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High bill for Muffler, etc.


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10 replies to this topic

#1 ThosL

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 09:22 AM

My sister who is disabled showed me a whopping bill recently on her 1996 Subaru from a local mechanic.  I'm wondering if this is a typical mechanic practice of tripling their cost of parts as their main method of profit, and charging less on labor?  The bill showed a charge of $247 for the muffler, $313 for the center pipe another $40 or so for gaskets, etc.. Labor was $135.  I keep telling her if whatever is going on with the car is not affecting performance, not making enough noise to put it in the police stop category, and since she rarely drives more than 50 miles in a day, it makes absolutely no sense for a disabled person to spend money she does not have and cannot afford.  And there are plenty of shops that need a constant flow of money and suckers.  I guess she was lucky not to go to Midas?  



#2 Ibreakstuff

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:34 AM

700$ for an exhaust replacement is pretty high, maybe double what I would expect a muffler shop to charge locally for mid pipe/muffler replacement. But if rusted out it should be replaced, you don't want to be sucking carbon monoxide in the cabin from a leaking midpipe.. Or killing all those cute canaries with smog.



#3 Rooster2

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:41 AM

Got ripped off for sure. Prices and labor are WAY inflated. It would have been better for her to get an estimate of the repair, then show you the estimate. I bet you would have nixxed that deal. You may still have time to go back to that shop, and contest the bill, and ask for a substantial refund. Threaten bad business practice exposure on Angie's list, or elsewhere on line may help you get a refund.

 

Shady repair shops are infamous for ripping off women, when repairs are not necessarily needed, needed immediately,  or unnecessary work done to pad the bill higher. All they have to do to sell a woman is to say the car is not safe to drive, until repaired. Or..........tell her the car may break down, unless immediately repaired. It is always a scare tactic approach to women to get the business. Should be a special place in Hell for the crooks.



#4 Gloyale

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:08 AM

If he purchased pre-made parts that fit the car I can almost see the prices..........about 30% too high but that's his markup I guess.

 

He could have bent and welded tubing for less money......but then the labor would be higher.  $135 is low for that labor......not even 2 hours when it probaly took 3 to do the job, and would have been 4 or 5 to bend parts from blank tube.

 

Customers often complain more about high labor charges, than high parts cost.......so he's just adjusting the "look" of the bill still making hte same money.

 

New England is the worst for rust.........so I would probably charge 30% more too.



#5 john in KY

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:08 AM

Your sister got ripped good. A decent muffler goes for about $125. Good chance the midpipe didn't even need to be replaced. Two gaskets, maybe $20. Regardless if you get a partial refund or not, I'd post this on Angie's list. You need to think about the next person that goes to this guy for a repair. 

 

Edit: Checked some online prices:

Muffler   $85

 

midpipe   $135

 

Two gaskets  $25

 

Rust does not add anything to this repair. Using either a Sawsall or torch, and the system is on the ground in most 5 minutes. Installation: How long does it take to install/tighten 4 bolts? 


Edited by john in KY, 22 August 2014 - 11:19 AM.


#6 ThosL

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 07:59 PM

Thanks for the responses.  My sister is over 60 has had mental breakdowns and my brother has strongly counselled in the past against doing anything to add stress to her life.  The "mechanic" John Soltis in Norwalk supposedly knows Subarus.   Fred's Auto in Norwalk sold her the car a few years ago used and I remember the exhaust going out within a month, probably the front part.  So my thought was after getting the rejection from Fred's Auto then to go to the state to complain under the lemon law.  My brother says it would be stressful for the sister, etc..  So nothing was done and the repair then was $1500.  Weakness seems to prevail but I should go on to Angies LIst if Soltis in unresponsive.  I deal with a lot of deceptive practices in numismatics which is my main income source.


Edited by ThosL, 22 August 2014 - 07:59 PM.


#7 Rooster2

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 08:58 AM

IMHO, and not to be argumentative, if your sister is paying for her car repair bills, it must be very stressful to get hit with over charge bills of $1,500, and later for a $700 exhaust repair bill. Suggest in the future that either you, or your brother take full charge of any, and all repair work to be done on your sister's car. No need to continue being ripped off.



#8 brus brother

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 02:37 PM

At this point, don't tell your sister she got ripped off... only makes her feel bad.

Take charge and follow Rooster2's suggestion that you handle car repairs in the future.

Probably a little late to dispute charges...

Is this Norwalk CT?



#9 ThosL

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 04:29 PM

Thanks for those ideas.  Unfortunately this is one of the more expensive parts of the world, Connecticut.  I don't think she would rely on her brothers unless they are around on specifics; actually my brother recommended the Norwalk mechanics as an alternative to the chain mechanics and other service stations that charge big time for everything.  If I am around I will try to advise her.  People with weak minds make bad decisions.  



#10 Mikevan10

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:29 AM

My thoughts on this are that the folks on this message board tend to do all their own work, shop for the best parts prices, etc. so the prices you would pay to have a shop do everything for you seem barbaric to us.  But I think that the prices your sister paid are not that unusual or out of line.  Certainly no point in stressing over it now.



#11 Dj7291993

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 07:39 PM

My thoughts on this are that the folks on this message board tend to do all their own work, shop for the best parts prices, etc. so the prices you would pay to have a shop do everything for you seem barbaric to us.  But I think that the prices your sister paid are not that unusual or out of line.  Certainly no point in stressing over it now.

He's right, doesn't sound too bad if they used Subaru parts.  Those prices from john are most likely aftermarket.  At the shop I work at, we usually sublet it to a muffler shop, they can usually do the whole job cheaper than we can get the parts.  Cheaper for the customer, even with our markup.  Also, rust does change it.  Rusted bolts cut out, but bolts aren't the only things that rust.






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