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View Full Version : Car Service, am I getting ripped off?


KCChiefsMan
05-20-2005, 03:30 PM
ok, my car had a coolant leak and today while on the highway the temp. guage went all the way up for the 1st time I've owned the car. So later on I took it into a Pontiac dealership, since it's a Pontiac Grand Am.

They said they need to replace the Water Pump and Radiator Cap and flush the coolant system for $425 + tax.

How bad am I getting ripped off?

Mile High Mania
05-20-2005, 03:32 PM
I dunno, better call the cops... no, scratch that... they're in on it.

It's hard to say, I always fear the dealership. I try to go in every 3 months for the "scheduled" check up, hoping I can avoid those big unknown donations to the dealer.

Count Zarth
05-20-2005, 03:32 PM
Offer them 200 bucks plus 15 minutes per guy with your sex robot.

Bwana
05-20-2005, 03:33 PM
ok, my car had a coolant leak and today while on the highway the temp. guage went all the way up for the 1st time I've owned the car. So later on I took it into a Pontiac dealership, since it's a Pontiac Grand Am.

They said they need to replace the Water Pump and Radiator Cap and flush the coolant system for $425 + tax.

How bad am I getting ripped off?

$425 for a pump, a cap and some coolant? Dude, you are getting bent over and driven home.

KCChiefsMan
05-20-2005, 03:34 PM
$425 for a pump, a cap and some coolant? Dude, you are getting bent over and driven home.


yup, but I have a feeling that any other mechanic or shop would do the same

Bwana
05-20-2005, 03:36 PM
yup, but I have a feeling that any other mechanic or shop would do the same

I would keep looking, seriously. Either that or go get a book and knock it out.

dtebbe
05-20-2005, 03:36 PM
That sounds about right, the waterpumps on those are direct drive if I remember right, and require a bunch of labor. If you have them break it down I bet the parts are about $100 and the rest labor. At $80/hour it does not take much to get to $400.

DT

Fat Elvis
05-20-2005, 03:37 PM
I've had good luck with Don's Auto on 11th and Haskell.

kc rush
05-20-2005, 03:42 PM
If your car can make it to Olathe, Bretts is really good. My wifes car had several problems which they fixed for half of which Mazda was going to charge.

They also gave her a list of things that may be problems down the road, but nothing to worry about in the near future.

KCChiefsMan
05-20-2005, 03:45 PM
I've had good luck with Don's Auto on 11th and Haskell.

thanks, I may have to try that.

cdcox
05-20-2005, 03:46 PM
Dealers skin you alive, as do most automechanics. I have a guy at my church who charges $25 an hour and doesn't mark up the parts. You would be out for less than $200 with him. Even so, when the water pump on my truck went out, I replaced it, the serpentine belt and all the hoses myself. I had the Haynes manual and it didn't look too bad before I started. If you have some mechanical ability you might be suprised how many things you can do yourself.

DeepSouth
05-20-2005, 03:47 PM
My experience has been that dealerships are much more expensive than other auto repair places.

DeepSouth
05-20-2005, 03:49 PM
Dealers skin you alive, as do most automechanics. I have a guy at my church who charges $25 an hour and doesn't mark up the parts. You would be out for less than $200 with him. Even so, when the water pump on my truck went out, I replaced it, the serpentine belt and all the hoses myself. I had the Haynes manual and it didn't look too bad before I started. If you have some mechanical ability you might be suprised how many things you can do yourself.
Many public libraries have Chilton manuals on line. You can print the pages you need and not have to buy the manual.

kc rush
05-20-2005, 03:54 PM
Part of the problem with the dealerships is that they use manufacturer parts which are a lot more expensive than aftermarket parts.

As long as using aftermarket parts doesn't void some warranty you will save money there.

redbrian
05-20-2005, 03:56 PM
Many public libraries have Chilton manuals on line. You can print the pages you need and not have to buy the manual.

This is the best thing to do. A couple of months ago I took my wifes car into the dealer for an inspection, they call me up and say there are six things that fail the car for inspection and it's going to cost me a grand to bring it up to snuff.

I go and pick up the car and the list of problems. Dealers charge a bundle for labor, one problem was the rear light bulb was burnt out, their cost to fix it was $15 (the bulb cost $1.15 at the parts store and took me all of 5 min. to replace).

I checked out the Chiton manual and spent the weekend and $175 in parts to fix it.

KCChiefsMan
05-20-2005, 04:22 PM
I go and pick up the car and the list of problems. Dealers charge a bundle for labor, one problem was the rear light bulb was burnt out, their cost to fix it was $15 (the bulb cost $1.15 at the parts store and took me all of 5 min. to replace).

.


ya, I took my car in for an oil change at a Pontiac quick lube place here in town, I did have a rear brake light out on the drivers side. They informed me about it and told me that it would be $70-80 to replace it. I laughed, said no and did it myself in 15 minutes for about $1.50. I have no clue how to change a water pump though

KC Kings
05-20-2005, 04:26 PM
Go to www.autozone.com
I have all of my cars on there with their own profiles. Anytime I want to buy a part I choose the vehicle and see what stores have it in stock. If I don't know how to put the part in, I go to their on-line instruction manuals and they show you step by step with pictures.

I always by the manuals but I have gotten away from Chiltons and went to Haynes. My Dad swears by Chiltons, but I find some of their instructions to be pretty vague, and they only give the instructions for that car "class", not the specific make and model you are working on.

redbrian
05-20-2005, 04:28 PM
ya, I took my car in for an oil change at a Pontiac quick lube place here in town, I did have a rear brake light out on the drivers side. They informed me about it and told me that it would be $70-80 to replace it. I laughed, said no and did it myself in 15 minutes for about $1.50. I have no clue how to change a water pump though

Not that hard to do, and the Chilton will walk you through it. It will take you a Sat. two to three trips to the parts store and at least a six pack and a couple of barked nuckles.

Bwana
05-20-2005, 04:31 PM
What year is it BTW? 4 or 6 Cyl engine?

chiefs4me
05-20-2005, 04:32 PM
If you are going to live where you are at for awhile, then you need to find a good one person owned auto shop. They are lots cheaper and do a really good job to bring back your business, and to also drum up more business if you tell someone about them, which people usually do. I would go somewhere else and see how much they charge before just giving the dealership 400 dollars.

KCChiefsMan
05-20-2005, 04:34 PM
What year is it BTW? 4 or 6 Cyl engine?


1999 Grand Am, V6. I did some reading on it online and it sounds like you have to lift the engine to get to it. So I'm guessing that most of that money is for labor. So I'm thinking that I wouldn't really be able to do it myself

KCChiefsMan
05-20-2005, 04:37 PM
If you are going to live where you are at for awhile, then you need to find a good one person owned auto shop. They are lots cheaper and do a really good job to bring back your business, and to also drum up more business if you tell someone about them, which people usually do. I would go somewhere else and see how much they charge before just giving the dealership 400 dollars.


see I called around about 10 different places and the deciding factor on the dealership was that they could look at it today and all of the other places I called said they were too busy and they could get to it sometime early next week. I have a 9-5 job in KC (and I live in Lawrence) that I had to miss today and I will have to miss most of Monday as well because I can't get a ride up there.

Bwana
05-20-2005, 04:43 PM
1999 Grand Am, V6. I did some reading on it online and it sounds like you have to lift the engine to get to it. So I'm guessing that most of that money is for labor. So I'm thinking that I wouldn't really be able to do it myself
I think the book calls for 2.0 hours for that job. Your lucky it's not a 4 cyl. Those are a real bitch, around 7.0 hours for that job. In any event, I would look around. No way I would pay what the dealer is asking for that job.

KCChiefsMan
05-20-2005, 04:46 PM
I think the book calls for 2.0 hours for that job. Your lucky it's not a 4 cyl. Those are a real bitch, around 7.0 hours for that job. In any event, I would look around. No way I would pay what the dealer is asking for that job.


ya, I'm going to pay it unfortunately. I need my car on Monday so I can get to KC after that, otherwise I'm looking at Tuesday or Wednesday. I'm just glad I have a very understanding/nice boss up there

Bob Dole
05-20-2005, 04:50 PM
Bob Dole wouldn't pay any attention to Bwana. He knows nothing at all about cars.

:rolleyes:

stumppy
05-20-2005, 05:09 PM
Before I read anything on this thread : YES YOU ARE !!

Skip Towne
05-20-2005, 05:13 PM
Bob Dole wouldn't pay any attention to Bwana. He knows nothing at all about cars.

:rolleyes:
Yeah, same for that dumbass Stumppy. He thinks he knows about cars just because he was a service manager at a dealership.