The upper and lower radiator hoses make sense.
"Pipe to tb" I can only guess is to the throttle body. This might be something GM needed to warm the throttle body to prevent freezeup in cold or humid conditions, or to promote easier fuel vaporization. It can't be much of a hose, but if there's pressure in it, might as well change it too.
"rad to res" would be radiator to overflow reservoir. This one doens't have pressure in it. There's almost no chance of it leaking and it won't cause a catastrophic problem if it did. This one isn't normally replaced as a maintenance item.
With the cost of the two heater hoses, I would have to assume they are specially molded to prevent kinking. I have two like that on my Caravan, but they don't cost anywhere near 20 bucks. GM is known for using a lot of parts that are made just for their specific application so they often cost more than similar parts from other manufacturers.
It can be hard to get to some heater hose connections on the firewall, so that could be part of the reason for the high labor charge. Another possibilty could be if they went by the "flat rate guide". That's a standardized book that gives the time allotted to every service procedure. It allows any shop to provide you with the same estimate as any other shop without having to know in advance what is involved. Without this guide, the only way to be fair to both parties would be to do the work first, then figure out the bill and surprise you afterwards. At that point, it's too late to comparison shop for a second opinion.
The flat rate time for each hose might include refilling the system with coolant. Since it's not necessary to refill it after replacing each hose, the guide usually will list each hose as an individual operation, then at the end it will say, "add. Xx hours for refilling" so it is only counted once. I don't have a flat rate guide to look at, but it just seems that $252.00 is a little high. I would be willing to bet they are going to flush the system including the heater core. If your car uses the red Dex-Cool antifreeze, you want them to get that stuff out of there before it turns to mud, and get new stuff in. GM called it "lifetine" antifreeze, but the manufacturer never promoted it as such. Even the stickers on the car specify changing it at 100,000 miles.
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Sunday, March 7th, 2010 AT 10:42 PM