One of the first questions asked by a new potential customer is, "How much do brakes cost?", "How much does a check engine light cost?", "How much does a engine cost?", or "How Much does a transmission cost?". While these are all valid questions they are also difficult to answer. Say you need a transmission and I give you the price not seeing the vehicle and maybe it only needed a computer reprogram (happens a lot!) or maybe has a sticky valve. Maybe another shop put in a transmission and you really needed a reprogram, so you will still need a reprogram but now you have a new transmission too. We like to fix vehicles right the first time with only the parts needed.
Want to get a price over the phone?
We try not to give quotes over the phone because quite often the price given is so far off from what the vehicle needs. There are so many makes, models, and options today that it makes it near impossible to give an accurate quote. If a customer asks for a price on brakes, we need to determine if everything in the braking system is functional or the vehicle can come right back with the same problem, (say if it has a bad caliper slide pin). So we need to look at the brakes and pull them apart to ensure everything is sliding, moving and functioning properly. A charge for the inspection on most all vehicles is $14.95 A check engine light? We will not charge you to find out what code is set with a check engine light, but 95% of the time you cannot ascertain what is wrong with a vehicle by just pulling codes. So with each code the vehicle manufacturer has a pinpoint test to determine what tests are needed and we cannot tell what tests are needed until we get the code from the vehicle. We do charge for the tests, but we are up-front with the price once it is determined what tests are needed. It is definitely not like the old days. Our technicians go to school and train all the time. We have all the latest diagnostic equipment to ensure the repair is done in a timely manner and only replace parts that are bad. That is where the real savings are.
Auto Repair Cost
Want to know how much auto repair costs?
Auto repair costs can nothing or can be very large. Especially if you don't know how much a repair should cost and you get charged for much more than you should be. That is why we spend the extra time to fully diagnose your vehicle to ensure we do not install any parts that you don't need. Vehicles last so long these days, if properly maintained. We see vehicles with over 300,000-400,000 miles all the time. It is easier, if you can stay ahead of your repairs and maintenance. We try to let our customers know long in advance of upcoming repairs or maintenance so that they can be properly budgeted.
Repair costs are going to be different depending on which type of shop you take your vehicle to. There are three main types of repair shops: Dealerships, Independent Repairs Shops and Chain Stores. No matter which type you choose, get a detailed estimate of your auto repair costs. With a detailed estimate you will be much more prepared for the repair bills... and if there are any problems you can always go back and see what they originally said they were going to do. If you do not get a good estimate then you have no way of knowing how much you will be charged. If you just go by what the mechanic says verbally, then there is no way to prove what prices you were quoted since you don't have any written records. We try to use only quality parts to ensure our work is quality and that is why we give all our repairs a 3 year 36,000 mile warranty. If you already have a good shop that you trust then this is not a big deal... but if you don't, it is essential to get a written estimate beforehand and ensure they are using quality parts. We can get cheap parts but we often find them failing within a year, and when you figure all the lost time and safety hazards of a failing part plus having to do it over, it really doesn't make sense.
Why Do Auto Repair Shops Charge So Much?
Auto Repair Estimate
Average auto repair costs per hour range from $60 to $125, which does look like a lot of money. I think that the reason people wonder why vehicle repair costs are so high is because they don't know how much it costs to run a good shop. By the time a shop pays for rent, taxes, computers, diagnostic equipment, data and manufacturer fees, payroll, etc. There is very little left over for profit.
Many times people think that they should go to the shop with the lowest rates. I highly discourage this. Generally speaking the shop with the lowest labor rates will also be the shop that does not have the equipment it needs, does not train its employees well, has high employee turnover, etc. Do you really want to take your car to a shop like that?
My advice is to find a shop that does good work and treats you right and then give them your business. Even if their labor rate seems high to you, the most important thing is that they fix your car right and do not rip you off. Often times a ms-diagnosed vehicle can cost hundreds or even thousands.
A Great Way to Lower Your Auto Repair Costs
I know I probably sound like an auto parts sales person right now hah, but I'll say it anyway. It is so important to get your car checked out as soon as possible after you notice any problems. A lot of people notice things that are starting to go wrong with their car, but they just keep driving it. Often times these are the same people who neglect to take their car to get the regularly scheduled maintenance on time. Both of these are a bad idea. Auto repair costs grow larger and larger the longer you wait to have car repairs or car maintenance done. Sometimes it seems like you are saving yourself money by waiting to get repairs done, but in the long run you are just costing yourself more money because that small thing that was going wrong gets bigger and bigger and even leads to other problems sometimes.
Example: You might see a spot in the driveway one day. This is a common symptom of a coolant leak. If you just keep driving it (you can usually drive a vehicle with a coolant leak a long time) you will eventually cause other damage in the drivetrain which cad be thousands instead of hundreds.
Another Way To Spend Less On Auto Repairs
Keep your car in top shape. In your owner's manual you will find a schedule of maintenance. This schedule tells you exactly what needs to be done at pre set mileage intervals. Sometimes we see industry trends that may change your maintenance schedule, like premature failure of a transmission in a vehicle line and we may recommend servicing the transmission more often. Most people don't realize how important this is or don't care enough to follow it. This is a mistake. It often leads to the vehicle breaking down due to neglect. If you are serious about your car and keeping auto repair costs at a minimum, then spend a little money to keep it maintained. Spending time and money to maintain your vehicle allows you to squeeze more years and miles out of it. If you neglect or skip your vehicle maintenance, you will almost certainly end up paying more for repairs and it won't last as long.