Is this price reasonable for a water pump?


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Old 03-22-22, 10:42 PM
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Is this price reasonable for a water pump?

Normally I always work on my own stuff so I really have no idea what mechanics charge. My tools are currently in storage and I could not fix my 2000 Silverado with the 5.3L, so I took it to a local shop. They are replacing the water pump, thermostat, belt, and belt tensioner.

For this - parts $492
Labor - $460
Total - $952

Ouch. I understand they have a little markup on parts but I could buy all that on Amazon for under $250. I don't know how many hours of labor it is but should only be a few - $460 worth??

I'm not going to complain, I had to rent a truck, it would cost me more to try and tow it to a different shop. I trust they will do a good job, but the question is...do you think the price is too high? I think it's ridiculous but I've only ever been to a mechanic like twice. This is not the dealer, local place, but they are a big operation. Are we having a mechanic shortage now too??

They also charged $122 for diagnosis...I told them the belt fell off and there was water all over the front of the engine, and said I thought the water pump was bad. They found the same. For $122. It's an old Chevy truck, not a new BMW.

Would you return to a mechanic like this?
 
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Old 03-23-22, 01:59 AM
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Typically a diagnosis fee is to cover their time in order to prepare an estimate in case they don't get the job. Most places will deduct that off the bill or not charge it as long as they do the work.

It's hard to comment on prices as labor varies widely by location.
I would say the parts seem a little high.
 
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Old 03-23-22, 03:02 AM
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Oh I would definitely expect to pay for something even if I took it somewhere else...just seems a little insulting with so much labor. I am in a rural area in the south, where people tend to not make so much money.

They won't even warranty it because I refused the coolant flush (more $$$) and said I'll do it myself. It could "contaminate" the pump. (Fluid wasn't that bad before most of it leaked out)

I had the same place replace a damaged wheel stud about two years ago, I think they only charged like $95 for the whole thing.
 
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Old 03-23-22, 03:13 AM
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probably would not return, parts seem a little high along with the labor, really hard to tell unless you looked up R&R time and know their labor rate, but have seen many service writers over estimate labor on a regular basis, and in many cases service writers are not mechanics and so they really do not know what should be combined labor or not, you could ask for a breakdown of their estimate and see what there charging for each part and labor but the thermostat is in the water pump and the belt tensioner is bolted to the water pump so the only labor charge should be for water pump.
 
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Old 03-23-22, 03:36 AM
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Personally, I think it's high. I am in N/E Louisiana. I would suspect some mechanics would do that job for possibly half of that amount.

You said an old truck. So, based on that limited knowledge.... Remove the fan shroud, fan blades and water pump. Then replace. (yeah, yeah yeah, you got hoses, catch pan for the water, gasket & goop application etc. but) An average mechanic should be able to change the water pump on an "older truck" in 3 hrs or so. Going rate around here for a shop is $95 per hr. That's $285 in labor. Problem is, they got that book they use to determine labor time, which is always over the average time to favor the shop. That's what they go by... regardless.
At $95 per hour, they charged you about 4.8 hrs to replace the water pump.

The only time I have ever been charged a diagnosis fee that I can remember was by the Dodge dealer when I specifically went by for a diagnosis & estimate.... and one time when the issue was a $10 part (sensor or something) that took 2 minutes to put it on. They charged me $100 to "diagnose" & fix the problem. So I think the diagnosis fee was ridiculous in your situation.

Just my 2 cents....
 
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Old 03-23-22, 04:50 AM
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First, good on ya for having the ability to do your own work. I do the work when i can but i'm not great at diagnotics.

Auto repair places use a "cookbook" to estimate repair jobs, because they can't have all the domain knowledge for all the vehicles ever produced and all the model year variations for all those vehicles.

The coolant flush adds cost but will the warranty relief net to less out of pocket for you? Your tools are in storage so your situation may not allow you to work on vehicles, but if you paid the diagnostic fee and bought the required tools, would that be less out of pocket?

Good luck with it!
Dave O
 
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Old 03-23-22, 05:50 AM
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Consider buying a socket set and getting a spanner wrench/fan clutch loaner tool from an auto parts store.
 
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Old 03-23-22, 10:39 PM
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and the belt tensioner is bolted to the water pump so the only labor charge should be for water pump
This is the part that bothers me. The belt was nice enough to remove itself, the tensioner and reinstalling the belt and coolant should just be part of the job. I know they charge "book time" and I was OK with that - but google says it should only be about 3 hours. And that should be IT plus parts.

I haven't picked it up yet so I'm going to ask for a better explanation of labor rates. Between Silverado/Tahoe/Suburban this has to be the most common water pump on the road!

I'm mostly just sour because I couldn't do it myself, long story, just couldn't deal with it right now. I know it's a pretty easy job. I expected like $600 maybe...I mean...I can buy an entire low mileage LS engine for a grand!

I have a broken parking brake release - it's about a 10" cable, one bolt, and a clip. I have a new part ($10) and I gave it to them because I thought they could put it in super quick. They wanted to charge $137. Seriously like a 2 minute thing! Anybody wants me to replace theirs I'll do it for $99! LOL!
 
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Old 03-29-22, 10:44 PM
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OK, they did a few other minor things, but I just want to ask about the water pump:

I was charged $691 for parts. (water pump, thermostat, belt, belt tensioner, top off coolant)
I was charged $469 for labor.
I was charged $122 for diagnosis.
$1282 total taxes included. Nothing more than a super basic old Chevy truck water pump. Actual cost for AC Delco brand parts would be less than half what they charged.

I wanted to take this truck on a very long road trip, thinking, if it breaks along the way, most places can fix an old Chevy for cheap. I might have to rethink that.

Can anybody guess if a real Chevy dealer is likely charge more or less than $1282 for the same job? I've literally never bought anything car related from a dealer. LOL!
 
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Old 03-29-22, 10:57 PM
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A dealer would probably shy away from a 2000 year vehicle.

You asked us about the prices before you had the work done.
Now you've had the work done and you're questioning the prices ?

I would have gone to another service center for a second price.
As previously mentioned.... the $122 diagnosis fee should have not been charged with the work being done there.

 
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Old 03-29-22, 10:58 PM
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Old 03-29-22, 11:17 PM
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You asked us about the prices before you had the work done.
Now you've had the work done and you're questioning the prices ?
Settle down there hoss. I already explained why I am asking what "average" prices are and why I paid their prices regardless of absurdity. It would have ended up costing more if I had to pay the diagnostic fee, another tow, and longer time with a rental vehicle. If I had been in a different position I would have cussed them out and left.

Yes, I believe this is outright RAPE, but I could be wrong, like I've said numerous times I normally do not pay people to do any automotive work. I am curious what a possible bad road trip could end up costing me when I am unable to fix what I consider simple things. Should I expect similar prices at "average" shops around the country, or is this a bad example?

And yes, dealers still work on GMT-800s by the dozen. Same truck from 99-07. Including Suburbans and Tahoes and all the other variants. Of course they still service those. I use this as an example because they generally charge higher prices than other places.
 
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Old 03-30-22, 04:03 AM
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The price you paid was too high in my opinion, Most shops wouldn't be that high and wouldn't charge all the little stuff just to bump the price in my opinion. I think dealerships will charge in excess of $100 per hour for labor charges. The absolute last place I'd take my 20 year old vehicle to is a dealer. If it was a 2 year old car that was under warranty or that needed dealer specific attention, would be the only reason I'd take it to a dealer.

Just my 2 cents.....
 
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Old 03-30-22, 04:16 PM
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The absolute last place I'd take my 20 year old vehicle to is a dealer.
Normally I would say that about any vehicle (age is not relevant), but then again, it appears I was charged WELL OVER $100/hour in labor plus a bunch of other stuff outside the dealer. They never actually broke down the hours of labor but it's definitely less than 3.

They are expensive, but generally you can trust a dealer to do things right, and have all the parts. Like I said, I'm thinking about driving this thing about 3,000 miles, so I need to figure out what to do if it breaks 1000 miles from home, or rent something. (Renting a vehicle for that also cost thousands) It can be especially hard to know what shop is good and what is bad when out of town.

I'm mostly just confused by this whole thing. The place I went to is very large and popular in the area. They have really, really good reviews. They seem to do perfectly good work. But what's with the raping??! I'm genuinely confused how they keep such good reviews if they are charging everybody so much. This is a rural county full of poor people making $7.25 minimum wage...and the cars they work on are generally old and not of high value.
 
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Old 03-30-22, 10:08 PM
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dealerships usually have the highest labor rate, but other shops could be high they all should tell you their hourly labor rate with just a phone call. if it's a national chain they may even have a fixed mark up in their parts and may have more overhead than a small independent shop. if you are traveling would think most tow truck drivers likely know the busiest shops in the area from the number of vehicles they tow there.
 
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Old 04-01-22, 10:33 PM
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OK, I just thought this part was funny. I didn't realize my invoice was printed on both sides. I paid $60 for a brake inspection. (reasonable) They wanted to replace the rear calipers, rotors, and pads, and flush the fluid. For a bargain basement price of $1,877.27! Obviously I turned this down...I already bought all the parts (OEM) for $220.

Even more funny, what they say is wrong with the brakes means I should not have passed my state safety inspection they also did. Somebody is getting investigated for fraud.

I guess this is enough evidence to say this place is just a disaster. So strange they have really good reviews, something must have changed recently.
 
 

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