How much does a ____ cost?

You can learn more about the price of a repair here. Visit us for a complete and accurate auto repair estimate. Schedule an appointment online or give us a call.

I know the code for my check engine light, now what?


Every once in a while we encounter some confusion about vehicle diagnostic charges. “You mean I have to pay for you to tell me what needs to be repaired? Even if you don’t fix anything?” Or, “I still have to pay for a diagnostic even though I get it fixed by you?” Diagnostic charges are sometimes a topic of debate. But they shouldn’t be. You don’t see people upset about paying their doctor for their yearly physical exam.

It takes education, a whole lot of experience (I’m talking YEARS), and talent to be a really good mechanic. And it’s not easy. Having problems with your vehicle solved and fixed is a valuable service that saves you a lot of headache. Proper equipment, experience, and training are required to consistently and accurately diagnose the cause of vehicle problems. These people have invested their time and money into becoming experts so that you don’t have to!

“But I already know the code of my check engine light, what else do you need to do?” Running a code at AutoZone is kind of like Googling a medical problem: you have symptoms and you find online a list of possible causes of these symptoms. WebMD is like many automotive forums: it attempts to offer a diagnosis more specific to your situation. Sometimes the diagnosis is accurate and allows you to take further steps to solve your problem; sometimes it isn’t. Let’s say the check engine light comes on your dash, you go to AutoZone, have the code read and you get: P2232. When you research possible causes for this code for your specific vehicle, let’s say a 2001 Honda Civic EX, you uncover that possible causes could be a faulty MAP sensor, O2 sensor, vacuum leak, etc. Paying for vehicle diagnosis is like paying a doctor for a medical diagnosis. It is a service that is worth the cost because you’re working with an expert, which really does save you time and money.

The other option to avoid diagnostic charges is to gamble with “guessing” what caused the issue your vehicle is having. We call it “throwing parts at it”. It’s a strategy that was often times used back in the day when vehicles weren’t run by fancy computer systems. You would replace parts until the problem was solved, wasting money on unneeded parts and stressing a lot along the way. By confirming the cause of the issue, we are then able to warranty the work performed. Ultimately, paying for diagnostic charges puts the ball in the shop’s court so they are then responsible for fulfilling their half of the bargain: correctly diagnosing the problem.

Check out the associated teal links to learn more about different perspectives on this issue.

Can I drop off my vehicle before or after your hours of operation?


You can drop off your vehicle anytime! Put your keys in the key drop located right outside the front door. If your car is being towed, instruct the driver to put your keys in the key drop and you won't need to ride along with them!

After Hours Service | Community Auto

What if my problem is intermittent?



When a vehicle has a problem that occurs unpredictably it is called an intermittent problem. An intermittent problem may not occur while operating the system or even during a test drive. This can make it very difficult to diagnose the cause of the problem.

Intermittent car problems can be a pain for everyone involved!

This post should help you understand why that is and the complexities of diagnosing the cause of car problems. And in doing so, hopefully relieve any related frustration. Fortunately, Community Auto is equipped with the latest repair information, technical service bulletins, and recall information. If your vehicle has a system or component with an inherent safety, emissions, or reliability problem and there is a factory fix available for it, we will be able to make you aware of it and repair the problem for you. What you can do to save money, time, and frustration and to help us solve the problem:

Pay attention to driving conditions

  • What is the temperature like outside?
  • Is it the first time the vehicle has been driven for the day?
  • Have you been in stop and go traffic or turning and off your vehicle frequently (such as while running errands)?
  • How long and at what speeds were you driving when the problem occurred?
  • Was the A/C, heat, lights, or radio on?

These can all be clues that help us get closer to solving the problem and ultimately save you time and money in the process.

Regardless of the type of problem or the system at fault, certain aspects of diagnosis remain the same. In order to accurately diagnose the cause of any problem the technician needs the problem to (predictably) occur twice. The first observation provides the technician with some insight needed to plan a focused testing strategy. A focused testing strategy saves diagnostic time and dollars. The second observation is made while the technician has his test equipment hooked up, monitoring the system or components that may be involved. Although the technician is prepared to attempt to recreate whatever operating conditions are necessary to make the problem occur, if the problem does not surface, a focused strategy cannot be planned.

In this case the technician must test all systems that could potentially cause the symptom until a defect is found. This all-inclusive systematic method takes more time and dollars, and there is no guarantee that the correction of a defect discovered this way will resolve the problem.

This is because there is no proof of a defect discovered during this systematic testing is the real cause of the problem. Another strategy to fix an intermittent problem is to perform a repair based on an educated guess of what is causing the problem. This can be risky because, in most cases, the part cannot be returned and the labor for the installation is non-refundable. However, when the symptom cannot be observed or testing does not disclose the defect, it can be the only choice left.

Diagnosing intermittent problems can be very time consuming and requires your patience and cooperation for us to be successful fixing the problem. It may require more diagnostic time than originally estimated to recreate or find the cause of the symptom. It may be necessary to leave the vehicle for several days, or return several times, so we may observe the symptom or judge the results of diagnosis and/or repair to insure the problem is corrected.

The service advisor will give you an initial estimate for diagnosis. This estimate is an educated guess of how long it may take to discover the cause of your problem. This initial estimate does not guarantee a discovery of the cause of the symptom or include the cost of repair. The repair cannot be estimated until after the diagnosis is completed. During the course of the diagnosis we will keep you informed of our progress. If additional diagnostic time is required to discover the cause of the problem, we will ask for your authorization of the cost before proceeding. After diagnosis we will ask for your authorization of the repair cost before proceeding.

Now that you are aware of some things that can come up when trying to fix an intermittent problem, it is time to talk to the service advisor about the specifics of your situation.

What if my only car is at your shop?

No problem! We offer loaner cars for your convenience, subject to availability. Let your service advisor know that you are interested in reserving one.

Loaner Cars | Community Auto