ball joint question

paddleMay 22, 2006

I was quoted $800(canadian) to change all 4 balljoints on our 1990 chevy G-20 van? Is this a fair quote? Does not include wheel alignment.

thanx

jim

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john_g

Pretty hard to say just from the price alone. We need to know how much the shop spends each month on a few things to find out if they are truly being "fair" with their pricing.

If their price includes enough gross profit for this job to help contribute to; The Shops's rent, The electric bill, Heat (when required), Insurance(s), Licensing fees, Health care, (More US than Canadian), Taxes, Technician wages, Technician benefits, Shop supplies such as paper, computers, water, grease and oils, soap water and paint to help keep the shop clean and safe to work in, and it also allows for some money to be put aside for training, new tools and equipment, updated software, an information system, advertising, and it fails to have a reasonable profit left over for the management/owner to earn a living off of also then it's probably not high enough because they forgot to be fair to themselves.

Of course they could make sure to pay themselves, and start skimping on things like better technicians, updated training, benefits for the employee's, newer equipment, information system, heck they could even try working without insurance, adequate lighting, janitorial expenses, and then they may not even pay all of the taxes, and licensing fees and they just might be able to give you a cheaper price! What do you think? Does that sound like a place you want to go to? They are out there, just call around and find the cheapest price for you ball joints, and you'll find one of them.

One thing I don't have to do here is try and qualify what I'm saying with a "seriously though" I am serious. Price has played such a significant role for so long the auto repair industry is barely limping along. For too long we have had poor ineffective management that allowed price to dictate business decisions to the point that there was no money left over to reinvest in the future, and it's gone on for decades. What you need to do is find a good shop, with a great tech and support them. They know they have to be fair, the problem comes down to when the public forces fair to be an unattainble goal.

If the shop cannot do the alignment, why are you even considering having them do your ball joints? The shop that can do the job completely and correctly has invested the money to be able to align the car by having both the equipment, and the technician trained to do so as well as doing the ball joints.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 6:39AM
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