Escort & $550 repair needed?

Tiny
JAMAR190
  • MEMBER
  • 1955 FORD ESCORT
Hi there,
my husbands '98 escort 4 cylinder has been hesitanting very badly as if its not getting gas when hitting accelerator. Car has approx. 70k miles. New mechanic that we towed car into calls us and fixed car without call of estimate and approval to fix. Said it is $550 ! Question, he said he changed wires, plugs and coil, & claimed that is why cost is what it is.(Husband had changed plugs himself already though 2 weeks ago.) Called our auto supply and wires coil both under 60.00. Is that a fair price for repair mentioned. He said car runs great now.
Thank you so much. Any input would be so appreciated!
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Friday, April 13th, 2007 AT 5:30 PM

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Tiny
TAURUSWHEEL
  • MEMBER
If he only did what you say, sounds like you're being taken advantage of, in my unprofessional opinion of course.
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Friday, April 13th, 2007 AT 6:03 PM
Tiny
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There are a lot of things that need to be addressed. Communication is the real problem on this. A lot of good can come out of this for you and the shop.

Let s take this one at a time. Is this a SOHC or a DOHC motor? Most are SOHC, but the ZX2 had the DOHC. I ll assume a SOHC. DOHC is a little pricier, not much.

Who paid for the towing? I ll assume you did and the shop did not charge you in that number.

Laws vary around the States ( .UNITED????). In NY, you HAVE to quote a job before doing it or risk not getting paid. That may not be the case where you are, but I don t suggest stinging the shop, even if it is the case. I know it is good sense to quote everything before doing it because what is normal to one in the business may be absurd to the customer. I see it all the time. It s your car; it s your choice. A good mechanic may not have good customer skills. (Scarier is the one that has good customer skills and poor mechanical skills.) If you were under the understanding that the shop was ONLY to diagnose, then that is all your responsible for. Again, don t screw the shop on this as you may have found a good technician that is quite valuable, but you may need to strengthen the communication.

About the cost, if the labor rate were $70/hr I would expect the cost to be about, $440-500 as an approximation. The shop needs to mark up parts, (and it varies), to stay in business. (There are expenses that would blow your mind to be in this racket). So don t expect it to be the same as what you can buy it for. I used dealer list for estimation, but that is only for approximation purposes. At my shop there are brands, warranties, product quality and cost that I evaluate. Since our neck is on the chopping block, we quote on what we feel is best. We may pay more for a quality part that is dependable, but pay more than you can buy it at AutoZone for an undependable part, (IMHO) plus a mark up to you (making it seem outrageous). But if there is a problem, we take care of it, as we recommended this part.

My guess is Hubby changed the plugs and they were worn? If so they may have stressed out the wires and coil. Since this was an ignition problem, the plugs Hubby replaced were probably carboned up and would have cost you as much for the shop to clean them as replace them. The shop may have not approved of the brand selected. For example the heavily marketed Bosch Splitfire plugs are garbage in my book.

My opinion of the situation is that the price was not unfair, shocking to you obviously, but not unreasonable in this industry. You have a great opportunity to sit down with the shop and talk about it. Don t put them on the defensive or be accusatory as it will make it much more difficult. Explain what you expected to happen and listen to what their side is.

Expect about 10 cents per mile for repairs and maintenance, which means $300 per oil change period, versus $300/month to lease or buy a car. Driving ain t cheap! In my professional opinion :wink:
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Friday, April 13th, 2007 AT 6:29 PM

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