Repair expectations - help ?

Dave C conner at
Wed Aug 7 00:44:04 EDT 2002

It seems like taking a car into a shop, even a reputable shop, always costs
at least $300 and if the bill is for less than that I feel like I got off
easy.  This observation is based on limited experience since I do most of
my own work. I suppose it isn't worth it to talk to a customer, write up a
work order, put the car on a lift, etc, unless they can get a half day
labor out of it.  Even if there's nothing wrong with the car I expect they
will try to find $300 worth of something to charge for, including the
inflated parts prices that get rolled into the bill.  They need to do this
because they are a business with lots of overhead.  In the case at hand we
see that replacing a $30 hose ends up costing almost $200, so according to
my $300 rule of thumb this person got off easy.  Some people might object
to the inflated prices charged for parts, but the shop counts on this
profit along with the labor charge to pay all the costs of running a
business.  The one thing that >really< would make me crazy is if a shop
racks up a high bill by fixing things that aren't broken at all, and gives
the car back with the same problem I took it in for.  At least the $200
hose replacement was for a hose that actually needed replacement, and did
(or would) presumably solve the customer's problem.

I do think these prices are high, and that's why I do most of my own work.

Dave C.

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