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Old 09-14-2010, 10:36 PM   #1
heyclement
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Default 90K service costs

I just had a 90K service done for my 2001 Saturn SC2. I also asked the shop to take a look at the AC since it stopped working a couple weeks ago, but I assumed it was just out of freon. I know nothing about cars and just want to make sure I didn't get ripoff. Most importantly, I want to know if he has done things that weren't necessary. Also, the shop charged me 8 hrs worth of labor, but my car definitely wasn't in the shop for 8 full hrs...

The whole thing came out to about $800 including $500 labor and $260 parts.
I really don't know what an average 90K service would cost, but this seems higher than I anticipated.


According to the receipt, here are the things the mechanic charged me for:

Tires rotated: $0 (since i got the tires from them just a few months ago)
coolant service: $75 labor + $15 coolant
replaced 4 new spark plugs: $75 labor + $20 parts
power steering fluid flushed: $38 labor + $27 power steering fluid
brake fluid flushed: $65 labor
AC evacuated and recharged: $75 labor
AC line at O.ring was leaking - replaced: $30 labor + $50 freon
belt tensioner unit (replaced due to offset tensioner assembly): $75 labor + $115 belt tensioner unit
fuel injection service: $75 labor + $20 fuel injection cleaner
other parts: $16 air filter


Do these seem right or reasonable to you guys?
I would appreciate any insight, thanks.

Last edited by heyclement; 09-14-2010 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: 90K service costs

Labor rate is probably 100.00 to 125.00 hr and the dealer always has high priced parts. You could save probably 100.00 on parts if you did all of that yourself. Considering that A/C work is out of the realm of the average DIY that is about what it would cost anywhere or even a bit more. High, but not unexpected.

Bills like that tend to motivate most people to learn all about doing your own minor repairs and periodic maintenance.

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Old 09-14-2010, 11:43 PM   #3
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Devil Re: 90K service costs

I would have at least done the spark plugs yourself. Almost a hundred dollars to replace four plugs?
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:44 PM   #4
heyclement
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Default Re: 90K service costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Labor rate is probably 100.00 to 125.00 hr and the dealer always has high priced parts. You could save probably 100.00 on parts if you did all of that yourself. Considering that A/C work is out of the realm of the average DIY that is about what it would cost anywhere or even a bit more. High, but not unexpected.

Bills like that tend to motivate most people to learn all about doing your own minor repairs and periodic maintenance.

Welcome to the Forums!
He charged me about $75 per hr labor for 8 hrs. That might just be the way they setup labor cost though and not meant to be defined as literally spending 8 hrs (since it was 6 hours top from the time I brought the car in 'til the time he told me the car was ready).

So nothing out of the ordinary here? Personally I respect auto professionals and I understand that in life, you have to trust other professionals to work on things they're good at, instead of trying to do everything yourself. But I just want to make sure they didn't take advantage of me due to my lack of knowledge in the area (which is why I bring it into the shop to begin with, otherwise I would've done everything myself, right?).

As long as the labor + parts cost are not out of the ordinary, I'm okay with it and I kind of expect auto maintenance/repair to be costly...


Thanks for the welcome. I wish I know more people who know about cars.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: 90K service costs

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Originally Posted by ςατμяη gμψ View Post
I would have at least done the spark plugs yourself. Almost a hundred dollars to replace four plugs?
So in your opinion, did he overcharge me? or was it still within a reasonable limit?
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:00 AM   #6
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Happy Re: 90K service costs

I think that is a lot to replace spark plugs, but it might depend on the area of the country. I'm just saying they are easy to change, almost anyone can do it.
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: 90K service costs

To be expected for dealer pricing. Not an overcharge exactly, just expensive.

You can change plugs, air filters, oil and filter with no problems.

Labor is charged at the flat rate hours, not the actual clock hours. there is a book that lists the labor time for every job and that is what they use. You can figure actual clock hours labor will be about 1.5 times the flat rate hours, 125.00 or so in your case.
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: 90K service costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Labor is charged at the flat rate hours, not the actual clock hours. there is a book that lists the labor time for every job and that is what they use. You can figure actual clock hours labor will be about 1.5 times the flat rate hours, 125.00 or so in your case.

I see! Now I get it. I didn't know that there's actually a book for the flat rate labor time for every job. That's interesting.

I was certainly shocked when I heard the quote, but it's a 90K service after all so I thought maybe this is pretty standard...
I have gone to this shop for oil change and maintenance a few times already ever since I moved into this area, and they seemed like honest people, so I wouldn't want to have to switch mechanic again if what they charged me is within reasonable range... By the way, they're actually not the dealer, just a local auto shop... so is the price range outrageous now for a local auto shop?


This just motivates me to learn more about my car, so I could perform the basic tasks myself.
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: 90K service costs

No, that is a decent hourly rate. Some dealers will be 100 to 125 on flat rate which adds right up. You got a good deal on the A/C work even with the ridiculously high price on 24oz of R-134a. As I say, it is high but reasonable.

The majority of those jobs are easy to do as long as you take your time.

Take the forum jump at the bottom of this page and select How-To Library. once there look in the "Richpin's How To Videos Sticky" and watch the videos on the easy jobs. That will give you a feel for what is involved in doing this work.
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: 90K service costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
No, that is a decent hourly rate. Some dealers will be 100 to 125 on flat rate which adds right up. You got a good deal on the A/C work even with the ridiculously high price on 24oz of R-134a. As I say, it is high but reasonable.

The majority of those jobs are easy to do as long as you take your time.

Take the forum jump at the bottom of this page and select How-To Library. once there look in the "Richpin's How To Videos Sticky" and watch the videos on the easy jobs. That will give you a feel for what is involved in doing this work.
Good to know. Thanks again for taking the time to respond, and thanks for pointing me to those how-tos so I can get started educating myself. Much appreciated.
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: 90K service costs

Ouch. So glad I have the tools and knowledge
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:18 AM   #12
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Default Re: 90K service costs

Thats probably not all the unreasonable. They may have just added overall time on the labor instead of really dividing out the time on those plugs and other service.

You dont have to become a mechanic, but a few things like oil changes can literally save you in the thousands over the life of a vehicle. And the air filter well they are a little expensive for this car average around $12, but it probably takes 30 seconds to change and might have save you $4 or $5.

Some of those flushes looked a little on the low side for me locally so Im sure it averaged out the plugs labor. The a/c you were better off having them do it, those do it yourself kits from the Marts for example may get you by but can damage the system cause they are really inaccurate.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:36 AM   #13
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Default Re: 90K service costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by heyclement View Post
coolant service: $75 labor + $15 coolant
replaced 4 new spark plugs: $75 labor + $20 parts
For comparison, a gallon of 100% coolant runs $8-10 retail, and 4 spark plugs would be $8 in parts.
Quote:
power steering fluid flushed: $38 labor + $27 power steering fluid
Don't recall what PS fluid cost, but IIRC it was in the $3-$5 range. A lot of us use left over automatic transmission fluid, and we drain by using a turkey baster to get the old fluid out

Quote:
AC evacuated and recharged: $75 labor
AC line at O.ring was leaking - replaced: $30 labor + $50 freon
I agree, this was a pretty decent price
Quote:
fuel injection service: $75 labor + $20 fuel injection cleaner
No idea what your shop did, but when I asked at the quick oil change place, they showed me a bottle of $8 cleaner.
Quote:
other parts: $16 air filter
This would be around $9 full retail... there are 4 spring clips holding the top of the box down, no tools needed to replace it, takes literally a minute. Even the shop felt guilt charging labor on this (I remember when there was a wing nut holding filter covers over the carb in the late 70's/early 80's shops were charging around $35-$40 to put in an air filter. Back then, the filter was $3-$4
...
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