there and it was at night. So people you will never make happy.
Jay Dionne June 17, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Nothing wrong with a little civil discourse...debate and discussion is always healthy.
Lionel June 18, 2011 at 01:53 PM
Dear Gill Please pay YOUR techicians to Diagnose my vehicle's problem. I would like you to work for free and allow me to use your knowledge....equipment.......tools....personnel.....overhead.........and experience to tell me what my cousin "Homer" needs to fix in my back yard. Thank you Michelle Too.
Steve June 18, 2011 at 04:51 PM
Oh, and while your at it, can I please have a free oil change as well. It seems like I'm 5000 miles overdue....LOL!

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