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Old 11-21-2010, 11:09 PM   #1
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Ford dealer labor time - bull$1! or what?!

Hey everyone. So I took my Focus in and had the tranny fluid flushed with new filter, coolant flush, power steering change, new fuel filter, oil change and 5 new light bulbs (side marker, license bulbs, etc). My total bill was $533! They charged me for a little over 5hrs of labor but only worked on my car for about 3 to 3.5. To add insult to injury I got friends & family discount. Is this right? Can/should I go back and point this out? I feel like I should. SOO EXPENSIVE!!


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Old 11-21-2010, 11:26 PM   #2
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sounds about right, the dealer is going to be the most expensive place to service your car by a long shot. and yes being charged 5 hours of labor and only in the shop for 3 is right as well, by the book it says it will take 5 hours to perform and that is what you will get charged, regardless of how long it takes.

and even tho you got a Friends & Family discount, this sounds about the right amount the dealer would charge for such work.
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:28 PM   #3
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Are you kidding?! On my old Volvo it cost me $250 to flush and fill the tranny alone. $100 to replace a single dashboard light bulb. Be thankful.
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:36 PM   #4
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and that's why I do my own work........................

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Old 11-21-2010, 11:46 PM   #5
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I'm sitting in TX right now and it was about $276, to have them replace both wheel cylinders and rear shoes.

I was going to do this myself, though due to Ohio road conditions (salt, etc) there was corrosion so I wasn't equipped. I had already purchased the cylinders, pads, and rear right drum.

I had to go buy the fitting!!! They didn't have'em!! I mean a FORD DEALER did not have the proper fitting to service there own vehicle!!

And this was over the course of 3 days, that I had deal with these people. They even lost my locking lug nut for one wheel.

I paid $85 dollars an hour for STUPIDITY!!

Sorry for the rant but I do agree that dealer service prices far exceed the quality of service rendered.
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:59 AM   #6
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Glad I'm not alone here. I mean it's really hard to find an honest mechanic. My cousin is a master Ford mechanic but no longer has an available shop so I've been trying to find a place I can trust. I can do some work but don't have a shop either! Kinda sucks... Especially being a woman- too many shops try to take advantage of me.

I also need to add that I trust this dealership but can't afford this again! No wonder people don't maintain their vehicles! What a load!!
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by emsvitil View Post
and that's why I do my own work........................


Agree, My wagon I got now my girl mother paid $500 just to find the problem with the back hatch, they knew it was there but charged that much to find what the problem is.

I went back there took the lock off shook it, heard something rattling around, went to the junk yard and fixed the problem for $20.
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:47 AM   #8
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that's what you get for paying people to work on your car who have college degrees (or should!) unfortunately a few of them shouldn't have ever got them.

dealer rate is at least $100.... and yes we can get a job done in 2 hours and it pays 5. usually at a small shop (like where I work when I'm not attending school) we'll cut people a break on labor if it's a case like that.

so....... in all honesty that sounds right about where it should be, if not a bit cheap.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:57 AM   #9
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be happy you don't own a saab. the labor rate here at my work is a nice $126 an hour. and a tranny flush pays over 2.
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:04 AM   #10
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Mike, you should've explained to them how they come about those hourly charges for work. First off, don't blame your mechanic, it's not his/her fault. In some places, they get ripped off as well.

There is an "independent" company who sets the time for labor charges to be "fair". Have you ever heard of a "Mitchell manual"? Well that's the company which sets time charges for auto projects. Mitchell is very generous IMO, and most of the time the mechanic can finish a job in less time than the manual allows for charges. When work is plentiful, mechanics at dealers who pay according to the old fashioned rules can make a lot of money. In this case, the mechanics are paid for the Mitchell hours of the work they've done like my cousin who used to get paid for 70 hours a week when he was only working 40.

It's not always like that though. Due to the mentality that we, the workers, should give up all we can to the company because we owe them for our job- there are places where the Mitchell manual works against the mechanics. When jobs are given out, the mechanics who are not working on a project will bid on the job against the others. For example, the service manager says there's a job that pays 5 Mitchell hours, and then asks who can do it for less. The lowest bidder gets paid the hours he/she bid.

This doesn't translate into savings for the consumer, only more money for the dealer or shop. There are also places that "simplify" the system and just pay their mechanics hourly for the time they are there while charging the customer Mitchell hours. If you were someone who was paid in a circumstance like I explained in the previous paragraph- this would be appealing. IMO, people like this should just work for someone like Wal-Mart where a minute of unscheduled overtime (clocking out late) will cost you your job.

That's the way it goes. Now I don't know if there's an online resource you can use to look up Mitchell hours for your special repair before you take your car in, but if there was you could accurately predict your cost. You should also school yourself on your state's laws so you don't get ripped off. For example, until a few years ago TN service businesses weren't required to charge sales tax to consumers. I worked for a company that did- because they could get away with it most of the time. I didn't even know myself until I was told not to charge "important" people like lawyers, local politicians, and business owners tax on the receipt.
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