<VV> master cylinder R & R - Flat Rate crap shoot

BBRT chsadek at comcast.net
Wed Aug 18 11:05:29 EDT 2010


I understand you have had bad experiences. I too have and have observed 
more. However, having said that, given an honest mechanic, would you believe 
him? "Uh, Mr. Lee, your car is a POS. Did you drive it thru a salt bath? 
Someone booogered up the holes. One bolt head is rounded off. Every fricken 
bolt I take out is frozen and I have to drill and tap a new hole, modify the 
fitting hole to take a larger bolt, dress the surface so it mates properly."
"It is usually a 1 hour job but it took 7 hours with a 15 min break in the 

Are you happy with that? Would you believe him?

Is it worth it to the service tech to argue with every customer about how 
messed up his car is? You should see the junk that comes into a garage... 
often that the home shade tree mechanic tried to fix... A Fact:  New parts 
don't always work as they should; they leak, they are the wrong part for the 
application, the don't work correctly or not a all, or they fail soon after 

Secondly, since you are in a consultant business, you surely know about 
overhead and how much it costs for insurance, unemployment costs & 
insurance, regular insurance, utilities, property costs including taxes, 
EPA/OSHA costs, advertising, specialty tools, modern computer upgrades 
yearly for multiple makes so the electronics can be observed to get you 
closer to the problem, and subscriptions to troubleshooting services. I 
asked my Son about helping a friend down here with his '90's something V8 
running problem. He said, "Dad, there are so many sensors affecting a 
reading on the OBD, that I can't diagnose it from the phone. The codes only 
get you so close. You just have to go thru it and eliminate the most obvious 
and usual suspects to get to the problem."

Often the FMR doesn't include diagnostic time. Yeah, it takes 30 min to do a 
familiar job, but figuring out what to do takes?  That is why dealer techs 
throw parts at a problem - not defending them - and they get incentives for 
selling services... NOT defending them.

If you consider restoration costs... by the hour, to do it right. Do you 
really think the shops are making a lot of money or the skilled techs are?

Price parts for a Corvair engine overhaul. Price parts for a modern car. I 
don't care if the mark-up is 50% and you get it wholesale, it still costs a 
helluva lot of money to do something now days.

Advice: Find a private shop. Find one that does good work, stands behind 
their work and TRUST them to take care of your car. ALWAYS  take it to them. 
Don't give them a hard time every time or over nothing.  Get their trust and 
they will take care of you. Easy to say, but IF & WHEN you find the shop, 
religiously use them.

Chuck S
Shade tree mechanic, race engine builder, carb modifications, select parts 
fabricator w/ machine shop, welding, and metal bending services.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Charles Lee" <Chaz at ProperProper.com>
> I would like to actually experience a mechanic who quotes a price based on
> expected labor time, and then comes back and says "It took less time so 
> I'll
> charge you less."
> I do not want to hear mechanics who say they would do that "if it happened
> but it doesn't" because I'm fairly sure it must.
> Like the svc mgr at Fritz Ford admitted, easy jobs subsidize the hard 
> ones,
> but that is just plain wrong, even if it does come out even eventually - 
> not
> for the guy whose job was easier !
> Plus, I'm fairly sure that they DO charge more if it goes longer, but 
> we'll
> never really know, will we ?
> Yes, I understand that there are honest mechanics out there and most of us
> are, but I would really like to meet one (who works on my car) !!!!

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