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CA Autozone stores free scan checks banned

01-15-2009, 12:46 PM
Seems the powers that be in California forced Autozone to stop providing free scanner checks to read fail codes in the event your check engine light comes on. So once again the citizens of this state get screwed, and now at a time when they need a service like that the most during these tough times. Somebody in CA government must have a cousin in the scanner business. Still available at Autozone stores in most other states. Anyone have more details?

01-15-2009, 06:49 PM
it probably came from the asa lobby(automotive service association)
i know they have been hacked off for years that this service is provided for free when they charge 85$ to read your code.

01-16-2009, 11:31 AM
That is unreal, whats next, ban the sale of the code readers?

01-16-2009, 11:44 AM
it probably came from the asa lobby(automotive service association)
i know they have been hacked off for years that this service is provided for free when they charge 85$ to read your code.

We get paid to read the code and provide diagnostic service, usually the first hour and rarely does anything take longer than an hour. The problem is these guys are parts salesman. They will sell you whhatever the code says is wrong which many times is not the part that has failed. Although you see it as a convenience, and I also agree that it is a nice service to provide, think of all the parts they sold that didn't need to be replaced or didn't fix the problem. When you go back to them what are they going to say, sorry try this part. Eventuall they might get it and yes I know there are parts guys who are very talented and skilled in actuall automotive diagnostics and repairs but your can't diagnose everything with a scan tool. There are other tools, and steps needed to accurately figure out what the problem is. Which you have no doubt found out if you have ever read some of the posts here that have some way messed up problems.

So do I care that they scan for free, no. Does it affect me at all, no. Are customers happy to finally have there car fixed by someone who knows what they are doing and gets it right the first time (most of the time, hey even I can screw one up here and there, but I make it right in the end) Instead of countless sales pitches that entale try this or try that or it could be this, YOU BET!!!

01-16-2009, 02:19 PM
it probably came from the asa lobby(automotive service association)
i know they have been hacked off for years that this service is provided for free when they charge 85$ to read your code.
So get around it by charging the customer $1 to read the codes. At least they can't complain it's a free service anymore:iceslolan .

01-16-2009, 02:47 PM
The problem isn't that it is free, it is that its not an accurate service which you would expect from a business. Lets say you go to a restaurant and tell them your thirsty and ask what the problem could be. They say you need a large order of buttered popcorn. how long do you think that restaurant will be open. In a way autozone was talking advantage of there customers buy selling them parts they didn't need. And every one lined up for there scan service. Seems a little bit like swindling when you really think about it. If repair shop would not get a good reputation and would not be around long if they did the same thing!!

01-16-2009, 03:53 PM
I really don't think it a California issue. I stopped by an Advanced Auto Parts asking if they could scan the codes in my car, I was told they stopped scanning for codes as well as replace fuses.

The guy told me the story about a salesman replacing a blown fuse and a couple weeks later the car has an electrical fire & the owner goes back to the Advanced Auto Partes salesman trying to sue them. I think it's more of a liability issue more than a California issue.

01-16-2009, 06:57 PM
You know the sad part is that even going to Autozone, and maybe buying an extra part that you actually didnt need, you usually come out ahead of going to a garage, when you factor the labor and the extra cost of the parts.

Everytime I have been at an Autozone, when they run codes for someone, they usually tell them what the parts cost but never pressure them to buy, and I have heard them say before that just because it is reading a code for this part it may be something else.

I have even heard on the radio there are garages that are offering to read codes for free. (cant remember who it was)

The good thing is that the code readers are getting cheaper all the time, I picked up one on Ebay for less that $30 shipped.

01-17-2009, 07:23 AM
The problem isn't that it is free, it is that its not an accurate service which you would expect from a business.

oh but it is accurate. they offer free code reading. which is what you got. any further diagnosis is on the customer.

why do you have a po171? could be 5 different things, but autozone reading the code was 100% accurate.

everytime i get my code read they print out a list of all the possible causes.
i have never had any pressure to buy, and i usually leave to research further.

01-17-2009, 07:31 PM
The government has only the citizens' best interests at heart at all times. I am sure that having to pay for having the codes read, instead of getting that information at no cost, must therefore be in our best interest.
Or, perhaps, some bureaucrat realized that the state cannot collect sales tax revenue when there is no money changing hands, so therefore a law was passed requiring payment for services rendered.
If I had to guess, I'd say the second scenario is probably closer to the truth.

01-17-2009, 08:35 PM
the only thing is this is a good site to help you save money. but i guess some things cant be helped. but you will keep using this site when they tell you what the bill's going to cost. i'm not putting anyone down either.

01-18-2009, 07:49 PM
If you do your own work scanners are not that expensive anymore. You can get one for less than $100 to look at and reset codes .

01-18-2009, 08:02 PM
AutoZone did get in big trouble years ago,charged for getting codes check before it is was free.The people whom check the codes are not certified to do this work.AutoZone loves promoting Bosch plugs which are not good spark plugs for Chrysler products.

05-03-2009, 01:23 PM
I worked at Autozone as a Parts Sales Manager. And a lot of the reasons some "zones" are having this taken away is the fact some employees are not educated. Yes most of the time you do just need an O2 sensor or an EGR. But, what I did was tell the customer 'this is what its saying....but a shops scanner tool would actually pinpoint the problem out of these 5 possibilities.' So "zoners" were selling parts they shouldn't have when its the other part on the printout. And a lot of Autozones have been sued because of this problem. You get the "maybe" part you need....go down the road....and get in an accident. It could've been caused by the part the Autozone employee should have sold you....not the one he did sell you. Take your vehicle to a shop with a good machine to read codes. Get it done right the first time.
A machine worth $4000 is going to work better than a handheld $130 scanner.

05-17-2009, 10:32 AM
I had Auto Zone read codes on several of my cars, the readout give suggestions, but they never pushed parts on me. The surge in emission related failed inspections has caused many shops that are not knowledgeable enough to fix these problems to overcharge customers for unneeded repairs. I took a Maxima in for a evap and knock sensor code. The first shop wanted to remove the intake manifold to replace the knock sensor for about $575.00, plus the evap repair. I found a Maxima speciality shop that replaced the knock sensor in 10 minutes and repaired a evap hose. Total cost $95.00. Bought the knock sensor on ebay for $75.00. A year later the evap code was back, I removed the evap hoses near the solinoid and found a moth nest inside. Used a air can to blow it out and the light went off in a few days.
When I had a evap and knock sensor code with a Altima the Nissan parts rep told me to replace the evap solenoid first and drive the car for a week and the knock sensor code would go away. He was correct.

05-17-2009, 04:30 PM
That's the Governator for you. I can't believe it took that long. How else can shops rape people for $90 code reads if Autozone or Advance are giving them away free? Maybe they will mark up parts 300% instead of 200% and charge $100 an hour labor. I'd rather junk a vehicle I own if I can't fix it myself. Screw those professional thieves. Making a living is one thing, Honesty and fair business practice is another.:nono:

05-18-2009, 12:07 PM
that was a great service. that really is to bad. You can get a code reader for about 30 bucks thow and do it your self

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