When a car comes in that has a visible check engine light do you guys go through the whole test knowing from the very beginning that it is 100% going to fail? I have often seen it where techs will just send the car away to get repaired before coming back, and sparing them from having to run the whole smog check. Is that the norm? I feel weird about it
Smog the vehicle as is, if the customer decides to be difficult about their failed inspection send them to the referee. Beware the Pajeet, the rooftop Korean, beware of mehmet, the used car salesman (abdul) the basketball american and of course Shlomo.
This is always a tough one! You should use your best judgment in my opinion. For example, a customer who I know and brings me all of their cars, I'll always advise them about the check engine light being an automatic fail. And because they are usually repeat customers, I don't want to fail a car I passed 2 years ago and have it affect my FPR.
Another scenario... say you fail it and the customer says "If you knew it was going to fail with the check engine light on, why did you check it?!?!" ... so, I know it's your job to test the car as is; however, this is a dick move bro!!
Here's my get down on most cars, Vehicle drives in with check engine light on, "Sir or Mam, did you know your check engine light is on? As per the smog program I am supposed to test your car as is, however, since I have not started the test I will advise you that a check engine light is an automatic fail. If you need a failed test for a moving pass, a printout of codes, or an extension from the DMV I'd be more than happy to run the test."
Yes, this last one is, along with explanation of monitors is EXHAUSTING some days. I'm an owner operator in a smaller suburb where I know many of my customers. It is important to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction as my customers are my neighbors, friends, and associates.
I personally, do not believe that this scenario of failing a car for a check engine without advising a customer is at all ethical. The BAR puts us in a situation that can cause potential conflict with a customer. At the end of the day, JUST BE COOL!!
That is the best way to fail and explain in it in my opinion. When we scanned your vehicles computer it came back with emission related fault codes. You need to have your vehicle repaired and have no more fault codes to pass.. or something to that effect. I also agree with smog ace. If you see it and theyre a good customer theres no reason to fail them first. Especially at the shop I work at because we do free re tests. So theres really no point in failing someone just for them to come back and have to do the test over again.. Twice the work with the same pay isnt practical.
And yeah of course you always get THAT customer that argues about the whole thing when youre just trying to help them. "WELL WHY WOULD A CHECK ENGINE LIGHT EVEN MATTER?!" Then they go home, clear the code and come back. In this case, "oh you fixed it? great that was the fastest repair ive ever heard of! only 15 minutes, sure lets run the test at full price, itll definetly pass now!
Also worth mentioning... If a vehicle fails, we always check that all monitors are set when they return and that includes the evap system, however, since the vehicle never failed in the first place, then we are not too concerned with the evap system being set. I usually offer to scan the vehicle with my personal scanner to advise the customer on the code. If the code is in fact an evap code, I may require the evap monitor to run upon return
The reason i dont do this everytime is because i end up looking like the bad guy. I work in a smallish city and i dont wanna end up looking like the guy who in their mind ripped them off. Usually I tell them itll fail and check their codes for them (free of charge). They almost always come back since "Im the nice guy who helped them out". They usually end up being a regular or sending me some more cars. A lot of shops close to me fail and charge for check engine light. I get a lot of their customers.. I had a guy come in the other day, his car failed for not ready at a shop down the way and they charged him of course. I asked if the other shop did free retests and he said " ye but you guys were so cool last time I figured I'd just come back here." weird of the guy but I guess it was worth another full price smog to come see us.. thats the type of rep Id like to have.