Last post on May 23, 2013 at 9:38 PM
You are in the Automotive News & Views
What is this discussion about?
Auto Repair, Hatchback, Truck, Sedan
This topic is primarily for professional mechanics, current or retired, or ardent amateurs who would like to share the suprises, victories, tricks and challenges of working on the modern automobile. All Forums members are invited, of course, to ask technicians about their work, or comment on your own experiences dealing with mechanics.
If you have a maintenance or repair question about your vehicle, please use search to find one of our Maintenance and Repair discussions, or ask a question in Edmunds Answers.
#31 of 2932 Re: Warranting parts [zaken1]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
May 24, 2012 (1:48 pm)
Well the mechanic has no control over that except to be observant and stop using those products which don't work.
#32 of 2932 Re: Warranting parts [Mr_Shiftright]
May 24, 2012 (3:00 pm)
I was told this as well when I replaced the front half-shafts on my '96 Outback. I ended up buying them both from dealer stock and never had a problem afterward.
Given what a PITA it was to replace them, though, I wasn't willing to risk a chance on it over saving $50 up front.
#33 of 2932 Re: Warranting parts [zaken1]
by steve_ HOST
May 24, 2012 (5:45 pm)
I think it would make sense for the mechanic to do a chargeback to the supplier of the bad part for the labor. Wholesale the book cost perhaps, and make it contingent on returning the "core", but better for the manufacturer to cover that cost than the consumer or the mechanic. Surprised there's not some sort of allowance for that (unless the manufacturer and mechanic just figure the markup on all the parts sold will cover the labor for the parts that fail).
Liked the relay story.
#34 of 2932 Re: Warranting parts [zaken1]
May 24, 2012 (6:01 pm)
The fair way this could have been done is for the parts manufacturer to cover the labor costs of replacing failed parts, as well as providing a free replacement part.
Unfortunately, there is too much potential for abuse if the manufacturer offered to do that. Besides, you are probably 2-3 levels away from the manufacturer - the logistics of getting paid would be horrendous.
In my industry (plumbing products), we follow the same rules. The manufacturers don't pay labor to replace product in warranty. They just handle it knowing that 1% of the time, it's going to cost them money to do a fix. After a while, plumbers know which products work and don't use those that result in call backs.
Now if the consumer supplies the part to the plumber, the labor to replace the product should should be billed to the consumer as the plumber didn't make any money on the product.
#35 of 2932 Re: Warranting parts [robr2]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
May 25, 2012 (8:57 am)
Sometimes the mechanic doesn't make the best choices, either. For instance, if you are doing a job that requires 12 hours R&R labor---if I were doing that job, I would replace anything in there that could go wrong--the idea of re-using a throw out bearing that "looks perfectly good" on a 12 hour clutch job is crazy. Or not replacing some incredibly difficult-to-access hoses that are fully exposed during a job, because they "look okay"---also risky.
I know customers don't like the "while we're in there" routine, but in many cases, the mechanic has to insist or, if the customer won't agree, then limit the warranty in writing-----"used throw out bearing not guaranteed".
#36 of 2932 Re: Warranting parts [Mr_Shiftright]
May 25, 2012 (1:06 pm)
For instance, if you are doing a job that requires 12 hours R&R labor---if I were doing that job, I would replace anything in there that could go wrong--the idea of re-using a throw out bearing that "looks perfectly good" on a 12 hour clutch job is crazy. Or not replacing some incredibly difficult-to-access hoses that are fully exposed during a job, because they "look okay"---also risky.
One of my BMW mechanic friends calls it the "circle of labor". That is, when you have the tranny out you might as well replace the exhaust hangers or the rear main seal(if it has over 150K miles on it), etc. He has a good eye for knowing what to replace so that you only have to do the job once.
#37 of 2932 Re: Warranting parts [roadburner]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
May 25, 2012 (2:13 pm)
here's my list for when my MINI clutch needs replacing:
Three piece clutch kit
New Pressure plate bolts
New flywheel bolts
clutch disc centering tool
New crankshaft rear seal
New Transmission Main Shaft seal
New release fork bushings
New throwout bearing guide sleeve
New clutch pivot pin
New slave cylinder
All OEM or MINI brand replacement parts. About $800
does EVERY car need this much? No. But the MINI does, and I'm sure other cars would, too. Probably cars that don't have a dual-mass flywheel could do with at least a re-surfacing of the flywheel unless it is super clean.
#38 of 2932 My experience in...
Jun 13, 2012 (6:59 pm)
dealing with mechanics... none. Hardly ever see one. I've always dealt with the service writers. They get all the questions, but have they been trained to provide the answers? Many seem knowledgeable when I've asked questions, others seem to be making stuff up, as it is easier.
Many service writers seem to be working partly on commission, or at least that's what I've read. The upselling I've experienced has ranged from spot on... to almost fraud. I've been told my brakes of 8 months needed replaced. A air filter needed replaced, when I asked to see it... just a tad bit of dirt.
Today I learned the value of a privately owned small shop. Dealership was at $750 for installing a fuel pump, the 2 man garage would doit for $445.
As a consumer, it is difficult to be charged $300 for the same part you can get at Autozone, or thru the internet, for $100. The diagnostic fees of $125 are equally disturbing. If they find the problem in 4 minutes, I'm still charged the full fee. Then the full price for the repair. Better to have it based on a 15 min increments. These policies are from management to maximise profit I know... but they build mistrust. I'd rather be charged $200 an hour labor than mess with all the piddelly fees and markup.
#39 of 2932 Re: My experience in... [jipster]
Jun 13, 2012 (7:50 pm)
I totally agree with you; but the ethics which used to be the backbone of our society have become outmoded in recent years. This is why I always worked alone, and set my prices at fair rates; and decided which clients and which brands of cars I was willing to service. But most mechanics and most consumers tend to go along with the trend; whether it is buying a car with an automatic transmission, always having a dealership service their vehicle, or acepting that mechanics are being paid $20 per hour while the shop charges customers outrageously high labor rates. And so our world has gotten into its current state.
For those who do not support this trend, it still is possible to find honest, fairly priced shops. The Car Talk people have a great website: www.cartalk.com which includes a nationwide list of mechanics, repair shops, and client reviews. I was tipped off to this great site by Karjunkie, who used to be the #1 expert on the Edmunds Answers forum (until he went elsewhere). I now regularly screen and pass selected references along to folks who write in asking for a recommendation for a good shop.
If the hosts on this forum don't mind; I'm willing to pass along the names of the local shops I prefer to people who list their postal zip code
Jun 18, 2012 (12:21 pm)
In my many years in and around shops I have NEVER heard of a shop charging labor to redo a job when a part has failed. I can't even imagine a shop doing this?
If I have a water pump replaced and it starts leaking a month later I sure wouldn't dream of paying the labor a second time.
Some shops actually allow customers to bring in their own parts and that would be a different story.
I know that when I ran a shop, every time I tried to save a customer money by cutting a corner such as reusing a "perfectly good looking" throwout bearing or something else, it would bite me in the rear.
The only kind of a mechanic/technician I avoid and wouldn't hire were the "Prima Donnas". Anyone in the business will know what I'm talking about!