Common Types Of Auto Repairs

Owning and driving your own vehicle is cool and awesome yet it involves a lot of responsibility as well. For instance, the car needs to be maintained properly so that damages are prevented; and if ever there are auto repairs needed the car owner should know which he or she can perform and which are meant for auto mechanics to do.

Auto repairs are generally relied on to the professionals to make sure that the job is done correctly and efficiently. There are various types of auto repairs and each type has its corresponding price. It pays to know some f the most common auto repairs as it helps you prepare in case your own vehicle needs any of these auto repairs.

Tire repairs are very common in automobiles. Each time you drive and travel on the road, the tires are that specific parts of the car which are subjected to great amounts of friction and stress. Even if you are cautious in your driving, you will never really know and see exactly what are the things scattered on the road. For all you know there are sharp debris on the road that can puncture your tires and give you a flat tire. When this happens, your tire needs to be repaired, patched or replaced. Another thing to remember about tires which many drivers and car owners set aside is tire rotation. Rotating the tires is a must if you want to prolong the life of the tires. Each tire in the vehicle carries a certain amount of weight, thus to allow the tires to wear out evenly, you need to rotate the position of the tires.

Oil change is also a common task performed by auto mechanics. It is in fact the most recurrent of all types of auto repair. Every four months or so, the car needs oil change so that it operates on its optimum performance. Newer and modern cars now even have monitors which tell the car owner if it is time to change the oil.

Another component of the automobile that needs to be changed regularly aside from the oil is the engine coolant. Flushes of the radiator and coolant system are included under this type of auto repair. Coolant repairs and flushes may range from inexpensive to costly.

Dead batteries are common problems with cars. This is because car batteries only have a lifetime of about 3-5 years. Car battery replacements are quite simple to perform and can be done by the car owner himself. New car batteries, however, are not that cheap.

Vehicles also have electrical systems and wiring, especially the modern cars. Common electrical repairs on cars are blown fuses, busted taillights or headlights.

Auto repairs which commonly occur also include fixing the fuel system. The air filter, a component of the fuel system, is one that requires frequent replacements. When it becomes damaged or clogged, dirt and contaminants could possibly go into the cylinder chambers that can result to internal damages. The fuel pump may also get clogged. Other common auto repairs may include cracked windshield, dents and scratches on the body.

Starting An Auto Repair Business On A Shoe String – Costly Mistakes You Must Avoid

What is your greatest hurdle when starting an auto repair business on a shoe string? Beyond your tools, beyond your space, beyond the constant need to check and double check your books your biggest hurdle will be getting the word out.

How do I know this? Because I work with shops who have been in business for decades and they still have a problem keeping the car count up!

In this day and age word of mouth (WoM) is the most powerful tool you have. However, WoM has changed. We’re now seeing reports from shop owners, in the same place servicing the same customers for over 35 years who are seeing drop offs in their numbers.

Is this how you want to launch your new venture?

Starting An Auto Repair Business On A Shoe String – #1 Mistake You Must Avoid

Before I give you some information on what you should look into in order to be successful starting an auto repair business on a shoe string, there is one thing you must NOT do.

GET OUT OF THE PHONEBOOK!!!!

The phonebook is the #1 way you will dump scads of cash down the drain and never see any return. Frequently when we interview new clients we ask them what they do to get their names out there. We hear: direct mail, coupons, internet… but very infrequently will anyone mention the phonebook.

So we ask directly. And they say “Yes, of course we’re in the phonebook!”

The phonebook has become something most shop owners ‘just do’. I have to admit, that’s some amazing persuasive force those phonebook folks have on the auto repair industry! But like so many other rituals, it has simply become a costly and completely useless tradition.

You can live without it. Like they say with drugs: Just say no.

Here are some hard, cold facts about phonebook advertising:

#1: Phonebooks provide nothing in the way of relevant information. They are a list. Furthermore, they are a list which makes every company look pretty much the same. The fact is you need to stand out in a crowd if you’re going to have a prayer of surviving in this massively competitive market.

#2: Your customers are not going to find you in the phonebook. Almost every man, woman and child in America is using the internet to find information. Be there. But be there correctly. (More on this later)

#3: Phonebook readership has declined by an insane amount in the past 5 years. Sure they mail one out to every home in the country, but does anyone read it? No. People use phonebooks as kindling or as something to prop up chairs.

Starting An Auto Repair Business On A Shoe String – Your Biggest Solution

Since you’re starting an auto repair business on a shoe string, you have a massive advantage over your competition. You have not yet fallen prey to the mindless, cookie-cutter advertising traditions your competition has been butchering for decades.

In fact, you may not even need to use traditional advertising to start.

Here’s a question to consider: why does word of mouth work in the first place?

We’ve started asking shop owners that question and what we’ve gotten back is pretty good. Most shop owners give variations of this: “WoM works because we did a good job. People tell their friends when they have car problems and that’s what keeps food on our plates.”

What’s wrong with this statement? Nothing. It’s 100% true. But it’s not the complete picture.

Here’s another question: how can you create WoM before you have any customers to sing your praises?

The answer is tied into the reason WoM works in the first place. WoM works because you have established trust with your customer.

Starting An Auto Repair Business On A Shoe String – The #1 Golden Rule

People buy more goods and services from those who they know and trust. And the #1 way to build trust is to become an information service provider to those people.

Become that information provider to your local market, and you may never have to spend a dime on conventional advertising.

Starting An Auto Repair Business On A Shoe String – Problems = Potential

Did you know that in most markets auto repair shops are frequented by a massive percentage of women drivers? Did you also know most of these women drivers feel they are being completely taken advantage of? They fear taking the car into the shop.

What if you were to address this concern directly?

What do you think would happen if you were to offer free lessons where people who feel scammed could come to your shop and learn how to avoid the problems in the first place?

Who do you think would enjoy this? Women. Your customers. Everyone.

Spreading the word would cost about as much as a sheet of paper. You would create a press release, send it to the local media and then get the information into the hands of the PTA or some other group.

Offer your information completely free and never, never pitch or sell your services. Have the people who come ask questions, give demonstrations and show examples of what they need to watch out for.

Do this 1x per month and you will find yourself so busy you’ll have to double your staff.

What do you think the result would be for your business if you were to be seen as the #1 facility in your town where people can go and not be taken advantage of?

Total Cost: $0. Total Effectiveness: Infinite

Welcome to starting an auto repair business on a shoe string.

Don’t Fall Victim to Auto Repair Fraud – Know Your Auto Repair Shop

Since most people depend on their vehicles for their everyday activities like getting to work and running errands, repairs must be done quickly and correctly. That is why car repair fraud can turn out to be a major problem. A case brought against a large automobile repair corporation for fraud prompted the National Association of Attorneys General, or NAAG, to develop an auto repair task force. This single case included 43 states and resulted in $200,000 being allocated towards reforming the auto repair industry.

A lot of people feel they are at the mercy of auto repair shops and whatever they choose to charge, because of the sophisticated equipment in most automobiles today. Even necessary engine repairs and major truck repairs may leave the consumer questioning whether the repairs were appropriate or whether they paid too much. Mechanics have been known to replace car parts with used ones instead of new ones, so be sure to check everything carefully.

Resources like the Better Business Bureau can help people determine the auto repair shops that have received the fewest complaints, as well as those with the most compliments. Ask family and friends about car repair shops; this is the best way to find a good repairman.

When you are dealing with someone who will be repairing your car, be sure you completely comprehend any work that needs to be done. Ask questions if you do not understand something. Whenever you are having engine repairs done, get your estimate in writing. You should authorize all repairs before they are performed; be sure they understand this.

Your concerns about auto repairs may be appropriate since the National Highway Safety Administration estimates that consumers pay billions of dollars each year towards fraudulent automotive repairs. Some places even make unnecessary repairs or charge inflated repair costs to their customers, taking advantage of car owners. Think about asking the mechanic to save the used car parts from your vehicle for you when the repairs are done. Even though there is no guarantee that you will not be a victim of deception, appearing knowledgeable will hopefully make them think twice about any fraudulent work.

Auto Repair Estimates and Car Repair Prices – The Real Information to Avoid Car Repair Scams

Worrying whether or not you were overcharged for your car repair is an awful feeling. There’s tons of advice on how to avoid getting ripped-off, but few discuss the actual car repair prices. We really need to look at the charges on a car repair estimate or auto repair invoice to determine if we’re paying too much.

The focus needs to shift from giving outdated and ineffective advice to addressing the specific charges. Are they legitimate charges? Can they be justified by industry guidelines?

Now car repair estimates can be confusing. So let’s break it down to get a better idea if your auto repair shop is billing you appropriately.

First, a glossary of terms is in order, as the auto industry has a language of its own…

Aftermarket Parts: parts not made by or for the manufacturer.

MSRP: Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer. Manufacturer approved parts designed specifically for your vehicle.

TSBs: Technical Service Bulletins. Notes and instructions provided by the manufacturer for known and specific concerns (they are not recalls).

Flat Fees: services such as alignments that don’t get broken down into parts, tax, labor

Miscellaneous Charges: these can include, but are not limited to shop supplies – rags, chemicals, hazardous waste disposal fees, waste oil …etc.

Labor Rate: a repair center’s hourly charge to service your vehicle

Labor Time: the amount of time or hours determined that it will take to fix your vehicle

Labor Description: the step-by-step written details of repairs and/or services

Ok, let’s look at the Anatomy of an Auto Repair Estimate:

There are six basic components to a car repair estimate

1) Customer/Vehicle Information

2) Parts

3) Labor

4) Miscellaneous Charges

5) Flat Fees

6) Summary of Charges

Customer and Vehicle Information
Using a generic “top down” style estimate, the top portion simply contains your personal information and your vehicle’s specifics: year, make, model, mileage…etc, as well as your request or concern.

We also want find the shop’s labor rate. The labor rate is critical in determining if you paid too much. Most repair centers don’t list the labor rate. We’ll discuss why shortly.

Auto Parts
Parts are listed usually with a brief description, as well as the quantity, and the price. There are three types of parts: OEM (parts made by or for a manufacturer). These are the parts installed by a dealer, although many local shops use OEM parts too.

Aftermarket parts are non OEM parts, and there are various degrees of quality, depending on the brand and where they’re made – China versus USA, for example.

Then there are Used parts purchased from a salvage yard.

To determine if you paid too much for parts, first find out what type of parts are being used. With OEM parts, you don’t want to pay more than MSRP, although most people do without realizing it. Premium aftermarket parts are similarly priced across brands, although beware not to pay more than MSRP, which again, many folks do. Used parts prices are all over the place, so pick the price in the middle.

Auto Repair Labor

Labor is billed in tenths. So 1.0 equals 1 hour. 1.5 equals an hour and a half.
Labor rates range from $60 to $100 per hour at local repair shops and $80 to $140 per hour at the dealer level. Labor times are based off established industry guidelines, which are frequently abused.

If you don’t see the shop’s labor rate posted on the car repair invoice, ask your service center for the rate. Repair shops can manipulate the labor rate (among other things) with a labor matrix. Matrix pricing is a complicated and ethically questionable practice discussed at length in RepairTrust literature. What you need to know is that you can pay as high as $150 per hour rather than the posted labor rate of $105 per hour.

Thus, you’ll want to multiply the number of hours billed (which is also often not posted) by the shop’s labor rate to determine if you’ve been charged accordingly.

Most labor descriptions are poorly written and difficult to understand. So ask questions.

Here’s a “clear” labor description for a 30,000 mile service on a Toyota Camry.

Performed 30,000 mile service per customer request, and in accordance with manufacturer guidelines. Changed oil and filter, installed new air filter, cabin filter and performed all necessary tests, checks, and procedures, including road test (miles 30,123 – 30,125). Performed lubrication services and confirmed proper vehicle operation. Set tire pressures, and checked fluids, belts and hoses. Note: vehicle is pulling slightly left. Needs alignment

Miscellaneous Charges

The bulk of your car repair invoice will be parts and labor, but we can’t forget about Miscellaneous Charges. These charges can include, but are not limited to, shop supplies – rags, chemicals, hazardous waste, disposal fees, waste oil …etc. The latter of these may be billed out separately in a summary at the bottom of your repair invoice.

Very few of these “extras” are actually used during regular repairs. Miscellaneous charges are calculated off the amount of labor hours billed, not the amount of miscellaneous items used.

Flat Fees

Flat fees can be another very tricky area. Flat fees are services, such as an alignment, which don’t get broken down into parts, tax and labor. This makes it difficult to determine the real and fair price. On the plus side, most flat fees are competitively priced.

Be warned however, another term for Flat Fee is called Menu Selling. In other words, you might see Tune Up: $99.99 or Transmission Flush: $89.99. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations only, not a dealer’s or repair shop’s menu.

For an interesting read on this topic, click
car maintenance costs

Summary of Charges

The last part of an auto repair estimate is the summary of charges. It’s usually found in the bottom right hand corner of the invoice. Check it against the charges above to ensure that it all adds up mathematically, as well as logically.

This basic estimate outline may differ from your particular invoice, which may have other categories such as “Sublet” or “HazMat.”

A sublet charge is added when your auto repair shop uses another vender to fix or repair your car, such as a glass company that replaces your windshield.

A HazMat charge may include waste oil or other disposal fees. Just make sure that the charges are warranted, as again, they too are often calculated off the labor time rather than actual need.

In sum, understanding the “actual” charges, asking the right questions, and breaking down your auto repair costs is the best way to avoid paying excessive car repair prices.

Auto Repair – Prudence Is Certainly the Better Part of Valor

They say necessity is the mother of invention. This applies to our automobiles as well. With the current gloom of doom over our heads, how many of us will take the plunge and the continuing responsibility of repayment of a loan for a new vehicle. We would rather take it to an auto repair shop and get the necessary work done properly for a small fraction of the cost of investment in a new car. Auto repair has now assumed center stage because of the difficult economic situation that we now encounter, with joblessness staring in our faces. Prudence is certainly better than valor in evaluating your decisions.

There is a general misconception that auto repairs cost the world and many vehicle owners fear to tread into that territory. However, rest assured that auto repairs are not a big drain on your bankroll if you make the necessary repairs in time at affordable prices. A bad accident can run up very high bills, but even then; you should have your insurance to take the brunt of the burden. Take the case of shock absorbers or silencers that require replacement or repair after some time. These faulty items can generate sounds that give you a strong sense of insecurity about your car. However, if you have them repaired or replaced in time and these are not expensive; you will find a lot of mental relief.

Attend to your vehicle’s minor repairs in time and though they may cost you some discomfort financially, you will get your car back in shining condition, and moreover you have bought peace and tranquility for the money you have spent. This alone is sufficient reason for you to take your vehicle to an auto repair shop who has trained specialists and mechanics to do most of your jobs, which may fall in some of the following categories.

Auto Body Alignment: Appearance is the first asset of your vehicle and the Auto body alignment specialists ensure that all parts of the body are in their original orientation, from the properly fitted body panels to the fenders and the doors. This really is your most important service.

Painting: Painting is as important to a post accident car as it is for the owners who want to customize their car with a new, attractive and latest color in the market. Computerized paint mixing systems help these repair shops to match the color of your needs.

Auto glass: Your automobile glass is important for your proper vision. These repair companies check your glass for perfection, and can even fix a small crack on the windshield immediately. They would always recommend a change of glass but that is up to you and your budget.

Brake: After months of use, your brake-lining may wear out, compromising the safety of your car. Whenever, you perceive ineffective braking, do not hesitate to change the brake pads, as vehicles on the road are running faster and you need all the braking support perfectly in your hands at all times.

Auto Repair Information – What Source is Best?

When looking for automotive repair information, you will find that there are numerous different sources you can use. There is the old standby, the OE factory service manual, but is it always the best resource for auto repair information? What about the aftermarket manuals from Haynes, Chilton, or others? Computers and the internet provide many more sources, such as subscriptions to AllDataDIY, Mitchell’s e-AutoRepair, and online forums.

So where is the best place to go for auto repair information? The answer is that there is no simple answer! Each of these sources has advantages and disadvantages, and each has its own place. The answer will depend on your knowledge and experience, what type of information you are looking for, and sometimes it is actually helpful to have access to two or three different resources.

The OE factory service manual for the most part is written for the professional technician that has been trained in automotive repair. A certain level of knowledge, experience, and access to special tools is assumed. That is not to say that it is not useful for the average car owner that does his or her own repairs, because in certain cases there is no substitute. I find the factory service manuals frustrating at times, because it can be difficult to locate specific information. But, they usually have the most complete, comprehensive, and detailed automotive repair information that is available.

Aftermarket repair manuals such as those from Haynes or Chiltons are geared more towards the average car owner with a do-it-yourself mindset. In most cases, they are perfectly adequate if you are doing mechanical repairs. Where I have found them lacking is in the computer diagnostics and automatic transmission repair areas. Of course, your average do-it-yourself car owner my not be attempting these repairs anyway. One of the advantages to these manuals are that they have lots of photos, which many other resources (including the factory manuals) are lacking.

A subscription to AllDataDIY or Mitchell e-AutoRepair provides you with the exact same auto repair information that many independent auto repair shops use. Yes, it is geared towards the professional, but it is searchable and much easier to navigate through than a factory service manual. These are probably the best all-around sources for general repairs. They still leave out some things that are covered in the factory service manuals, but go much more in-depth than the aftermarket repair books.

Online forums can be a very valuable tool when you have a specific car repair questions or a problem you can’t solve. Many have a ton of people with real-world experience with similar vehicles that will bend over backwards to help out a fellow car owner. You do have to be careful, though, because you really don’t know the knowledge level of the person that may be answering your question. Sometimes it is possible to get bad advice from someone that really doesn’t know what they are talking about, or is mistaken about something but is honestly trying to help.

As I said earlier, sometimes it is helpful to have more than one auto repair info source for certain repairs. Case in point: I recently replaced a convertible top myself rather than pay someone else to do it. When I was trying to get the new top installed, I had a factory service manual, two aftermarket repair manuals, the instructions that came with the top, and a step-by-step tutorial with photos that I found online, and I used every one of them at one point or another!

Each of these auto repair information resources has value. If I could personally only have one source, it would be the factory service manual, but I am a certified ASE Master Technician. For the dedicated do-it-yourselfer, I think a subscription to AllDataDIY or Mitchell e-AutoRepair is the best all-around source. If all you want to do is replace a timing belt or do a brake job and you don’t mess with computer diagnostics, then an aftermarket repair manual may be your best bet. The online forums and question/answer services are great places to turn to when you get stuck.

Auto Repairing

The fascination that seems to overtake many young boys when they are looking at or thinking about cars is one that can not be underestimated. Often times, parents are quick to make a child live the things that they think are best for them. However, almost naturally, male children find interest in the auto field and keep it with them even into their lives. As a result, many of them end up pursuing careers in this field.

The rate at which people are acquiring new vehicles, whether new or used, is quite high. There is need for auto repairing because everywhere you turn, there is either a car accident that has just occurred or there is a car that has simply broken down due to old age or due to over working. Auto Repair is a common thing in many localities and as you move from one place to another, you will have noticed a good number of auto repairing shops. Most times when people find problems with their automobiles, there is a desire to fix the problem as soon as possible, however sometimes there is not a place nearby where this can be done quickly & efficiently. This is why auto repair shops are continuing to become a common appearance and each day that passes, there are more and more auto repair companies and shops being set up.

Vehicles, motorcycles and other auto machines may have life but they do wear out. Therefore it means that at some point, there has to be some kind of renewal and refurbishment of the vehicle. Local places where auto repairing can be done are quite many though in some places it is only bicycles or vehicles or other particular auto machines that are dealt with. Making sure that the auto machine you are using is in top shape is an important aspect of car driving and is something every driver should take heed to. Auto repairing can be done by specialists who are trained and skilled to do the work. Due to this, it is important that one finds the right person to do the job of repairing his car. Some people are unaware that their cars need auto repair until they break down moreover when they need them in top shape. It is of great importance to have your car checked regularly by the individuals who carry out the repair. Some drivers are actually lucky and happy to have nice cars, only for the car to stop functioning especially at a time when they wanted to go to the local restaurant for a date or a business meeting.

Most times, auto repairing is done by people who have been in the car industry for a really long time and the passion drives them to do such work. There is need to look within your community to identify which person or company will be doing the best auto repairing.

Auto Repair

Modern-day automobiles are complex, as most auto manufacturers are using high technology to make the cars more durable. However, being machines, automobiles also encounter the usual problems related to breakdowns as well as normal wear and tear. Repairing automobiles can be very confusing and finding someone qualified to make the correct repairs is becoming even more difficult.

It’s a common proverb that “prevention is better than cure.” Similarly, the best way to avoid auto repair expenses is to be prepared and to amass knowledge about how your vehicle works and how to identify common car problems. It’s also important to know a good technician, the kinds of questions to ask, and your consumer rights. Choosing the right repair shop is the most difficult part, and the best way to solve this problem is by asking for recommendations from friends, family, and other people you trust.

One can make telephone enquiries for the best deal, and compare warranty policies on repairs. While choosing an auto technician, look for shops that display various certifications, like an Automotive Service Excellence seal. Certification ensures that the technicians are acquainted with the basic standards of knowledge and capabilities in desired technical segment.

Auto-repair charges can be expensive; therefore, it is imperative that the consumer be updated about the prevailing repair charges. Mostly, these charges vary from one repair shop to another, as some shops charge flat labor charges, while others charge on the basis of the actual time the technician worked on the repair. Many repair shops also charge for diagnostic time. However, if the technician recommends expensive or complicated repairs, it is advisable to get a second opinion. Although repair shops do not offer any “standard warranty” on repairs, it is important to understand what is covered under your warranty and get it in writing. Furthermore, check with the Federal Trade Commission or your state or local consumer protection agency for information about your warranty rights.

It is advisable to prevent common troubles like leaks and smoke, overheating problems, flat tires and the like with proper maintenance and care of your vehicle.

Auto Repair Quotes – Know Your Quoters

Auto repair quotes can be confusing. In many ways you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle because cars are about as complex an organism as the people who service them. In order to start stacking the deck in your favor, you need to know who you’re dealing with. When it comes to auto repair quotes, what’s almost as important as asking the right qualifying questions is knowing what sort of person you’re speaking to. We’ve been able to identify three major types when it comes to the auto repair professionals on the phone. Here’s who they are and how to deal with them.

Auto Repair Quotes #1: The Low Baller

We’ve all been there before holding that coupon in our hands and thinking, “Wow, a $5 oil change? What could be wrong with that?”

The low price leaders will frequently present the possibility of very inexpensive service when the exact opposite is the case. In situations like this, you will want to be very, very careful.

Keep this rule in mind: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For example, if you need to get your engine repaired, and three out of four shops tell you that based on the info, you’re looking at around $850 best case and $1350 worst case, and some other shop swoops in with, “We’ll have you out the door for less than $650″, well…

Something is wrong. Inhale deeply, because you will smell a rat.

Low ball auto repair quotes are simply tools for pulling unsuspecting drivers through the front door. In situations like this, these predators will almost always find something wrong with your car and the repair will explode to over double what you were expecting.

Frequently the business plan of a technician running this sort of shop reads like this: A Sucker Is Born Every Minute.

Avoid these shops like you would a stumbling, rotting zombie.

Auto Repair Quotes #2: Premium Powerhouse

Right next to the low price leaders in terms of completely confusing customers are the premium powerhouses. These are facilities run by total perfectionists who break out in hives if they have to let a car out of their garage in less than tip top shape.

These shops are fantastic at what they do, and they’ll do everything possible to make sure your car is taken care of.

So what’s the problem? In almost every case they are the “good shops looking bad” because they are completely out of touch with their customers.

Picture this: single working mother making less than $35K per year needs to get a brake job. Why would she care about premium parts? What’s that extra $300 going to get her – less brake dust? Maybe an extra two months on the life of the pads? In a situation like this you do not need premium.

Another frequent problem is that these facilities have a very difficult time prioritizing a list of needed work. In most cases, they see the situation as everything needs to be fixed!

You will hear statements like, “It’s really not in your best interest to leave this problem lying around right now”

I recommend using shops like this only if you really want that level of attention.

Premium Powerhouses are fantastic for car enthusiasts and anyone else who wants to get zero info on the phone, but have them chat your ear off when you drop off the car.

In almost every case, you will be treated extremely well and your car will run almost better than the day you bought it. But it’ll cost you.

Auto Repair Quotes #3: Middle Mayhem

The last group of shops falls into the Middle Mayhem category. These guys represent the vast majority of facilities out there, and the reason I use the word ‘mayhem’ is because mayhem is exactly what they have created.

Shops like this will frequently be all over the place in terms of estimates, information, reasons they can’t say anything over the phone, and just about everything else you can think of.

Be aware that the reason many of these facilities refuse to give solid info over the phone is because of the insane level of competition they have. Because of that, they like to play their cards close to their chest. (But don’t worry, the good ones will share quality info.)

Auto Repair Quotes Golden Rule:

Middle Mayhem shops are the shops you want to focus most of your time calling. As you call more shops, you will become more comfortable weeding out the Low Ballers and Premium Powerhouses of your area.

While Middle Mayhem is the largest group of shops, you will want to pay special attention to how they are pricing their services. There are almost as many ways to price as there are shops to hand out estimates.

Above all else – If you do not make sure you’re comparing apples to apples and not apples to hairless cats, you could be in for a rude awakening. Check and double check. If in doubt, call back. It is their job to help you out.

How Is Auto Repair Cost Determined?

Auto repairs are not cheap or easy to perform in many cases. Sometimes they can put a significant dent in your wallet and you may want to know why. Many people do not understand how auto repair costs are calculated and why they have to pay so much for what may have, at first, seemed like such a minor repair job. Below is a broad overview of how cost and price is determined for any auto repair job.

Labor costs

The first major factor that must be considered before any repair cost can be calculated is the cost of labor. Your mechanic’s shop will probably have a standard “per-hour” rate that they charge for work and they will also have a “book time.” Book time is the estimate average time that it should take for your repair job to be completed by a factory-trained mechanic. Many shops add a little cushion to the book time just in case a less experienced mechanic gets assigned to the job. Typically, labor rates vary by geographical region, but you can expect anywhere from $80-$150 to be the norm in the U.S. this is why you want an experienced auto repair shop working on your car so that labor costs don’t mount simply because more time was spent diagnosing you car trouble and repairing it than was truly necessary.

Parts and supplies

As anyone who owns an older car or a newer car with lots of unique parts and equipment knows, special ordering the parts they need for the auto repair is expensive for the shop. They need to have the equipment necessary to repair the car first off, and they need to have parts in hand to replace anything that may be damaged or unusable. The more specialized equipment and parts they need, the more expensive it is for you to have your auto repair completed. And many shops also tag on about thirty percent to the costs because they do after all, have to make a profit and stay in business.

Cost of business

Running any business is an expensive proposition and a repair shop is no exception. Hiring qualified mechanics isn’t cheap, nor is buying the standard equipment that the shops need for most common repair jobs, buying the computers and diagnostic software to diagnose computer issues also mounts the costs. Then, the repair shops also have to keep their technicians and mechanics trained. I mean, they would go out of business of the shops couldn’t keep up with the latest developments in automotive technology and you would not be happy with your auto repairs. These are just the normal costs of doing business. The shops factor these costs in when determining how much to charge each customer for a specific repair job.

There are a lot of factors that go into determining how much you can expect to be charged for a specific auto repair job at your mechanic’s shop. The amount of labor necessary to complete a project keeps a mechanic from working on other projects so labor must be calculated accordingly. In addition, the shop must be able to purchase the parts and equipment it needs to complete your auto repair which often means adding on fees when ordering expensive or unusual parts and equipment necessary for specific repair jobs. The shops must also be able to stay in business so they must account for the regular costs of working and conducting their business in the price of any auto repair job.