Thank you for offering to look up these numbers of labor hours for me:
(1)- REPLACE HEATER CORE-
Mechanic #1 had quoted 6.8 HOURS labor, whereas Mechanic #2 quoted and did it for 4.6 HOURS labor.
(Mechanic #2 also agreed and did reassemble it with brand new hoses and clamps, those which I had provided separately at cost of $81 for parts.)
(2)- REPLACE TWO VALVE COVER GASKETS -
Mechanic #1 insisted urgency and charged 3.6 HOURS of labor plus $20. For new gaskets.
But his work, of malplaced gaskets, caused the very slow leak to become profuse and smoking -- yet he projected blame on the car, insisting that additional/other work was needed to be able to diagnose and correct this leak-- and he refused to redo the gaskets without recharging me.
Mechanic #2 did charge 2.7 HOURS to redo the valve cover gaskets, including the 2 gasket parts.
He also cleaned the surrounding oily area, and next week will inspect to confirm that the leak has stopped.
(3) FRONT WHEEL BEARINGS-
Mechanic #1 charged 5 HOURS for doing both front wheel bearings. Mechanic #2 said that the work appeared to have been done adequately, but that he would have charged only 3.6 HOURS for the same work.
(4) Mechanic #1 had needlessly changed a perfectly functioning thermostat, and he used the wrong (non-synthetic) oil.
(5) Mechanic #2 changed the fuel pump for 2.4 HOURS of labor. (The MTG panel was not reading correctly.) I had no other quotes to compare labor cost for installing this part.
Of course I will NOT return to Mechanic #1, and of course I WILL return to Mechanic #2 for the sorts of mechanical work that he does offer, (which does not include electrical and some other mechanical work).
These five examples above can relay how confusing it can be to choose who to hire to do the work, especially when under pressure to make a snap decision -- when without any source of reference to verify their claimed "standard, by the book" number of hours to charge per specified repair done.
Prior to having had the above work done, I had been meaning to have some barely telltale steering symptoms looked at/tended to.
And I was already planning to have the heater core exchanged -- for that which I had already been quoted a better price.
But last week I was prompted to seek immediate attention because my quality battery had inexplicably drained. And a couple of momentary symptoms had caused me to suspect transmission. Fortunately they tell me that the transmission is fine.
Currently the lowest quote given, (by Mechanic #2) for a rebuilt transmission is $1800.
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 AT 3:57 AM