Dealer labor hours - Page 3 - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #41 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 05:51 PM
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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.
My dealer charges for diagnostic tests but deducts it from the bill if you have them do the fix. Otherwise people would come in, get the diagnosis and either fix it themselves or go somewhere cheaper.

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post #42 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 07:08 PM
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Is there only one engine option on that car? Interesting.
Yep .. 2.0 DOHC
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post #43 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 07:15 PM
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My dealer charges for diagnostic tests but deducts it from the bill if you have them do the fix. Otherwise people would come in, get the diagnosis and either fix it themselves or go somewhere cheaper.
Diagnostic time is something nobody likes to pay for even the manufacturer on warranty claims, but it takes equipment, time, and knowledge to diagnose a problem. The equipment, mechanic's time and knowledge is essentially what you are buying when you ask a shop to repair your car whether he is repairing it or diagnosing the problem. It all takes the same resources.
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post #44 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 07:34 PM
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The cost of what it takes yearly can be amazing just to run a shop. Fees for tech info to deal with todayís computers cost my buddies shop $15,000 a few years ago and I am sure i5 has gone up since.

Without that info you are pretty dead in the water. Private shops need info on all cars and not just one line like a dealer.

The cost of equipment also is off the charts anymore. Tire machines and balances are just crazy priced anymore and sadly often need repaired and calibrated.

Years ago it just took a basic set of tools and some mechanical ability but that sadly is no longer enough.
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post #45 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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This was a tricky diagnosis; odometer said 57,000 miles, service interval said change plugs at 60,000 miles.
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post #46 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 07:09 AM
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My dealer charges for diagnostic tests but deducts it from the bill if you have them do the fix. Otherwise people would come in, get the diagnosis and either fix it themselves or go somewhere cheaper.
Which is why I used to go to Autozone for diagnostic test.

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post #47 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 07:18 AM
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Then again . . . .
Yesterday our adult daughter took her car in for "sputtering/dying" at stop signs. I told her it's likely spark plugs, the coil pack or a vacuum leak given the likely issues on her type of 2014 car and that it has over 100,000 miles.
She called me while at the GM dealer and asked if I would come down if she needed me to. Well . .. she already was in for the $97 diagnosis fee. So I just said call me and let me know what they say.
They hooked up the scanner and found cylinder #2 misfire on the 4 banger engine. The tech had already pulled the #2 plug and the service writer had it to show her. Told her it would be $160 on top of the $97 fee to replace the 4 plugs or +$260 with tax to replace 4 spark plugs.

I told her to just have them put the plug back in and tell them her husband is out of town (he is) and she will talk to him about what to do. The service writer came back with, "Well, that spark plug is really "arcing badly" so we can replace just that one for $9.97 for the part and then will just be $126 with tax. "
So how is it that the remaining 3 spark plugs would cost about another $140 ($260 - $120) more since the 10 minute job of removing the coil pack and cover was already accomplished?

I've worked on these cars before and they don't take more than 15 minutes total to pull the coil pack and cover and check the spark plugs.

So understand dealer costs and technician or shop tool costs, but a $140 difference to change the 3 remaining spark plugs? I don't think so . .. .

Then again . . . maybe he gave her a "break".
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post #48 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 08:45 AM
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Then again . . . .
Yesterday our adult daughter took her car in for "sputtering/dying" at stop signs. I told her it's likely spark plugs, the coil pack or a vacuum leak given the likely issues on her type of 2014 car and that it has over 100,000 miles.
She called me while at the GM dealer and asked if I would come down if she needed me to. Well . .. she already was in for the $97 diagnosis fee. So I just said call me and let me know what they say.
They hooked up the scanner and found cylinder #2 misfire on the 4 banger engine. The tech had already pulled the #2 plug and the service writer had it to show her. Told her it would be $160 on top of the $97 fee to replace the 4 plugs or +$260 with tax to replace 4 spark plugs.

I told her to just have them put the plug back in and tell them her husband is out of town (he is) and she will talk to him about what to do. The service writer came back with, "Well, that spark plug is really "arcing badly" so we can replace just that one for $9.97 for the part and then will just be $126 with tax. "
So how is it that the remaining 3 spark plugs would cost about another $140 ($260 - $120) more since the 10 minute job of removing the coil pack and cover was already accomplished?

I've worked on these cars before and they don't take more than 15 minutes total to pull the coil pack and cover and check the spark plugs.

So understand dealer costs and technician or shop tool costs, but a $140 difference to change the 3 remaining spark plugs? I don't think so . .. .

I find it amazing how often dealers go for the maximum $$$ fix (scare tactics) within the first look. But once you start to back petal about the cost and rethink your options they seem to have an AHH HA kind of moment and consider a cheaper way to get you the same results.


One thing I always do is wait until the work is done and ask them to produce the worn or broken part(s) for me to examine. You can sometimes tell by their response within the first 3 seconds if you've caught them in some sort of discrepancy. The funny thing is, I'm not a mechanic and most likely will have not idea if the removed part is of any value. But they don't know that. I'm just trying to do a read to determine if I come back to their service dept.


Gusto!
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post #49 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 08:53 AM
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Which is why I used to go to Autozone for diagnostic test.
That's like going to WebMD and try to self-diagnose yourself.

They're not diagnosing anything there. They are just taking a guess. Code just give you an area where the fault is at. There's no guarantee that component that the code list is at fault.



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post #50 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 09:04 AM
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That's like going to WebMD and try to self-diagnose yourself.

They're not diagnosing anything there. They are just taking a guess. Code just give you an area where the fault is at. There's no guarantee that component that the code list is at fault.



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So true! A recent example was a diagnosis of a defective MAF sensor in my sons truck all the while a squirrel had plugged up the filter air box. But at least the code gets you close to the general area in these complex vehicles.
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post #51 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 09:34 AM
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The code gets me started and at this point half the techs are simply reading the codes and then throwing parts at the code.

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post #52 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by GraniteBlue05 View Post
Then again . . . .
Yesterday our adult daughter took her car in for "sputtering/dying" at stop signs. I told her it's likely spark plugs, the coil pack or a vacuum leak given the likely issues on her type of 2014 car and that it has over 100,000 miles.
She called me while at the GM dealer and asked if I would come down if she needed me to. Well . .. she already was in for the $97 diagnosis fee. So I just said call me and let me know what they say.
They hooked up the scanner and found cylinder #2 misfire on the 4 banger engine. The tech had already pulled the #2 plug and the service writer had it to show her. Told her it would be $160 on top of the $97 fee to replace the 4 plugs or +$260 with tax to replace 4 spark plugs.

I told her to just have them put the plug back in and tell them her husband is out of town (he is) and she will talk to him about what to do. The service writer came back with, "Well, that spark plug is really "arcing badly" so we can replace just that one for $9.97 for the part and then will just be $126 with tax. "
So how is it that the remaining 3 spark plugs would cost about another $140 ($260 - $120) more since the 10 minute job of removing the coil pack and cover was already accomplished?

I've worked on these cars before and they don't take more than 15 minutes total to pull the coil pack and cover and check the spark plugs.

So understand dealer costs and technician or shop tool costs, but a $140 difference to change the 3 remaining spark plugs? I don't think so . .. .

Then again . . . maybe he gave her a "break".
He pulled the plug already for the diagnostic. Not trying to justify the labor prices, just explaining. I've had people come in with flickering lights and we pull the lights to diagnose only to find out that cheap bulbs are the culprit. No need to charge someone for replacing the bulbs when they're out already and need to be put back in anyway.

-Eric

I run one of the largest Chevrolet dealerships in the country. If you're having problems with a dealer or have a question about something, I'd be happy to help.
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post #53 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 12:16 PM
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Today everything cost too much and to be honest most people are worth what they are paid either.

The deal with reading codes is not really that simple. sometimes it can be a simple parts replacement. Many times it can be a bad wire or high resistance that is difficult to find. You can't see it and if it was intermittent it could be damn near impossible to find. It is not like a bent pulley or broken belt.

Intermittent BCM issues can be down right scary.
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post #54 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 01:36 PM
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So true! A recent example was a diagnosis of a defective MAF sensor in my sons truck all the while a squirrel had plugged up the filter air box. But at least the code gets you close to the general area in these complex vehicles.

Good point. I've been reading codes since ODB 1 and both the codes and the scanner/readers have gotten better. That's the thing about the codes, they are generated by the programmers to best try and lead a person to hopefully an exact issue, part or area that may be the problem. OBD II is much better but still not all inclusive.
In the case of my daughter's car, it clearly was a #2 cylinder misfire which I could have read with my scanner and come to the same outcome in 15 minutes. Removing the plug and inspecting would then have told the story. Also, if it were a coil, many engines now have packs so the whole enchilada has to be replaced which, actually, helps the hunt and peck to try and narrow down issues at times. In the past with individual spark plug coils, techs might replace one coil and find the issues still is present. Then swapping parts to locate the actual issue results with process of elimination. One of the many reasons an owner may have to return several times to resolve an issue.

There are also, "codes" and DIC displays that come up that are grouped to come up for a number of possible problems. "Stabilitrak" errors and codes are one of them. So, then, it takes some thinking and sorting as to what the actual problem may be.
The programmers have only so much memory resources and sensor data to work with in these automotive modules so they are limited in how much detail can be revealed for any and all potential fails in an ECM/PCM, BCM, etc.

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post #55 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Locked View Post
That's like going to WebMD and try to self-diagnose yourself.

They're not diagnosing anything there. They are just taking a guess. Code just give you an area where the fault is at. There's no guarantee that component that the code list is at fault.



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Hey now - I use WebMD all the time! Just last week, I used it to guide me on removing a tumor from my brain and everything went just fi.. jkfhlghjklrwhtg9qpuiohgdfhal;hgfqrho0[tghqgbnfnbnf, czk!
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post #56 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 02:19 PM
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Hey now - I use WebMD all the time! Just last week, I used it to guide me on removing a tumor from my brain and everything went just fi.. jkfhlghjklrwhtg9qpuiohgdfhal;hgfqrho0[tghqgbnfnbnf, czk!

"Patient is in V-fib! Rampart, we have lost the victim's pulse, beginning CPR. We're electrocuting the victim hopefully back to stable , Rampart ! ":
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post #57 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 08:40 PM
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I have been buying a new suv or a new truck every 3 years keeping them under warranty and let somebody else pay them high repair bills. Parts and labor cost on old cars are going nowhere but up and the hard part is finding somebody that knows how to fix them.
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post #58 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 09:00 PM
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The Chevy dealership Iíve been going to to 5 years has always been reasonable when it comes to doing work an any of my vehicles. He has a flat rate per hour, about $50 if I remember correctly. If there needs to be additional work addressed he calls first. Never a surprise when I show up to get my vehicle. I know this isnít true for everyoneís dealer. You just need to keep checking out all the dealerships until you find a good one.

The last time I went to get my wheels changed I showed up at 8 AM with a dozen donuts. Will it help getting better service? Who knows. But I did see a dozen smiles!

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$50 an hour?! This must have been in the 80s or 90s ?? Most are over $100 now. Around here it's $120 something for Chevys, Cadillac will be higher, Benz and BMW will be higher too.
So I was wrong. I went back and reviewed my invoice. The actual labor charge for this rural area Maine Chevy dealer is $95 per hour. I guess I need to pull my head out of the sand and get out of the 80s.

Gusto!
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post #59 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 09:14 PM
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So I was wrong. I went back and reviewed my invoice. The actual labor charge for this rural area Maine Chevy dealer is $95 per hour. I guess I need to pull my head out of the sand and get out of the 80s.

Gusto!
Still, that is pretty cheap. I'm still in the 80s in many ways :)
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post #60 of 65 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 11:41 AM
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The Chevy dealership Iíve been going to to 5 years has always been reasonable when it comes to doing work an any of my vehicles. He has a flat rate per hour, about $50 if I remember correctly......
Gusto!
As a fellow Mainer, I'd love to know the name of the dealership you use.
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