Specified hours for auto repairs

Tiny
MYSUN
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 86,000 MILES
Is there a website or other source where a citizen can look up the "legally designated" number of hours that can be charged for doing whatever particular auto repair? They say that these garages/mechanics can and should be expected to charge for that many hours per a particular repair job. Yet, I've been told different lengths of time by different places, for the exact same job. I will appreciate any guidance regarding where I can look up the specified lengths of time for repairs. Thank you.
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Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 AT 2:32 AM

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Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
There is not considered illegal. Any shop can charge anything they choose to and there is nothing illegal about it. Flat rate guides are just that, guides. There are numerous companies that provide these but I don't know of any that are free.
If there is something specific you want, I will look it up for you in Alldata.
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Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 AT 2:48 AM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Hello,

Wrenchtech is correct. The reason you are getting different hours for the same job could be because some garages may have more experience with the repair needed and can do the repair faster. And others not have as more experience doing the repair so they go by a Labor Guide. And there are many publishers of the Automotive Repair Labor Guides.
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Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 AT 3:08 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Beyond having varying labor guides, there is also a vast differences in what hourly rate is being charged at different levels and in different parts of the country.
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Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 AT 3:11 AM
Tiny
MYSUN
  • MEMBER
Attn: Wrenchtech-

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.
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Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 AT 3:57 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
HEATER CORE
with A/C 5.9 hours (does not include recharge A/C which is 1.8 hours)
without A/C 3.8 hours

VALVE COVER GASKETS
both sides 2.0 hours

FRONT HUB BEARINGS
both sides 3.6 hours

Mechanic 2 seems to be going out of his way to degrade mechanic 1. I'm not sticking up for anybody but mechanic 2 had no basis to say the thermostat was perfectly functioning when replaced. It is normal to replace a thermostat when performing any cooling system repair, especially is the car has experienced an overheating. The thermostat cannot be trusted after that.

FUEL PUMP REPLACE
1.8 hours but does not include drain and refill if necessary

You have the right to get a second opinion on any repair. Mechanic 2 may have beat some of mechanic 1's prices but I have some suspicions of him and his methods too. Blaming everything on a different mechanic is not the way a trustworthy business would conduct business, even if SOME of it is true.
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Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 AT 11:37 AM

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