Friday, April 7, 2017

“How much” to,

I get asked this question so many times a day, I wish there was a single answer to the question.

How much to do ” head gaskets” ? How much to replace the engine, how much to replace my brakes, how much to do the struts, how much to do a ” timing belt” etc. etc. etc.  You get the idea.

Some shops may choose to quote the lowest possible price to get the vehicle in, figuring they will add all the other necessary items once the vehicle is in the shop, the work being done and the client has little choice.

Some will give you a more realistic price and not compromise their integrity,
Realize that if you ask, “how much to replace the head gaskets”? what you get is the price to replace the head gaskets and just that. Nothing else.

Let’s use the example of a 2002 Cadillac SDV with the North star engine.
The initial cost to answer the question on the phone is $2090 in labor and $665 for a head gasket set,  Total price of $2755 and that could conceivable be the quoted price over the phone. But now, let’s look at the actual price, the one you would get once the job is half way done and you have little choice.
Add $500 for machine shop work (necessary to assure no damage to heads)
Add $380 worth of radiator, thermostat and cooling system hoses
Add spark plugs $100
Add cooling system clean and flush  $165
Add Head new head bolts $180
Add head bolt inserts along with the work to retrofit (necessary on about 90% of the instances this job is done)  $800
Suggest new radiator since most head gaskets blow due to overheat $525
So now, imagine you get a quote of $2755 and a day or two later you are asked to spend another $2650  at a time when there is no going back.
So back to the original question, would you rather get the realistic price or the “come in to the shop” price?

Let’s take it one step further.
 You make the phone call to Shop 1 and the quote is $2755 ,then you call another shop and the quote is $5400  but they explain to you that it is a realistic out the door price. So, which shop is going to get your business, shop 1 or shop 2?

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