What a rip off (auto related)

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by planosteve, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    Yesterday I took my wife to her Drs. Appointment and noticed that the left rear tire was low. Found a nail in it and Discount Tire fixed it for free. On the way back to pick up my wife the check engine lamp came on. Checked all the obvious stuff in the parking lot and didn't see anything that would cause an explosion or damage the car so I took it to Auto Zone and they checked the code for me. It was the Vapor Recovery System.:eek:

    Did some research on the web and the most likely part was the EVLD solenoid. Checked around and Dodge wanted $85 for the part and if I let them do the work it would be around $200. :mad: Local garage wanted 125 for parts and labor. Picked up the part at Auto Zone for $40 out the door and it took me less than 15 minutes to replace and test the part.

    Why do car dealers have to rip you off for both parts and labor? :mad: A 15 minute job should only be about $25 for labor and their cost on the part is less than $35. You want my business you damn well better charge me a fair price for parts and labor.

    Ok rant is over and I feel better now. :)
  2. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    I have a buddy that has a shop.
    Only very good mechanics work for him.
    His shop labor rate is like $90/hr
    He needs a 60% markup on parts to make everything work with insurance, overhead, advertising/marketing, mortgage payments and everything else.
    He also offers 100% warranty of his work.
    You pay for the convenience to have it done by somebody else.
    I've also saved money by changing starters in restaurant parking lots etc etc.

  3. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, one of my buddies owns a shop and he charges $85/hr for labor. He's one of the cheaper shops, but since he's a NAPA certified shop, he has to abide by their rules for labor rates. He actually got in trouble for having me come through and update his wireless network and installing security cameras with a monitoring station in his office and remote monitoring at home. While I was there, a couple of his techs had purchased new HP tablet PC deals with windows 8 and didn't know how to sync their scan and coding tools and printers to them. So I got them all set up and ready to go. NAPA threatened to pull his credentials if he didn't use one of their "certified" techs in the future.
  4. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    I have no problem with a $75 to $85 dollar labor rate, I have a problem with an hours labor for 15 minutes worth of work. I also have a problem with a 100% markup or more on parts. The local garage that we use for stuff I can't handle is fair and about 40% less than the dealer. I wish I had a lift then I would do a lot more work myself. My driveway has to much of a slope to use jack stands, and it is a $250 fine to work on your car in the street here.
  5. Dane

    Dane Supporting Member


    Did you try tightening your gas cap first????
  6. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    Yes, that is the first thing I checked as it is my wife's car. That is one of the reasons I fill it up for her most of the time. ;)
  7. Rerun

    Rerun Supporting Member


    I had the same reading on my 11 year old Pickup.

    Asked my dad, who was a mechanic for decades, and he told me to replace my gas cap.

    Still runs like a champ and no warning light.

  8. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    Most of the places around me will check your gas cap on the tester for free so I had that done before I did a bit more trouble shooting. Everything pointed to the solenoid so I replaced that and it fixed it. Total time spent working on it including testing was just under a half hour. That saved me around $80 that I can use for ammo.
  9. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    By the way, Google is your friend with working on your car.
  10. Dane

    Dane Supporting Member

    Cap may have just been loose. Being re-installed then had it tight as needed. Was solenoid in fact bad? Test it?
  11. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    I would kill for a lift. I'm too fat and broken to be crawling around on the ground under cars anymore.
  12. RedRaptor22

    RedRaptor22 Member

    I used to manage a service shop and was the only real mechanic there, we had a half hour minimum charge, so $40 labor was the least anyone paid when more tools than a screwdriver or pliers came out.

    I sold parts for whatever the supplier's retail was.

    Having minimum charges sucks for customers if it's a simple fix, but any reputable mechanic goes off of a standardized labor guide to estimate their jobs. And that is there to protect customers, some more shady shops will charge actual time on things, and since they tend to hire backyard mechanics, a lot of that time is spent boogering and unboogering things then passing the cost to you for it.

    And if it takes a mechanic the full estimated time to do everything he would likely starve and never be able to afford the tools needed to do the jobs right without destroying things, they mostly work on a small commission, the only way to get ahead is double the number of estimate hours to actual hours.
  13. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    First thing I did when the light came on was make sure the gas cap was fully on when that didn't clear it I had it tested and it passed the test. Replace the solenoid and that cleared the error.
  14. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    I've had 7 cars with my buddy over the last 13 years.
    He's not cheap but he does fantastic work and .......he does layaway lol
    Very important.
  15. bscar

    bscar Supporting Member

    Dealership shops "rip off" its customers because they have larger overhead than smaller shops. Plus, they tend to use factory parts instead of aftermarket parts; this adds to the costs as well.

    Charging for an hour of labor when it takes 15 minutes to do is called "book rate". A standardized book tells you how long it should take to do a particular job, and they charge labor rates accordingly. However, if the mechanic sees the same problem 5~10 times a day, then he picked up a few workarounds or quicker ways of doing the job to get it done sooner; the quicker he gets things back out the door, the more money he makes by taking on more work. Look at it from the other way around, if they charged you for 15 minutes of work, but took an hour to do it, that'd cost the shop money, and you'd be pretty ticked off the mechanic took an hour to do a 15 minute job.
  16. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    There are nothing but issues with 'aftermarket' ( made in China ) parts.
    Got two coils replaced under warranty on my wife's car.
  17. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    Don't buy any parts from O'Reillys....... Cuz that's what you're getting, aftermarket junk part hell!
  18. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    Good to know. They are building one like a 1/4 mile from my house.

    Man, I can' believe what you guys pay in labor. Round here, anything over $65 an hour is high for a regular shop. Now a stealership, yeah, close to $100 an hour

    Course, cost of living in m city is VERY low
  19. Dane

    Dane Supporting Member

    OK, does take awhile to clear from loose cap depending on the car.
  20. panoz77

    panoz77 Member

    Well here is one for you. I had a tiny leak in my transmission cooler line on my HHR. The HHR has a sealed transmission, so you can't even top off the tranny fluid, there is no fill.

    So because I am on the road so much, and the job needs specialized tools and I was on a short schedule, I basically had to have the local GM dealership do the job. They did fit me in on a Saturday morning with short notice. The part was $65 and they said between 1-2 hrs. It took the mechanic exactly 1 hr (actually less, I was out the door within 1 hr) but they charged me for the part and 2 hrs labor. I didn't even bother to complain since they fit me in, but they screwed me a little on that.