First, my real question was, isn't this a straigh forward job that someone should know the hours for?
Second, Wow! I'm a little surprised at the responses. I've done this for year - under certain circumstances. I've never had anyone tell me they would not install the parts and have never gotten any "attitude" over it. I have had people tell me they will charge a little more and I tell them that is fine, I understand. So, that's what I do - in very particular situations.
I would never and don't go to a shop, have them diagnose something and then ask if I can get the part myself (unless they could not get the part for a few days and I could get it right away, which happened once). Mostly I do it for logistics and time reasons, not to save $5 or nickel and dime someone...
DIY'ers out there - have you ever bought a part and then come to the realization you coudn't get it in yourself and gone on down to your local tech for help? Did they do it? It's happened to me more than once. They laughed at me for trying it myself, but they were happy to help.
In this instance, I want to replace brake pads and rotors. Even if I could do it myself, I don't hav ethe place. I live in NYC now. It could wait a few weeks but we are going on a long weekend trip and my girlfriend will be meeting me at the other end, driving my car. So, I want it done before then. The local Mercedes dealer and the couple of independents I know have a 2-4 week waitlists for just about any work. The local corner shops which I trust to do maintenance work (and little else as they are not mercedes experts) don't stock the parts and I frankly don't know what quality parts they would buy and install. I live in NYC in Chinatown and most of the work they do is on Cab's , Towncars and lesser expensive Japanese cars. That's just where the demand is in our area.
So, I buy high quality OEM parts (from Phil at parts Shop) and get someone to install them. I did that a couple of weeks ago for some other maintenance items (oil and tranny service, dist cap, rotor, fuel filter, etc). Frankly, they seem glad I have the parts. They can get me in and out, don't have to hasle with the ordering and off we go.
The guy around the corner charges $50/hr. (cash only, that's the way we do it in C-Town). My Mercedes dealer charges $90 (and of course the parts are about twice as expensive). So, in this instance I AM saving money $300 vs. $600 at the dealer. On an oil change or something the dealer has a menu price on, I save no money - just time.
By the way, the next two place I called quickly gave me labor quotes. One for $40 , the other $130. Frankly, the $40 guy kinda' scares me.
I'd just like to ask everyone to keep an open mind. I never meant to offend or raise any one's hackles. People have different experiences. I think there are probably no "rules" that govern all decisions and practices. We all have our reasons...
'88 560SL Pearl Black/Java 152K
'94 E320 Anthracite/Grey 89K
'94 E420 Black/Bamboo
'71 280SEL 4.5