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It's gonna cost HOW much???



  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Flat rate can be a double edged sword, but there has to be something to provide equitable pricing for the customer AND the repair facility. Using a RWD GM rear axle overhaul as an example, flat rate calls for 5 hours. A driveline specialist tech who's done the job a hundred times, and developed techniques and obtained specialty tools, can probably knock it off in 3 - 3 1/2 hours. The customer bitches that he's being charged excessively. Now give the same job to a general mechanic and it takes him 7 hours. Will the same customer be prepared to pay that? Probably not. There has to be some standardized guideline as to what a given repair operation is worth, regardless of how little or much time it actually takes to complete that task.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    And never begrudge the specialist his speed! Many folks complain about getting fast service, thinking they have been overcharged for the time. All that expensive equipment and skill makes it happen fast, and the flat rate is defined as fair. It IS fair. The price per hour at the flat rate time allowance is the only point to debate, in my opinion.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    There are alot of things that flat rate doesn't cover. As stated in Alcan's post. Add to that, cleanup, putting tools away, getting the parts, going back and getting the right parts and customers who insist on standing over your shoulder. Those get charged an extra 4 hours.
    Seriously, there are alot of variables that can and do affect how quickly a mechanic can do a repair.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,629
    Believe me, it averages out. Sometimes the mechanic makes out really well, since he knows the car and the job and the car cooperates, and sometimes he takes a miserable beating on the job and cannot pass this on to the customer.

    I highly recommend to anyone who thinks mechanics are getting rich and making easy money to apprentice themselves to a good honest shop for two weeks and count what's left over once the overhead, government, mishaps and skinned knuckles have been accounted for.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,346
    It's not easy and this is why there is such a talent drain in the industry. Again, the investment in tools, equipment and training is staggering.

    I happen to think if a mechanic is able to overhaul a filthy, greasy differential in less than book time and do a quality job, good for him!

    The next job he does may be a miserable one where he runs into big trouble in spite of his ability.

    On that job, he might get paid for three hours but the job took five because things simply went wrong.

    Yeah...everyone should try it!
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    The immoral, socialistic redistribution schemes of confiscatory government are painful to many in society who contribute to the national product...
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    From each according to his income to each according to his sloth.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,629
    I agree, down with corporate welfare!

    I wish the small auto shops could catch the same "incentives" as big business. I'd sign up for socialism right away. I'd like ot start with being able to write off my Mercedes repairs in order to encourage USA-EU trade exchange. And get some pollution credits on all those oily rags I'm disposing off properly.
  • ocelot1ocelot1 Posts: 101
    mitsibishi montero 3.5L engine overhaul 37 hours labor with 372.00 of labor to have machine shop tear down heads and put back togather. total 2842.60labor. Parts,rings,bearings,gaskets.timing belt,water pump,idler pully for timing belt,oil filter, coolant,and some other parts $1229.10. Plus the parts I will buy and have installed in the process,plugs 12.00 each ,wires 71.00 for three thats all it takes. Thermostat 16.00,fuel filter 17.00,upper and lower hoses 16.00 each,valve grind 175.00.I'm sure thats not all for its not done yet.What do you think alcan?Tony P.S,all the parts are factory mitsu,but the shop is independet. We don't have a mitsu dealer here closest one is 125 miles.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    considering that a manufacturer-certified rebuilt engine is in the $5000 range off the pallet, that is not a bad run.

    sure different from when a short block slant-6 was $800 and the full job was $1200 or so back in 1973, but them's the times, and I don't think that ratio exactly follows the inflation curve, either.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Your shop was right on target with the labour quote.

    Engine assembly, R&R & O/H
    Includes: replace rings, main and rod bearings, crankshaft and camshaft, burnish cylinders, grind valves, adjust idle speed and timing
    Does Not include fit pins or align rods

    3.5L engine..... 37.0
    where air conditioning interferes... 1.0
    where power steering interferes... .2

    The only discrepancy I see is the sublet charge to the machine shop for the valve job. Should be included in the 37 hours.
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    "sure different from when a short block slant-6 was $800 and the full job was $1200 or so back in 1973, but them's the times, and I don't think that ratio exactly follows the inflation curve, either. "

    Consumer Price Index (CPI) Cost:

    Since 1973 the index is 4.015 times or $4900 pretty close.

    You should try to rebuild a Q45 V8 engine, $7,800 would be the start and a premium job [to new factory specs] would be closer $10,000.

    But then again exotics are $18-25K.

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,629
    Yep, Mercedes V-8 SLs run about $16,000 now in California, Dodge Viper about $13K just for the engine in a crate.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    So many reasons to not buy expensive/exotic cars---
  • ocelot1ocelot1 Posts: 101
    Thats nice to here.This car is only worth 10k low TMV so all most a 1/3of the value for the overhaul,a factory short block would be 2500.00 extra.I hope I can get 100k out of this overhaul.I'm going to over maintance all that I can.I'm not going to use synthic oil though.Tony
  • rubicon52rubicon52 Posts: 191
    I once worked on a program where we were designing a surveillance aircraft for a foreign government by sticking a big radar in the belly of an American business jet. The cost and maintenance figures we were getting from the jet manufacturer made no sense until the manufacturer admitted that the book time to do maintenance could be several times the time required to actually do the maintenance! Also, these jets are usually used by corporate execs and other wealthy types who would never consider doing the work themselves. The ultimate racket.
  • oldharryoldharry Posts: 413
    Trucks, In an old Chilton manual, it gives 5.5 hours to change all four ball joints on 4X2 fords. On the other hand it only give 4.5 on 4X4's that take a lot longer.

    Here in salt country, I find it takes about 5.5 to six hours to do all four on a 4X4 including changing all three axel u-joints (change the inner right on the truck with the OTC ball joint press), while I can do all four on a two wheel drive way under 2 hours. The Ford dealers chage the customers 5.5 on customer pay jobs, but Ford pays less on warranty jobs.

    Real Time Labor Guide (On disc) quoted the same times when it first came out, and I got a discount on the update for pointing that out.

    Back in the mid seventies Chilton gave 1 hour to change a lower ball joint on a Chevrolet, but 2 hours on a Cadillac. It was the same amount of work.

    In my shop I use labor guides for unfamiliar work, but set my own times on jobs I do every day. My prices are usually a little lower than the dealers, but substantially higher than Wally-World type places.

  • glenn43glenn43 Posts: 15
    Price includes: oil change,tire rotation and balance, tune up, belt adjustments, rear brake service,complete inspection of truck. Thus far I've logged 13,731 (highway) miles and have used the dealer for oil changes every 5k miles. I have elected to rotate my own tires (don't really see a need for rebalancing unless I hit something). My intention is to keep up with any "needed" maintenance on my truck, however I'm having a hard time seeing the need for anything other than an oil change and tire rotation at 15k. Any thoughts :)
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,629
    You may have a point glenn but from my point of view some human pair of eyes and hands needs to be looking over a vehicle every 15K or so, yes. Nothing wrong with inspecting brake pad wear, adjusting belts (too tight or too loose is no good) and checking tune up specs as well. Of course you can do some of this yourself but I'd certainly keep records of anything you do or someone else other than the dealer does.

    I have my friend's shop do a big 30K service on my car every two years and we find all kinds of little things wrong.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Posts: 1,518
    Yeah, but that's because it's a Mercedes. If it was an Olds or Chrysler, you wouldn't "...find all kinds of little things wrong."
    Ha! I just couldn't resist... (:oÞ
This discussion has been closed.