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BEWARE! EXTREMELY HIGH ESTIMATES! The low estimate from repaipal was more than Double the actual cost! This site surely is used to jack up parts & labor for repair shops that subscribe to this customer referral service. The actual cost of. Our repairs were $849. The repairpal estimate range was between $1754 to $2563!
the cost estimator seems too expensive. The estimates seemed really high when checking against things that I had repaired on my vehicle. So just to be sure I checked the estimate against something I was familiar with, spark plugs. You can purchase extremely nice spark plugs for $8 to $10 a piece and replacing them is super quick, and a much faster job for an experienced mechanic. the price quoted by repair pal for the 8 spark plugs was $96-$144, I don't know what kind of spark plugs they are using but auto shops usually replace with aftermarket parts and I highly doubt they get the spark plugs for more than $7 to $10 a pop. That is $56 to $80. Then cost for labor is stated at $182 - $233 an experienced mechanic will replace 4 spark plugs in 15 minutes so lets say 30 minutes for the job, that means the mechanic is making $364 to $566 per hour! according to national average labor rate for auto mechanics the hourly rate for an automechanic is $75 to $100 an hour. this puts labor at $50 for the spark plug replacement. In reality this job at a mechanic shop should be no more than $130 that is less than half of the minimum price quoted by repairpal!!! If I am wrong about this then I would appreciate someone justifying $278 to $377 for spark plug replacement!!! Don't trust this sites estimater, this site has a lot of potential to do good and help keep mechanic shops honest, but not when their estimator is less honest than the mechanics!!! AutoMD.com is a much better option then this site. For the same repair it quoted me $235 to have 8 spark plugs replaced at a dealership, and $152 to have them replaced in a shop, this is much more accurate
This is a pretty cool idea and I would love to give it more stars, but I have to go with my personal estimate and not a random or easy one. In my case I queried the cost of an alternator replacement on an old GMC van, and the site came up with a price of between $263 and $393. And it quoted the cost of the part as $159 - $261. And perhaps that's correct, well let's be fair and say that's probably correct, if I take the vehicle to a repair shop. That in itself is a challenge since the site helpfully offered me 64 pages of possible shops to go to but at least I'm not short on choices.
However, a trip to the local parts store told me that the part costs only $44 from stock, as it's a very common one used in several different vehicles. I could take that to my local shop and they would fit it in an hour for another $80.
I think this is a neat idea and should definitely be one of your sources of information. But I wouldn't rely on it, solely, especially if the repair is a simple one and potentially D.I.Y, or which you can see is an easy one for the repair shop to get at.
I'd like to see a difficulty rating for repairs, indicating whether the average motorist could tackle the work. Obviously such a rating couldn't be any more accurate than any of the other ratings, but it might encourage more people to learn how to do things for themselves. And ultimately, it would be great to select the symptoms and have the site take an educated guess at the problem, too. It's got a lot of potential for development. At the moment I am a bit concerned that repair shops are going to be using this as a guide, so that if it shows my repair will cost $250 and they normally charge $150, they might be tempted to go with the higher figure. Not that there are many shops out there which would dream of doing such a thing, of course.
Very cool site! I thought it was going to ask for my email or something to have an insurance agency or whatnot to contact me about it, but it gave it out pretty instaniously! Very useful. It's a keeper!
I just saw this story on the news about this website. You can go to it prior to taking your vehicle in for repairs or maintenance and type in everything about your car and it's issues and it will give a an estimate that you SHOULD get. (Channel 13 Eyewitness new ran the story and they'll probably have something about it on their website.)
In other words, you will have a little insight or ballpark figure for what your repairs or maintenance should cost and then you can weigh that against the actual estimate to see if your auto repair is trying to stick it to you or not.
They also list repair shops in good standing, sort of a BBB thing. So, before you give into the grease monkey's, check this site out and get an idea of what you should and shouldn't be charged. Forewarned is forearmed!