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Thread: Sky High auto repairs

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lafayette LA
    Posts
    1,010

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    BTW most dealerships are more expensive then a independent mechanic. Usually the have 1-2 master mechanics working there. These are the guys who are actual mechanics and they assess the problem with either a obd reader (little thing that plugs in your car to tell them whats wrong) or by actually looking at the car if the obd doesn't find the problem. After the problem is figured out they plug it in a computer and the nissan/volve/bmw/etc etc system will tell them 6 hrs (even if it takes them 4 hrs in reality) and this part from them at the premium price. Then some guy who if your lucky has a GED follows step by step instructions on changing it and when he messes up runs to the master mechanic all the while your paying probably 100$+ a hr for labor and for parts from the manufacturer vs half of what you could get it for elsewhere new.

    Im a huge car guy and my alternator shorted out. I tested the car and figured it out myself. Curious I call a friend at a nearby dealership and he said they would want 225$ for the alternator and 300 for the labor. 120$ later (thx autozone) and 1.5 hrs worth of easy labor (like 6 bolts and and taking off a fan belt and putting back on) I was done and been fine since.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sammamish, WA.
    Posts
    3,534
    I think William hit the nail on the head.

    Most of us are probably old enough to remember when auto mechanics time was charged out at $45 - 50 per hour. Since then the rate has steadily climbed, and I think I read somewhere that the average is now between $100 - $150 per hour, depending on the dealership and the specialty.

    You can sometimes do better if you find someone who is operating independent of a dealership, but you run the risk that they may not be experienced with the specific make/model of car you have.

    When I bought my 1987 Toyota MR2 the next purchase I made was the "Green Book", which is the big service manual sold to the dealerships for use by their service techs that outlines step by step procedures for most service jobs. This goes WAY beyond what a Chiltons or other aftermarket book provides. I used it to do some service work that would otherwise have been beyond my abilities.

    Anyway, the point is the higher rates are likely to involve people time more than parts costs.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Tonasket, WA
    Posts
    3,589
    I have a GED. Funny, a lack of higher education doesn't seem to impede my ability to work on cars, my knives, OR even my spelling. College ain't all it's cracked up to be, and with auto repair, it can actually be a hindrance.

    Sorry to get off topic, I just don't like some of the subtle (or not so) attitudes and views out there on varying levels of formal education. Some of the smartest people I know were high school dropouts.
    Lovin' every minute...

    Visit my Maker's Forum at Bladeforums.

    Visit my website, http://www.prometheanknives.com

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA
    Posts
    246
    I have a 2007 Mazda 3. The check engine light came on. Multiple problems were causing this. Bad thermostat and bad oxygen sensor. Dealer wanted nearly $800 to take care of it. Their price on the oxygen sensor was $280, The thermostat was about $140. I paid them $80 for diagnosing the problem. It appeared that the oxygen sensor is a dealer only part. Found the thermostat for $40 but the thermostat is burried where you have to remove half junk in front of the engine. Took it to an independent mechanic. Total cost was about $450. They charged me about $200 for the oxygen sensor and $50 for the thermostat. Also had them flush the cooling system and replace the coolant. Someone once took one of the side view mirrors, just the mirror not the housing. Dealer charger $130 to replace it.

    I believe that a thermostat for my old Bronco is less than $20 and when I replace the oxygen sensor it was $40. Took me an hour to replase the thermostat and 15 minutes to replase the sensor.

    My wife had a BMW Z3 for a couple of years. Crazy expensive to maintain. The last straw was an ABS brake problem just out of warranty. Dealer wanted over $4000 to fix it. Had it done a an independent garage for $2700. Partsalone were about $2300. We probably has about $10,000 of work done on it under warranty. If you buy one of these get rid of it before the warranty runs out. Taking it in for service is like a visit to the hospital, technicians in lab coats and the works. A trip to the emergency room would probably cost less.

    Greg

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bayfield, CO 7500 feet elevation
    Posts
    11,294
    You guys are looking at it wrong... here's what I do!

    You want to put a knife order in, well I'm going to have to hook up the computer for that... $125
    I ran into trouble making the guard and had to redo it - $600
    Gotta charge for parts, $400
    Sorry if your knife doesn't stay sharp, I may have gotten the steel wrong... just bring it back in and we'll change out the steel. $550

    If they don't pay I put a lein on the knife and lock it in my lot.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Delaplane, Virginia
    Posts
    2,407
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem Straub View Post
    I have a GED. Funny, a lack of higher education doesn't seem to impede my ability to work on cars, my knives, OR even my spelling. College ain't all it's cracked up to be, and with auto repair, it can actually be a hindrance.

    Sorry to get off topic, I just don't like some of the subtle (or not so) attitudes and views out there on varying levels of formal education. Some of the smartest people I know were high school dropouts.

    Salem, are you taking about my remark on having to take a course at CTI? CTI is a trade school, man. I was just making a funny remark referring to my own lack of ability to work on cars. Nothing was meant by that at all.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Tonasket, WA
    Posts
    3,589
    No no, David, not you at all- just CBR's comment about the dealership laborer who "if you're lucky has a GED" working on your car.

    I do have respect for folks who don't work on cars themselves, it's damn frustrating and is not something everyone has an aptitude for. It can be rewarding to perform the occasional easy fix, but when you have to do your own head gaskets and clutch jobs over three day weekends it can get very stressful. In my case as a poor full time maker it's fix it myself or don't drive...

    Sorry about the thread derail. Good luck with your cars!
    Lovin' every minute...

    Visit my Maker's Forum at Bladeforums.

    Visit my website, http://www.prometheanknives.com

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