Dealer labor hours - Page 2 - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #21 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 05:47 PM
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A year or so ago, my younger brother called me asking if Id do a water pump for him. It was either a Toyota Rav 4 or a Honda Pilot, cant remember as he has had so many vehicles.

Anyways, the estimate he got was damn close to $2000 as the dealer AND AllData both said they had to pull the engine & trans out as a unit to get to the water pump. The estimated time was somewhere north of 16+ hours to do the job.

It was obvious the clearance to get the pulley off was going to hit the strut tower was the major issue in this job
.

I stood there looking over the engine bay for a few minutes and sent him off to the autoparts store to get the water pump. He got back within an hour or so and there I was holding the water pump in my hand. He asked me how I did it and I told him Im a magician.



Yes, the pulley did in fact just touch the strut tower, but 3 motor mount bolts later, and a floor jack under the front pulley and I was able to lift the motor 5-6 inches, which cocked the engine enough that the pulley came right out, and plenty of room to yank the water pump.



Bottom line is, that particular job was a HUGE money maker for the dealership, unless they did it 'by the book' and dropped the engine cradle (which I highly doubt anyone would ever do).

Im just a simple mechanic and it didn't take more than 5 minutes to figure out how to go about the job easily and efficiently. Guess as Ive gotten older, Im learning that mantra....... work smarter, not harder.

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post #22 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikes85 View Post
Without getting into a huge argument/debate on it I'll just say this. You're paying for the years not the minutes. If a mechanic can "beat the book" it's usually because he has done it many times and has come up with workarounds to make it faster. Remember that mechanics have to continually train and learn the new systems on new cars (some of which can have 30 and more computers and systems) and no 2 models are exactly the same let alone different brands etc. Also remember that 90% of mechanics have to purchase their own tools to do the job, and sometimes this includes specialty tools that may only get used once a year...or even once. Sometimes at a cost to them of several hundred dollars. The tool investment is never ending. I myself have over $160,000 invested in tools and still find myself purchasing things from time to time (I work in an independent shop on all makes and models).

Cheap isnt always better and you get what you pay for most of the time. You wouldn't trust heart surgery to a cut-rate doctor, why trust your safety and others on the road to a cut-rate "mechanic"

/rant
Great post.

I would like to also add to this when you're paying those labor rate you're also paying for the facility, insurance, and any amenities at the dealership provides for the customer.

In the 25 years I've been a technician I've never had to watch a YouTube video how to replace spark plugs. A lot of things can certainly seem easy when you're watching a video and someone is showing you exactly what to do until something goes wrong like the spark plug is seized in the head. The average Joe would probably make it worse we're trained technician could normally save the head.
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post #23 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 07:06 PM
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There are more and more things on some cars today that call for major work to change simple things.

Timing belts on the old Hyundais needed changed at 85,000 miles. You have to remove it to get to the water pump. The pumps died at 115,000 so it was recommended to just fix both at once.

Sometimes when you get inside on some of these things it is cheaper to fix it now than later when you are in the area.
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post #24 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by T/J View Post
I always wonder how mechanics calculate the hours to do a job. For instance, Subaru wanted $700 to change spark plugs on the wifeís Crosstrek, saying that it is a three hour job. I just did it myself (with you tube) help in 32 minutes.
Maybe they should get rid of their service manuals and subscribe to the internet.
Fuzzy math and a lack of candor places them on a level with politicians...

I have never seen that at a Chevy dealer, maybe it is just the yuppie dealers.

I looked up a 2015 and a 2018. Mitchell showed 2.2 hours flat rate.
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post #25 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 10:43 PM
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Great post.

I would like to also add to this when you're paying those labor rate you're also paying for the facility, insurance, and any amenities at the dealership provides for the customer.

In the 25 years I've been a technician I've never had to watch a YouTube video how to replace spark plugs. A lot of things can certainly seem easy when you're watching a video and someone is showing you exactly what to do until something goes wrong like the spark plug is seized in the head. The average Joe would probably make it worse we're trained technician could normally save the head.
And I have changed plugs on dozens of cars before we had the Internet much less utube. But, those cars had one coil, not 6 coils. You pulled a plug wire and figured out how to get a spark plug wrench on it.

Might be pretty simple, but I'd like to see how to pull those coils off . I guess I should get some plugs to look at it. Some crazy engineer may have come up with something I don't have a wrench to fit.

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post #26 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 12:02 AM
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And I have changed plugs on dozens of cars before we had the Internet much less utube. But, those cars had one coil, not 6 coils. You pulled a plug wire and figured out how to get a spark plug wrench on it.

Might be pretty simple, but I'd like to see how to pull those coils off . I guess I should get some plugs to look at it. Some crazy engineer may have come up with something I don't have a wrench to fit.

I remember a post on this very forum about the plugs. IIRC it looks like the intake has to come off but really doesn't.

I'm sure if you search long enough you'll find it.

It's actually easier with 6 coils if you ask me. They just pull straight up and out. As long as you can get to them of course.
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post #27 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Mikes85 View Post
Without getting into a huge argument/debate on it I'll just say this. You're paying for the years not the minutes. If a mechanic can "beat the book" it's usually because he has done it many times and has come up with workarounds to make it faster. Remember that mechanics have to continually train and learn the new systems on new cars (some of which can have 30 and more computers and systems) and no 2 models are exactly the same let alone different brands etc. Also remember that 90% of mechanics have to purchase their own tools to do the job, and sometimes this includes specialty tools that may only get used once a year...or even once. Sometimes at a cost to them of several hundred dollars. The tool investment is never ending. I myself have over $160,000 invested in tools and still find myself purchasing things from time to time (I work in an independent shop on all makes and models).

Cheap isnt always better and you get what you pay for most of the time. You wouldn't trust heart surgery to a cut-rate doctor, why trust your safety and others on the road to a cut-rate "mechanic"

/rant
Bunches of truth here. Look at a Helms manual and you will see lots of items that call for specialty tools that apply only to that particular vehicle. Pick up a Snap On and/or Matco tool catalog (or go online) and look at prices. And how do you put a price on knowledge? It can be like watching Norm Abram in the show "New Yankee Workshop", where he makes everything look easy. That's the mark of a craftsman. They know how to do the job and have the proper tools to do it. A good mechanic is a craftsman, yet people down play their craft because they think anyone can turn a wrench. Anyone can buy a paint brush, but damn few can paint the Mona Lisa.

BTW: Old Norm probably has more money tied up in clamps than I paid for my first house.

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post #28 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 06:25 AM
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Sometimes the factory procedure is the best. As vehicles get older and more fragile some things that a Youtube video says to pry or lift don't always go the way you want. The factory tries to account for any number of factors. Can most jobs be done faster, maybe but when you are not working on your own vehicle how much risk do you want to assume? Technicians are constantly keeping up with new technology and new models. It takes a lot of intelligence and skill to work on the newer vehicles especially when it is an electrical problem that only happens once in a while. The factory method may be more time consuming but it is guaranteed to work, the short cuts, sometimes not or you create a bigger problem. The more you know before hand the better. I will google something if I have never done it and also find a service manual so I know what I am getting in to.
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post #29 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 08:31 AM
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Bunches of truth here.Anyone can buy a paint brush, but damn few can paint the Mona Lisa.

BTW: Old Norm probably has more money tied up in clamps than I paid for my first house.

Agree about proper tools, experience and craftsmanship in vehicle repair. A lot of thinking outside the box is often involved as well.


Mona Lisa . .? Heck, many can not paint a straight line along walls or cut in baseboards in a house. Have you seen some paint jobs in houses up for sale or older home?
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post #30 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 09:39 AM
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Outside of the computer related issues, a lot of repairs just take comment sense. A good exploded view, a schematic (wiring, plumbing, pneumatic, hydraulic, etc. ) will get me down the road on 75% of repairs. I also tend to have a pretty good feel for what I can do and what should be left for the professionals.

When you have worked on enough different items, some of it is just second nature. Critical things to be aware of:

1. Patience. Patience. Patience.

2. Right tools. Sometimes there is no substitute for the right tool. Sometimes you can make a special tool work. If I remember right, it was my 2009 Wranger, changing the passenger side spark plug closest to the firewall required an extension that was shorter than any I had in my toolbox. Probably shorter than are made, period. But my 3/8" to 1/4" and 1/4" to 3/8" adapters mated together was just the right length.

3. Clean: I was trained by a guy in a machine shop who would spend 2 hours cleaning a machine, an hour setting the block of metal in the mill, and 3 minutes making the cut he needed to make on the mill. Guess he really tied my #1 with my #3 rules in his work.

I did find this thread, the utube video is almost useless but did help with 1/2 of my questions regarding the coil packs.

https://www.coloradofans.com/forums/...lugs-help.html

I am a little worried about how much removal is required on the intake. Guess one Saturday morning I will remove that plastic engine cover and poke around a bit.

Didn't find much in line with spark plug change that helps, partially because for some reason, none of the utube videos I find have any audio.

Oh, and don't ever hand me a paint brush. Which end do use, I always forget.
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post #31 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 11:35 AM
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I always wonder how mechanics calculate the hours to do a job. For instance, Subaru wanted $700 to change spark plugs on the wifeís Crosstrek, saying that it is a three hour job. I just did it myself (with you tube) help in 32 minutes.
Maybe they should get rid of their service manuals and subscribe to the internet.
Fuzzy math and a lack of candor places them on a level with politicians...

I have never seen that at a Chevy dealer, maybe it is just the yuppie dealers.
I think you should open up your own shop. ASE Master Tech certification? Hell with that, you're YouTube Certified and you've got your own personal cheap parts warehouse on Rockauto!

The big thing about service manual procedures are they aren't going to list the backyard way to do things. If it requires the mechanic to unnecessarily risk health, safety, or if a time-saving shortcut could cause damage to other components (bend, stretch, put stress on stuff, use franken-tools) the FSM isn't going to list that.
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post #32 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 11:51 AM
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I think you should open up your own shop. ASE Master Tech certification? Hell with that, you're YouTube Certified and you've got your own personal cheap parts warehouse on Rockauto!

The big thing about service manual procedures are they aren't going to list the backyard way to do things. If it requires the mechanic to unnecessarily risk health, safety, or if a time-saving shortcut could cause damage to other components (bend, stretch, put stress on stuff, use franken-tools) the FSM isn't going to list that.
And I would caution, if you don't know what you are doing, don't put yourself at risk.

As an example, I think multi-meters are great pieces of equipment. You can often get them for free from Harbor Freight with one of their coupons, at worst, less than $10 for a cheap one that will take care of 95% of the DIY needs you could ever have. But, if you don't know electricity like i know electricity, it KILLS. (I would love to introduce you to my brother-in-law, but he was electrocuted in 1988 in a workplace accident.) I frequently tout the great things you can trouble shoot with one, but when I was laid off from a job once, the two young kids who were left behind to work in the shop knew nothing about electricity. I was always afraid that one day I would read about their death in the newspaper.

Same thing goes for crawling under a vehicle up in the air, etc. Working on a vehicle with the engine running, fan belts and blades spinning around, looking for a finger in the wrong place, a piece of loose clothing or long hair to grab.

Be safe out there, none of us with our shade tree mechanic skills want to see anyone hurt, maimed, or killed.
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post #33 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 12:39 PM
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My local GM is $120/hr flat rate but how they get you is by the # of hours quoted.


I bought the OEM chrome handles from the dealer using my $100 GM voucher when I bought my truck.

Asked them for the install and was quoted 2 hours for the job = $240!!!


I haven't done this yet but youtube videos indicated a 15 min job (5 min per handle).


And same rate for the air dam removal. Was quoted 2 hr standard labor!!
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post #34 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 12:42 PM
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My local GM is $120/hr flat rate but how they get you is by the # of hours quoted.


I bought the OEM chrome handles from the dealer using my $100 GM voucher when I bought my truck.

Asked them for the install and was quoted 2 hours for the job = $240!!!


I haven't done this yet but youtube videos indicated a 15 min job (5 min per handle).


And same rate for the air dam removal. Was quoted 2 hr standard labor!!
Sounds like a 2 hour minimum.
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post #35 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 03:59 PM
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I did find this thread, the utube video is almost useless but did help with 1/2 of my questions regarding the coil packs.

https://www.coloradofans.com/forums/...lugs-help.html

I am a little worried about how much removal is required on the intake. Guess one Saturday morning I will remove that plastic engine cover and poke around a bit.

Didn't find much in line with spark plug change that helps, partially because for some reason, none of the utube videos I find have any audio.
That is the thread I was talking about. He did indeed lift the front of the intake to get the right front 2 out.

You say no audio? One of those videos showed it pretty good with audio.
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post #36 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by SSingh1975 View Post
My local GM is $120/hr flat rate but how they get you is by the # of hours quoted.


I bought the OEM chrome handles from the dealer using my $100 GM voucher when I bought my truck.

Asked them for the install and was quoted 2 hours for the job = $240!!!


I haven't done this yet but youtube videos indicated a 15 min job (5 min per handle).


And same rate for the air dam removal. Was quoted 2 hr standard labor!!
They must be a stick on thing? If so maybe they were thinking replacing the whole thing? Never looked that close at them, just curious now. Going to look today.

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post #37 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 04:06 PM
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I looked up a 2015 and a 2018. Mitchell showed 2.2 hours flat rate.
Is there only one engine option on that car? Interesting.

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post #38 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 04:37 PM
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That is the thread I was talking about. He did indeed lift the front of the intake to get the right front 2 out.

You say no audio? One of those videos showed it pretty good with audio.
I think I am having a problem on my computer. Not able to listen to any audio on the fire at Notre Dame either.
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post #39 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry gents, didnít mean to get anyoneís ire up...
I have a lot of respect for technicians.
I just canít see the justification of the time to change spark plugs. It didnít involve lifting the engine or any crazy stuff. I did have to remove the battery and air intake, but the plugs are all easy to get to. They also charge $40 apiece for the plugs and a fee of like $100 to do a diagnostic check.
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post #40 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 05:44 PM
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Sorry gents, didnít mean to get anyoneís ire up...
.
Not at all. We are a bunch of passionate people here. And like any bunch of people, we all have different opinions. That doesnt mean we cant all agree to disagree and then crack open a cold one together.
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