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Question about suspicious vehicle service issue

Old 03-10-21, 02:18 PM
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mtnbud
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Question about suspicious vehicle service issue

I brought my car in for a factory recall. Afterward getting it back, my airbag sensor warning light turned on and stayed on. It never turned on before I brought it in for this service.
I brought the car back right away assuming they accidently did something. They said it wasn't because of anything they did and it'll cost me $185 to diagnose.
I talked the service manager into resetting the warning light for free. He said I'd need to pay for the diagnosis if the light turns back on. Fishy or legit?
BTW: I looked up my year car and did find some of my cars did have a recall involving a an airbag sensor - brought the recall to the service person's attention and he said that recall didn't pertain to my car.

I'd say something doesn't smell right. Any thoughts, suggestions, or encouragement?
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Old 03-10-21, 03:54 PM
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I can see a battery recall service triggering an idiot light... can't see it doing anything that would actually affect the airbag (unless they REALLY screwed up)
If it does come back on, and you authorize the diagnostic and they find "no reason"... maybe you could get them to waive the fee.
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Old 03-10-21, 05:03 PM
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Make sure to use your VIN on this site to be sure there are no open recalls on your vehicle (if you haven't.)
https://www.nissanusa.com/recalls-vin/#/#/Home
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Old 03-10-21, 05:12 PM
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I'm not sure what kind of vehicle you have, but a search of recalls and factory bulletins for the make and model should give you a lot of resources. Normally recalls and bulletins are based on VIN numbers so you should know yours when doing research. Most dealerships do not want to do warranty work because it only pays about 25% of retail work. And that is why you are being asked to pay for diagnostics. The type of recall you were asked to come in for may not be related to the problem you are having. But if the battery was disconnected while the auto was in the shop, you may have codes or sensors triggered by the reconnection. Most of those can be cleared by the use of a scanner which is part of what would be covered by the diagnostics. Any good local mechanic should have access to a scanner, I think I paid $1500 for mine and it has paid for itself a hundred times over.
Newer vehicles like GM have onboard integrated system computers that are capable of self diagnostics and the vehicle owners manual explain how to use them. HTH, Smiles, MH
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Old 03-10-21, 06:34 PM
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Update

The service manager came back while I was waiting in the waiting room and told me the sensor that needs to be replaced turns out to be covered under an extended warranty for my particular car. (2013 Nissan Leaf). He said they are ordering the part and it will be repaired free of charge. (Covered under warranty)

I find it interesting they figured out which part needs to be replaced when he said they weren't going to diagnose the problem, just reset the computer. I'm also wondering if I would've agreed to the $285 diagnosis charge if they would've found the same problem and still charged me the $285 fee.
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Old 03-11-21, 09:04 AM
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Took my wife's car in for air bag recall. Idiot light was on, but it went out a few days later. No idea why. Second air bag recall the idiot light was on and had the service manager reset it before driving away. All good 2 months later.
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Old 03-11-21, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
The service manager came back while I was waiting in the waiting room and told me the sensor that needs to be replaced turns out to be covered under an extended warranty for my particular car. (2013 Nissan Leaf). He said they are ordering the part and it will be repaired free of charge. (Covered under warranty)

I find it interesting they figured out which part needs to be replaced when he said they weren't going to diagnose the problem, just reset the computer. I'm also wondering if I would've agreed to the $285 diagnosis charge if they would've found the same problem and still charged me the $285 fee.
My guess is that they did some research based on what you told them and found a technical service bulletin that matched the symptoms.
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Old 03-12-21, 11:31 AM
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.
...I own and drive a LEAF that is a year or two older than yours. So while it has been an excellent car, overall, I have experienced the occasional glitch when it comes to warranty services. By far my best resource when I am puzzled about something going on with the car, and a Nissan dealer's failure to perform what I think is responsible warranty repair, has been the Nissan LEAF forums online.

You will be amazed how the power of crowdsourcing this sort of information expands your knowledge base. I used to do auto electrical repair, and had (have ?) an ASE certification in that area. I still had to take an auxiliary course locally at a place where they offer update classes for the smog cert guys, where we partially dismantled a LEAF, which included removing, opening up, checking the internals, and then reinstalling the drive battery. I still get more information on a particular issue like this from the LEAF forums than anyplace else. Were I you, and planning on keeping the car (no reason not to if it's running well), I would start an account up there.

There are a couple of them:

This one is pretty small, but appears to be independent of the Nissan company.
This one might have been started by Nissan itself, but still doesn't seem to censor content. Much bigger.

Warranty service issues vary according to dealership, and not all of them are especially reliable. Pretty sure warranty repair is a money loser for them, even with some factory reimbursement.

Good luck with your car. Mine is at the point where I'm soon going to have to decide on either a new drive battery, or buying a different electric car. It's a good car, but the battery replacement costs have not gone down as much as I had hoped they would over a ten year period. Maybe in a couple of years someone will start rebuilding the battery packs here in the US, like they have done in Japan, for less money.
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Old 03-12-21, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
. By far my best resource when I am puzzled about something going on with the car, and a Nissan dealer's failure to perform what I think is responsible warranty repair, has been the Nissan LEAF forums online.

You will be amazed how the power of crowdsourcing this sort of information expands your knowledge base. I still get more information on a particular issue like this from the LEAF forums than anyplace else.
This one is pretty small, but appears to be independent of the Nissan company.
This one might have been started by Nissan itself, but still doesn't seem to censor content. Much bigger.
Thanks! I'll do that.

The car has been fantastic for short trips around town. I've been frustrated with the range also. Especially in winter.

There's some new cars coming soon. Nissan Ariya, Ioniq 5, are a couple that look promising. When looking at pricing of new EVs, it does make sense to upgrade the battery pack on the Leaf. It's very frustrating Nissan hasn't really pursued making replacement batteries more available and affordable...
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Old 03-13-21, 08:22 AM
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But you knew what the expected range would be when you bought it ?. And are subsequently disappointed ?.
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Old 03-13-21, 09:34 AM
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I've been in the automotive and industrial equipment software business for a long time. Diagnostic software is not bug free. Startup and shutdown are the most troublesome scenarios, particularly battery disconnect/reconnect. Just getting a product out the factory without any codes is an accomplishment. There's good reason most codes are logged but not reported to the operator. Many are crap. Diagnostics on sensors, which are constantly under cost reduction pressure, is very challenging. The signal to nose ratio is horrific.
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Old 03-13-21, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
But you knew what the expected range would be when you bought it ?. And are subsequently disappointed ?.
...all of these batteries are subject to age related degeneration. so while not unexpected, at the time these older LEAF's were purchased, nobody knew exactly how that curve of gradual range shrinking would go as a function of years/miles/recharges.
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