How many times have you gone into an auto repair shop for a repair that in your mind shouldn’t cost very much and then been shocked by the actual cost? Auto repair isn’t cheap and we shouldn’t expect it to be. The cost of repairing a vehicle is based on several factors. The make, model and year of the vehicle affect the cost of repairing it. Lack of accessibility on some cars raises the cost. Of course, type of auto repair needed determines how much it will cost. Some repairs cost more because the parts involved are more expensive. The cost of auto repair is also determined by the labor rates in your area. The average shop charges between $60-$100 per hour for labor. Finally, where you take the vehicle for repair affects the cost. Dealerships usually charge more than independent repair shops because they have more overhead costs to cover. As with all your auto repair needs, it’s important to look for a trustworthy shop that will give you honest advice, quality service and fair prices.
We can’t avoid auto repair! Sooner or later, something is going to break, wear out or fail. We can try to prevent major repairs by good preventative maintenance but auto parts still wear out. Most frequently, tires, brakes, belts and hoses. And the more miles on your car the greater the possibility you may have engine or transmission problems. Nothing lasts forever, so when your vehicle needs repair, you want to know how much it should cost before the work begins. A reputable shop will give you an estimate that lists the parts that need replacing and their cost, the labor charged to replace those parts, any charges for diagnostic time (this covers the time it takes to connect a scan tool to your vehicle and read out any fault codes that may be in the vehicle’s computer) and any additional charges for miscellaneous items such as hazardous waste disposal fees, or shop supplies.
The labor you are charged is usually based on a standard “flat rate” and it most often the most expensive item on auto repairs. The labor time required to perform a certain task will vary depending on accessibility of the part, the degree of difficulty of the job, and whether special procedures or tools are required to complete the job. All of these are taken into account when a vehicle manufacturer or manual publisher determines the flat rate tables for various repair jobs. This information is published and then used by repair shops in preparing their auto repair estimates. The longer it takes a technician to replace a part, the higher the charge. Auto repair is difficult, messy, back-breaking work that requires skill, training, and experience. Cars today are just as technical as a PC, and when they crash, they’re just as costly to repair. Most of us don’t expect to have our computers repaired for nothing but somehow we have the idea that auto repair should only cost us pennies! Maybe it’s time to think again!
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