Niagara Gazette

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August 15, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Determining the price of auto repair

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — AREAS OF SPECIALTY

A shop that specializes in a particular area usually charges higher labor rates for their service than general service facilities. While they may charge more for their service, they usually wind up being cheaper in the long run because they tend to go directly at a problem in laser-like fashion, diagnosing and fixing the vehicle with the least amount of time and materials. Shops unfamiliar with specific areas usually end up muddling around, spending the customer’s money on parts and/or labor trying to find a solution.

PARTS USED

Typically, auto repair shops use a markup on average of 30%. This markup enables them to provide the customer with a warranty. The type of parts used for auto repair directly affects the bottom line price. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts tend to be the highest priced, followed by aftermarket parts. There are typically two to three tiers of aftermarket parts. Different tiers are defined by quality. I use the top of the line aftermarket parts to raise the chance of a longer lasting, effective auto repair. Finally, used parts also vary in price depending on the mileage and/or demand of the part. A used part can render an effective repair depending on its condition. Parts that have sat out in harsh weather conditions and rusted or been contaminated by precipitation usually fail shortly after installation. So make sure you are using parts that have been in a protected environment. In addition, it is obvious that the less mileage on a used part (in general), the longer its life expectancy. 

SHOP SUPPORT

Shop support is defined as any services / products used to complete the repair. During the course of any auto repair certain products and / or services are used. Products like brake cleaning solution, shop rags, and carbon cleaner are necessary in the auto repair process, as well as services like waste oil disposal, junk tire removal, and any other byproduct cleanup from auto repair. Costs for these products / services are passed onto the consumer as environmental and operational costs.

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