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  #1  
Old 08-08-2006, 03:32 PM
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Repair cost question

My car is leaking oil down the sides at the head gasket line, using a small but steady amount of coolant, and smoking white smoke (especially at start-up).

So, I'm having them put on a new head gasket. Also, I need the front lower control arm bushings replaced, an alignment, and the sunroof wiring looked at.

I took my car to the dealership this morning. After a few hours, they sent me home in a rental and told me that it wouldn't be done until tomorrow evening. Now, these guys seem like nice guys and I don't have any reason not to trust them, but I'm just wondering what to expect as far as normal cost for these repairs.

From what I understand, there is a set amount of time to be billed for each job. Isn't there a listing in the FSM or somewhere?

The service rep told me that it might take a little longer because they aren't well practiced in these old engines. Apparently, they don't see many of them any more. I don't feel that I should have to pay for their learning. They are supposed to be MB trained service techs. After all, that is the reason I took the car to them and not some indie.

Anybody have any ideas on what kind of money I should be expecting to pay out on this?
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Old 08-08-2006, 03:48 PM
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So....how long have you owned this car?

Seriously, you should ask these questions before you send it out for repairs. And being that you live in "Nowhere" WV it's kind of hard to recommend repair shops. But I did find this:
West Virginia
So is "Nowhere" near Parkersburg or Pittsburg?

Danny
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2006, 03:49 PM
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I would never take my car anywhere I didnt get a written estimate.Johnny
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Old 08-08-2006, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983/300CD View Post
So, I'm having them put on a new head gasket. Also, I need the front lower control arm bushings replaced, an alignment, and the sunroof wiring looked at.

I took my car to the dealership this morning. After a few hours, they sent me home in a rental and told me that it wouldn't be done until tomorrow evening. Now, these guys seem like nice guys and I don't have any reason not to trust them, but I'm just wondering what to expect as far as normal cost for these repairs.

From what I understand, there is a set amount of time to be billed for each job. Isn't there a listing in the FSM or somewhere?

Anybody have any ideas on what kind of money I should be expecting to pay out on this?

Really, I have heard quotes of 7000.00 to replace head gasket!
John
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Old 08-08-2006, 04:50 PM
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The dealership is in Charleston, WV.

Hasn't anyone heard of a base charging rate for certain jobs?

I would have to consider the car totaled if it was $7K. (Heck, even 4)

I figured that if they would charge even $75/hour and it took up to 10 hours, I would be paying $750 at the most!
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Old 08-08-2006, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by 1983/300CD View Post
The dealership is in Charleston, WV.

Hasn't anyone heard of a base charging rate for certain jobs?

I would have to consider the car totaled if it was $7K.
No I am not familiar with that term,how does it work.Is this a new type of rate charge ,I have heard of flat rate billing .So I guess your saying $75 hr for labor plus parts,then they may tack on a shop disposal fee.I still think a good service manager would have given you a realistic ballpark cost as to what you need done including parts and labor.Johnny
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:07 PM
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I actually brought my own parts (head gasket and LCA bushings) becasue they said they didn't stock those parts.

It's a real nice BIG dealership. They look like they have a lot of money, but of course there is only one way they could have gotten a lot of money...

Now I'm a bit nervous.

BTW, while sitting there in the waiting room, I saw a booklet advertising the new AMG V8... wow... crazy fast, crazy powerful... .
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  #8  
Old 08-08-2006, 06:03 PM
Craig
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If I was to guess, $1000 - $1500 range assuming they don't do anything else to the head. In my area dealer rates are closer to $100 than $75 per hour.
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  #9  
Old 08-08-2006, 07:17 PM
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Has anyone ever done this before? Is it particularly hard? Anybody give the basic rundown of the procedure so I know what they are doing? I really don't want to be taken to the cleaners because they BS'd me because I don't know what they're doing.

Seems it would be removing the turbo, manifolds, valve cover, tower, cam, chain... what else?
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Old 08-08-2006, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983/300CD View Post
Has anyone ever done this before? Is it particularly hard? Anybody give the basic rundown of the procedure so I know what they are doing? I really don't want to be taken to the cleaners because they BS'd me because I don't know what they're doing.

Seems it would be removing the turbo, manifolds, valve cover, tower, cam, chain... what else?
Remove injector lines, coolant, oil since it's probably contaminated with oil.
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  #11  
Old 08-08-2006, 08:41 PM
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I have heard of what you are talking about. Some of the dealerships have time-studied procedures common to their cars or are using standard time values developed by an engineering firm. Industrial engineers have been doing this since the days of Frederick Taylor. It's not surprising that standardized times are being applied to automotive repair work. The system should estimate an average technician working at an ordinary pace at a certain rate/hour. Any deviation from the standard procedure must be taken into consideration along with additional parts. The advantage is that they should have been able to tell you up front the estimate...which evidentally the didn't do.
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