2004 Chrysler Sebring Your point of view about a quotation

Tiny
KLEMS
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 CHRYSLER SEBRING
2004 Chrysler Sebring 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 119k miles

Hello,

I've just bought an old 2004 GTC convertible Sebring with quite a high mileage (119k miles), and I took it to a Chrysler dealer to get it completely checked, because I was highly suspecting a couple of problems on the car, which turned to be right.

I am just amazed by the quotation that has been give to me, the prices seem absolutely crazy so I'd like to have your point of view about it. I'm a foreigner, so maybe that is how it works in the USA but I want to make it sure.

I have compared the prices they ask for each item, with how much the actual piece to be changed cost on its own, without the labor.

Here is the list of the problems diagnosed :

- Oil pressure switch leaking (200$ asked to replace it, the part itself costs 10-15$)

- Oil pan gasket leaking (395$ asked to replace it, the part itself costs about 25$)

- Coolant outlet housing has been leaking (425$ asked to change it)

- Exhaust resinator has hole (575$ asked to change it, the part itself costs around 100-130$)

I also need a front tire to be changed, no pricing for that.

The guy told me that the most urgent was the tire and the oil pressure switch. He said that the exhaust resinator wasn't that important, and for the coolant it shows that it's gonna be leaking at some point but that for now, it's ok, and I just have to check it regularly. The fact that he told me that some things did not really need to be changed makes me feel he could be fair with me, but who knows?

Can you tell me if that's an honest quote? Do you think I can repair all of this on my own? Because again the difference between the price of the piece and the price of the repair (ie including labor) sounds completely inappropriate, and spending like 1000$ while I could spend less than 100$ for the pieces is quite depressing.

Thank you for your help!

Clem
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Friday, October 8th, 2010 AT 11:00 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi Clem. Welcome to the forum. First of all, this car is not old and the mileage is not that high but it is time to start having some of these problems. You can replace the oil pressure sending unit yourself. It is a simple screw-on item that takes one wrench to remove and install. It should take you less than a half hour. It should be fairly obvious when you look at the new one.

The resonator might have a water drain hole on the bottom, near the rear. If the hole is perfectly round, like it was drilled, and about 1/16" in diameter, that is normal. Rust holes are not round and can often be welded closed.

The oil pan gasket can take a few hours to replace. Most shops charge in the area of $100.00 per hour. You might consider getting a second estimate from an independent repair shop. The dealers' repair departments usually charge more per hour but they often get the job done faster because they are very familiar with your car.

Caradiodoc
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Friday, October 8th, 2010 AT 11:28 AM
Tiny
KLEMS
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Hi caradiodoc, thank you very much for your answer!

OK, do you know where I could find a manual for that? Is that part located in the engine or below the car (which means that I have to find a car elevator or something)?

I will check that, I can't remember what the guy told me exactly.

OK so then for this one I definately need someone to do it for me. $100 per hour sounds like really a lot to me, but again I guess I have to get used to local standards ;). Is it appropriate to ask what independant repair shop you could recomment? I suppose you can't advertise on this forum so if you can't answer that's all good.

Thanx again for your help.

Clem.
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Friday, October 8th, 2010 AT 11:48 AM
Tiny
KLEMS
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Hi saturntech, thanx for your very detailed answer.

I'll be honest, I did not work a lot on a car before except for extremely basic things : changing some fluids, or a bulb, etc. Just the regular basic maintenancebut nothing more advanced than that. So obviously, that could be tricky for me. I guess I can make my way through certain things, if this oil pressure switch is quite straightforward to find and change I suppose that shouldn't be too much of a problem, that doesn't really scare me.

Again the problem remains in the equipment I need, the Sebring is quite low and I don't think I can access parts under the car without an elevator. Also, I have some tools but just basic tools that anyone would have at home so if this requires some special type of them, I would also need to buy them.
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Friday, October 8th, 2010 AT 12:00 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The service manual won't tell you how to replace the sending unit because that job is too simple. Buy the new part first so you have something to look at. I'm not sure where it is located on your engine, but it is always near the oil filter. You should be able to throw a piece of cardboard on the ground and slide underneath on that. If you have to jack the front of the car up so you can fit under it, be sure to use a pair of jack stands to prevent being squished if the car falls off the jack.

$100.00 per hour IS a lot, but if you saw the list of all the taxes, insurances, and other expenses, you would wonder how they manage to stay in business. We are paying the price for a lot of government regulation of businesses.

We aren't familiar with all of the independent shops in various cities. Ask friends and relatives for recommendations. As a rule, chain stores like to replace parts to get the job done quickly, and after all, they are in the business of selling parts. Smaller repair shops will often fix things when possible rather than ordering and replacing complete assemblies. Starters and alternators are good examples. Both can be easily repaired on Chrysler products, but bigger shops just replace the entire assembly. Replacing the assembly means less labor but much higher cost for the part. Repairing the assembly means much lower cost for the parts, but more labor time. Dealerships typically charge their full hourly rate for diagnosis, and continue to charge for repair time. Independent shops often have a lower hourly rate, and part of their diagnostic time is covered in their labor charge for the repairs. A better way of saying that is they will often provide a quick diagnosis and estimate, when possible, without charge, in an effort to get your business. They have fewer expenses than the dealerships so they can charge less.

Caradiodoc
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Friday, October 8th, 2010 AT 12:29 PM
Tiny
KLEMS
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I see. Well this car dealer charged me $100 for the diagnosis so I assume that is their hourly rate.

Anyways, thanx a lot for all the tips, I hope I'll figure out how to do all of that. It seems that nothing is REALLY critical nor really threatening my security, so I still have a little time to decide how to do :).
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Friday, October 8th, 2010 AT 2:46 PM

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