I just had a to take my wife's car to the shop for a muffler problem that I couldn't fix myself. Sheesh! I went to an affordable mechanic and it was still a 25% markup on the parts plus $86 an hour for labor. I couldn't believe the labor cost. It's been a few years since I've been to a mechanic b/c I try to do most thing myself, it was about $60 and hour then. I know they have a lot of costs in keeping a shop running but this seems outrageous. That's bordering on lawyer prices.

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Comment by Tony Bright on May 25, 2010 at 7:19am
I know it seems outrageous, yet shops go out of business because they don't make enough money.

When you think of the investment in tools, diagnostics, keeping up on the new cars, EPA rules, health benefits, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some, it really doesn't seem out of line.

I've found a good independent mechanic who actually talks me out of doing work. I tend to want to "over maintain" while he's in there, he tells me no, LOL. I do a lot myself, but there are times with 3 kids and a job where I just drop off the car and say do it. I've been with him for 12 years now, and have only had one come-back job in that time. He charges about $80/hour and his guys do excellent work.

It's worth it to get good work done.

Parts cost more because he either has to send someone, stock it, or pay to have it delivered.

Be glad I'm not working on your computer. My bill rate is 3x the mechanic during the day and 5x after hours, and I get a minimum of 2 hours to walk in the door if your system is not under contract.
Comment by Native Son on May 24, 2010 at 7:26pm
Just thank the Almighty that it wasn't something vital, yet so obscure and specialized that you needed to go to a new car dealer's shop! Last I priced something (a couple of months ago), the dealer shop rate was $150.00 per hour...for a 2-1/2 hour job. That small, thankfully non-vital, item isn't getting fixed for a while.

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