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dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
3/22/20 6:31 p.m.

I just replaced the axle shafts on a friend's 2008 Honda Fit. It's a neat little car, easy to work on and in good shape - no rust or other challenges. It started making a noise she was uncomfortable with, and she took it to the Honda dealer. They quoted $3000 using Honda parts or $1950 using aftermarket parts. I just got done doing the job and it was $130 for the parts and 2.5 hours of my time. I cannot imagine a world in which $1950 is a reasonable charge for that. At least the price difference is reasonable - the Honda parts are $1073 or so, which makes the $1050 spread between the two reasonable. But ~$1800 labor for what should be less than two hours of work for a shop is absolutely ridiculous.

Does anybody have a defense for them or is this just borderline criminal abuse of a customer?

I looked over the estimate and there was nothing other than the axles included in that price. And again, I have finished the job and it took me, a layman, 2.5 hours total from putting the car up in the air all the way through successfully test driving it.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/22/20 6:38 p.m.

Is your building as nice, new, and shiny as the Honda dealership?  How big is your boat and or summer home? 

Are you paying property tax and mortgage on acres of prime location real estate.  

I'm not defending the dealership as I too think their prices are criminally high. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa HalfDork
3/22/20 6:46 p.m.

They were probably using some form of flat rate for the hours.  If it took you 2.5 hours then it might have listed 6 hours to do the work.

Around here flat rate for non dealerships works out to something like $100-120/hr

Add in warranty upcharges and other "value added" items and I could see it getting to $1000-1500?

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
3/22/20 7:05 p.m.

That seems like a great deal of money.  Ignore the parts, because oe ones will be a long dollar.

Full pop, in $cdn at my shop, with decent aftermarket axles would probably be $750-850, and I wouldn't feel too guilty, because next week she will have some sort of communication issue that will take six hours and charge out two.

Modern auto repair has a tinge of socialism built into it...

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
3/22/20 8:24 p.m.

What's this?  A dealership overcharging for a repair?  It can't be!

Toebra
Toebra Dork
3/22/20 9:36 p.m.
1988RedT2 said:

What's this?  A dealership overcharging for a repair?  It can't be!

Next you guys are going to tell me my ex-wife lied to me on a regular basis.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
3/22/20 9:42 p.m.

My 2011 Accord needed new shafts and the dealer quoted me $250 each in 2015 for Honda ones.   Have they doubled?

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
3/22/20 10:18 p.m.
Toebra said:
1988RedT2 said:

What's this?  A dealership overcharging for a repair?  It can't be!

Next you guys are going to tell me my ex-wife lied to me on a regular basis.

Haha! Thanks, I appreciate that guys.

@Datsun310Guy: Dunno, but looking up the Fit axles online now, the dealer parts are $500+ ea and the aftermarket were about $60/ea.

@John Welsh: I don't have those expenses, no, but I was under the impression that mechanic work was charged for some dollar amount per hour and that was nowadays around $100-$150/hr at a dealership. The axles are 1.25 hour each at book rate which means they're charging about $700+/hour. Pretty steep even for a shiny dealership.

The sad part is she almost junked the car over it. That was my initial approach - I would buy the car to keep her from sending it to the junkyard. But after finding out what was wrong and what they quoted, I said I would fix it. She needs a car and doesn't have a bunch of money. This is a great car for someone like that but not if a dealer is charging her $700/hr for repairs.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
3/23/20 12:08 a.m.

I would reach out to Honda corporate and send them a copy of the quote. That is a complete screw job on the dealers part. I would hate to think they were taking advantage of her being a woman but I know it happens. That price quote is almost a ploy to get her into another car and that car gets traded in on the deal but because of the cost quoted her they give her almost nothing and then fix the car and either flip it or maybe a employee needs a car. In either case it is a screw job and I would make sure Honda corporate customer service is made aware of it and maybe point them to this thread. 

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy MegaDork
3/23/20 12:12 a.m.

Good on you for fixing it for her.

​​​​​​​That price is ridiculous. Given your location, it can't be Hennessy Honda of Woodstock, but is it an affiliate of theirs?
 

ChrisLS8
ChrisLS8 Reader
3/23/20 12:17 a.m.

In reply to dculberson :

Does the invoice in fact have the quoted hourly repair time at 1.25 hours per side?

Any chance you can upload a pic of the quote invoice?

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
3/23/20 6:06 a.m.

It could be a bit of panic upcharging. It seems some auto shops are getting slow on work. At least that was the indication I got from a friend who is a body guy.  Once their stock of parts runs out, they can't get anymore and will start sending guys home to collect unemployment.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
3/23/20 7:06 a.m.

Is there a line item on the quote that says "Coronavirus Surcharge?"

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
3/23/20 7:20 a.m.

I have to wonder exactly what they quoted. Were they doing wheel bearings and brakes in the same quote? Transmission service? 

I'm betting it was a case of she needed axles. They quoted axles, plus whatever service the computer told them to recommend for the mileage of the vehicle. She probably didn't know to tell them to stick it.

Edited for clarity. 

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
3/23/20 8:09 a.m.

$500 for a dealer axle is ridiculous enough. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
3/23/20 8:41 a.m.

Typically customer pay work is 2X the warranty rate. So if warranty rate is 1.5 hours, customer rate is 3 hours (because warranty rate sucks and most cases a tech MIGHT break even on a lot of it). 3 hours x 2 for 6 hours and $130/hr that many charge here is $780. Then shop supplies and likely an alignment (needed/warranted or not) for another $129. I'd expect the quote to be $1000 for labor. 

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing Dork
3/23/20 8:43 a.m.

Honda list prices on the axles are $764.62 for the right and $843.43 for the left. 

You can buy them online for $541.35 and $597.15 respectively. 

Yes, they are obscenely overpriced, even at the discounted price.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
3/23/20 8:45 a.m.

In reply to spitfirebill :

Japanese parts bro! I remember seeing the price difference between the TSX and the TL parts. Holy crap... that J at the start of the vin makes a huge difference in parts prices.

rustybugkiller
rustybugkiller HalfDork
3/23/20 8:55 a.m.

In reply to dculberson :

 


I know from reading your past posts, you don't have a ton of free time but kudos for you stepping in helping someone who would otherwise be screwed. 

 

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
3/23/20 10:27 a.m.

Not that this makes it any better but all the dealerships do that.  I got quoted $1400 to replace the spark plugs in my 911 from the dealer and that was with me providing the parts.  Book rate showed 8 hours for the job.  I'd never done it before and got it done in under 3.  So an experienced tech would get it done in 1.5-2 hours, so more than $700 and hour.

Oh and that $1400 included my 10% off PCA discount, so really it was over $1500.  So again, over $700/hour in labor, which is something I wish I could charge as a freaking Doctor!

The days of shops charging just the amount of time it takes them to do the job are long gone.  You used to save money going to an Indy because their labor rate was lower than a dealer but you really saved because they'd charge you the actual time it took them to complete the job.  Now they all seem to charge book time...

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
3/23/20 10:32 a.m.

I had a leaking radiator on my 2016 Silverado.  I was really busy so I let our trusted guy work Indy shop do it. He insisted on GM parts so I agreed to pay the $475 GM part.  

He put the GM part number on the bill and I see GM lists it for $295 and most websites charge $250 or so.   

Now I have time on my hands.......

Toebra
Toebra Dork
3/23/20 11:56 a.m.

My buddy and I did the brakes for a friend of his wife.  Widow with a couple kids, dealership wanted to charge her for new rotors on all four corners and front and rear brakes on her Suburban.  The rear pads were fine, and when we checked the rotors on the front they were also fine.  Including the brake fluid it was less than 20% of what they wanted to stick her for the job. 

 

We bought all the stuff and did it in her driveway, forgot to let her pay us for parts  surprise

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
3/23/20 12:00 p.m.
bobzilla said:

Typically customer pay work is 2X the warranty rate. So if warranty rate is 1.5 hours, customer rate is 3 hours (because warranty rate sucks and most cases a tech MIGHT break even on a lot of it). 3 hours x 2 for 6 hours and $130/hr that many charge here is $780. Then shop supplies and likely an alignment (needed/warranted or not) for another $129. I'd expect the quote to be $1000 for labor. 

I recently had an insurance claim for an antenna that got torn off the roof. Our estimating database had the labor for the antenna plus dropping the headliner. It is typically within a few tenths of AllData.

The stealership the customer went to used some sort of multiplier as you note above that nearly doubled the labor time needed. I refused to pay it because I could send it to ANY body shop and have it replaced at the time in the estimating database (that was within .2 of the 'warranty' time).

Robbie
Robbie MegaDork
3/23/20 12:00 p.m.

It was a scam job the other way. They wanted her to trade the car in and buy a different car.

So my guess is they purposely inflated the repair quote thinking she would quickly do the "the repair is more than the car is worth" math and then sign on for a new car.

Just a hunch.

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
3/23/20 12:59 p.m.

In reply to dculberson :

What really angers me is when you go in for a routine oil change and they try to sell you a $1200 brake job. 
Looking at the brake linings and there is at least 50%  of the pad left with no grooves or anything wrong with the rotors.
It takes me less than an hour to replace the pads  on all 4 wheels and I don't have a lift,  plus I'm fat and old. 

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