Give Your Automotive Technician Some Respect

By | February 20, 2017

Auto repair costs at a shop are basically comprised of labor and parts. Flat rate labor guides estimate labor time down to the tenth of an hour. For my example, if a starter for a specific vehicle pays 1.2 hours to change, the labor cost will be determined by multiplying the time by the shops labor rate, lets say the shops labor rate is $90.00 per flat rate hour (1.2 x $90.00=$108.00). Also automotive repair shop labor rates vary at each shop and from city to city. Labor time does NOT take in to consideration the requirement for special tools, experience or lack of.
Flat Rate or Actual Time
If the actual time it takes to repair the vehicle is LESS or MORE than the estimated flat rate time, the customer still pays the flat rate amount. More experienced auto technicians and techs with time saving tools can most of the time beat the flat rate time (AKA book time). The technician, if paid by flat rate has an incentive to do the job fast and correctly. Also keep in mind that a flat rate technician does not get paid time and a half for over-time, or for standing around waiting for work or parts. Tools with exception of larger shop equipment items are usually the responsibility of each mechanic to purchase individually.
Parts Cost
Yes, some money may be saved by shopping around and buying the parts directly, but most shops won’t install parts provided by the customer. Also as far as the warranty goes, if a part fails that the facility provides, the shop will be responsible during the warranty period. Tips for a good auto repair shop experience.
Have a written estimate on large repairs.
Test drive vehicle before paying if possible.