Car repairs

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by howard, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. howard macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #1
    There should be a site that compiles a database of prices for car repairs. Anyone know of such a site?

    I just found out i need a master brake cylinder which would set me back (flush included) about $400. I have absolutely no money, and i can't afford this, but I'm going to need a working car, and this flaw scares me. Anyone know of a better price? Its for a 1994 Ford Escort. Is it easy to replace these on your own? Doubtful I'm sure, but I'm willing to give it a shot considering that I don't plan on having this car for very long at all, in fact in 1 year I was planning on selling it.

    any help/advice would be appreciated
     
  2. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #2
    I work for a company that does collision estimating products. The licensing involved in getting this information is expensive and time consuming, and entirely at the manufacturers discretion. Whats more, actually putting that data into a useable form is very time consuming and expensive. That's part of why there's no site that has this information.

    I looked up a master brake cylinder on our system, and it comes in at about 170 bucks for the part, labor is .7 hours according to our system. That doesn't include extra operations like the flush, the fluid itself, shop consumables, etc or anything else you might need to have done.
     
  3. howard thread starter macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #3

    Thanks for the info, thats a bit better than the estimate I got. btw, the flush was $80 of the $400.
     
  4. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #4
    ask for a complete itemization. Like how much they are charging for the part itself, what other costs they are throwing in there. If its a dealership, they often use a different set of standards than what my company would use to determine how much time the labor takes. Other costs can add up, and labor costs can vary a lot (the labor time shouldn't vary much though)
     
  5. howard thread starter macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #5
    they have the parts as 129 and the labor as 140, the 70 for flushing is split half and half basically for oils and labor.

    I've been thinking of buying the part separately and trying to get someone to put it in.
     
  6. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #6
    You'll get ****** service if you do this. Garages really hate it when you buy the part on your own, because a significant part of their profit comes from the markup on parts.

    Would you bring your own eggs and bread to a restaurant and ask them to make scrambled eggs & toast for you?
     
  7. dansuz1 macrumors member

    dansuz1

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #7
    What you really need to do is find a place with a cheaper labor rate. Strider42 said that the labor time is .7 hours. $140 is a very steep labor rate. Check around different garages for better labor rates and you should find a significant savings.

    My local garage I use charges $54/hour. Yours is charging $200/hour. Also, I'm not positive on this, but I think "flushing" the system just involves pouring new fluid into the system and catching it as it flows out. This does not cost $80 (even considering the time it takes).

    The part cost is rather fixed, though you can ask about getting a rebuilt master cylinder rather than a new one.

    Dan
     
  8. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    #8
    It all depends on the city. The going rate for labor in Boston is roughly 150-180 /hour at a dealer, 125-150 /hour at an indy mechanic. Out about 50 miles south of Syracuse the going rate for labor is around 35/hour.

    Most shops now use a special machine to actually cycle new hydraulic fluid through the system. Although 80 is high, it's in range with his labor prices.

    Ben
     
  9. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #9
    yes, call around. i had a brake job done on my husband's huge suburban sized truck and it was a total of $300 and they had to do A LOT to it. there is no way that is a fair price for a ford escort. ask for itemized price listings too, make sure they are not trying to rip you off for something simple like bleeding the brakes.
    not sure about a website but you could try punching in a few combinations in google and see what comes of it. a ford forum might have some insight as well.
     
  10. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #10
    I'm not sure where you live, but that price sounds steep for just a cylinder/flush. I suggest you shop around for a better price. Do it soon, though, because you don't want to drive with defective brakes. If you have a friend who can help you, I suggest calling around for a price on the master cylinder. That price sounds steep for a part you may be able to get remanufactured (not sure on this).


    Here is the price if you order it from AutoZone (non antilock brakes)
    http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiB...ameters=|~WITHOUT+ANTI-LOCK+BRAKES&PageSync=4
     
  11. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    The OP doesn't need a "brake job" he needs the master brake cylinder replaced.

    Like others have suggested you should just shop around. But don't necessarily go w/the cheapest shop you find (especially if it's significantly lower than other shops). Saving $150 or something will be nice until your brakes fail on your way home from work 'cause of the low-rent shop you took it to.


    Lethal
     
  12. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    well my terminology just sucks. my husband's truck did need a master brake cylinder (at least i think so, now i'll check the invoice again) among other things done in that "area". point being that the total cost was far less than this person's estimate of $400, which i believe to be too much. :confused:
     
  13. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #13
    That all assumes they are charging .7 hours labor time. They could be charging higher labor time. That is the estimated labor time from my company. Other estimating systems may have a higher number, or a lower number, or the shop could be completely making that up. Ask them what estimating system they are using, if any, and if they can't answer that, ask them where they got that labor time.

    For what its worth, the price they quoted for the master brake cylinder part itself is lower than what our system says, and we get our prices directly from ford.
     
  14. dansuz1 macrumors member

    dansuz1

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #14
    You're right about .7 hours not being the absolute standard for installing the Master Brake Cylinder. But, if the estimated repair time is quite far off of your number, then he needs to ask what that garage is doing different from your company's estimate and why.

    When Howard starts shopping around, he should have an idea that the labor should take about ~3/4 hour, and should ask for re-built MB cylinders and check the labor rate to see how competitive it is to other garages he's checked.

    And of course, he should check with the BBB and friends and family to be sure the garage is reputable and fair.
     
  15. howard thread starter macrumors 68020

    howard

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    #15
    Thanks for all of your input, its been really helpful. A lot of times, and I think a lot of people, are nervous about taking there car in to different places, but having confidence and finding out the best price is going to save you so much in the long wrong.

    I checked a few other places and settled on a local garage that can do the repair today for about $180!! A lot better than the 400 midas was asking for. I had called around all over the place, Carx was giving me the same quote as midas, and another local place gave me a quote about the same as the one I decided on but they couldn't get the part in for a few days.

    Both garages were highly recommended from neighbors and friends, and now i can see why.

    I think I have a mentality that the chain places can give you better prices, because thats usually how it is in other areas of purchasing. Obviously not the case. I also found that the midas and carx were fairly hungry for my business, nice but kinda...sly about everything. Whereas the garages were more matter of fact, nothing to hide. One guy even said he could get me the parts sooner but from a place that was charging more than he would want to pay for. I thought that was pretty cool.

    I've always wished there was a website were you could fill out a form, car make and repair, and then it would store that info for anyone to look at. I would be that hard. It could be a million dollar idea...
     
  16. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #16
    Glad that worked out. out of curiosity, how much labor time is it going to take. Curious to see how close my companies estimate was to what you were quoted.
     
  17. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #17
    Just out of curiousity, which company do you work for? (if you are allowed to say) My company supplies paint and equipment, as well as marketing (that's what I do) to collision shops. I was just wondering if I had heard of your company. Were you guys at the NACE show?
     
  18. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #18
    I can say with absolute certainty that you should Never Take Your Car To Midas.

    Nor a quick lube shop, or any quick tire, battery, exhaust, paint & collision or other repair chain. Stay away.

    For that matter, it's often a good idea to avoid the dealer, too. Especially if you have a Volkswagen.
     

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