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  #16  
Old 06-12-2006, 09:07 PM
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no need for you to remove the grey coating, it will wear off after a few applications of the brakes.
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  #17  
Old 06-12-2006, 10:08 PM
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Its to keep the top of the rotors from rusting. If you have aftermarket wheels that expose the brakes this is a cosmetic issue.
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  #18  
Old 06-23-2006, 06:08 PM
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I'm posting a follow-up as I just completed the front brake job on my '98 W210. What a pleasure compared to the earlier W123 I did last year.

In about an hour and a half I could do pads and rotors on both sides, no messing with wheel bearings or removing the hubs like the earlier ones. It's really criminal that the dealer charges nearly $500 in labor for this task...I saw the prior owner had it done at his dealership in 2002 and they charged almost $700 for parts and labor! Now, in '06 the parts set me back $215 from MB, so what does that mean, 5 hours in flat rate book time for this job??? Unreal.
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  #19  
Old 06-23-2006, 11:45 PM
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The dealers need to make money. Frankly with all the overhead a large MB dealer has I can understand why they need to charge $100 an hour. Those multi million dollar buildings, don't grow on their own.
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  #20  
Old 06-23-2006, 11:51 PM
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My friendly dealer charges $124.95/hr...what I find amazing is the labor times they charge...I saw an invoice recently to change spark plugs on an ML320...$695, roughly for the repair. That's roughly an hour per plug...hell, I can do that!
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  #21  
Old 06-23-2006, 11:58 PM
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Do you have $3M worth of cars sitting outside? A $8M building? About $200k a year in tax? Maybe $1m a year worth of salaries to pay? Several hundred thousand a year worth of other expenses?

It takes a lot of money to run such a business. Plus a lot of customers are cheap and don't want to pay for what is needed or good work. Maybe that ML320 had a bunch of stuck plugs.

Its easy to say oh I can do it for cheaper, well then do it for cheaper.
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  #22  
Old 06-24-2006, 12:53 AM
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I replaced mine a few years ago. I got ATE power slot rotors for about $100 for a set from Bekkers.com (they are $118 now) and standard ATE pads for about $40 or so for the set. Sensors came with the pads. Needed a can of brake cleaner and some squeel lub and I was good to go. $150 or so for the whole deal. Car stops on a dime. No fade, not squeeks.
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  #23  
Old 06-24-2006, 01:55 AM
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Brakes

I almost always source maintence items from the dealer. Usually the price isn't a whole lot more. You know the parts are good, and will actually fit. I've had too many times where I would try and pinch a few pennies by trying to get some "cheap parts" over the 'net, only to end up losing money in the end. By the time shipping, duty, and who knows what other fees pop up the parts don't look so cheap after all. Then you worry it they sent the right stuff, and there's the re-stocking fees and more shipping when you get the wrong stuff. I find it easier, and much less stressful to get stuff from the dealer which is almost always in stock and be done with it. A quick bit of research before purchacing will always help your decision.
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  #24  
Old 08-06-2006, 10:48 AM
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My Take

OEM to me means it meets or exceeds mfr specs so the issue becomes the price if there's more than one oem brand.

Then theres the Performance parts, which I believe more than exceeds mfr specs.
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  #25  
Old 08-06-2006, 01:30 PM
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i recently purchased new front pads for my 1998 C230, OEM from the dealer. The pads came with new disc retaining screws and new caliper slide bolts.
In addition the pads were beautiful, of very high quality manufactur.

I don't get near a track with the car. So OEM pads and discs work fine for me.
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  #26  
Old 08-07-2006, 01:07 PM
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I'm running Potterfield pads on W124 and W210. Less dust than OEM, I find. I'd use them again in a heartbeat.

Will have to deal with replacement rotors for W210 in the near future.

Ciao for now,
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  #27  
Old 08-07-2006, 02:22 PM
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HatterasGuy writes, "Do you have $3M worth of cars sitting outside? A $8M building? About $200k a year in tax? Maybe $1m a year worth of salaries to pay? Several hundred thousand a year worth of other expenses?

It takes a lot of money to run such a business. Plus a lot of customers are cheap and don't want to pay for what is needed or good work. Maybe that ML320 had a bunch of stuck plugs.

Its easy to say oh I can do it for cheaper, well then do it for cheaper."

I read this and after sitting here just shaking my head in dis-belief.
I must respond.
Where did you learn to think about business in this way?

Following, your logic, if they doubled the staff and doubled the size of the physical plant they would now be justified in charging twice as much per hour.

That is not how it works.

They are making a business decision that this rate and the hours per job will
fly in that market. It has little to do with inventory, taxes (presume you mean property taxes), building size, etc. At some price point they will loose business in the repair department because a competitor will charge less. At that point they might be forced to lower their rate.

I have a consulting business in my industry of expertise. One of my activities is teaching my clients how to understand their manufacturing costs. From this we make product pricing decisions. I always point out to them that no matter what the system says relative to a suggested price point, there will be some fool out there that will sell it for less. There are a lot of factors involved, but the fixed expenses are not really in play. The marketplace doesn't care.

Off my soapbox,

Steve
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  #28  
Old 08-07-2006, 07:36 PM
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Of course. But I have seen the numbers on several marine business charging between $70-$90 per hour, espeicaly for the marinas the margins on skilled labor are thin.

I can understand why they charge $100 an hour.

The market sets the labor rates, and the market seems to have accepted $100 an hour. I am just saying don't think they are pocketing half of that.
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  #29  
Old 08-07-2006, 09:49 PM
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That's a good point about people's perception of what happens to those dollars per hour. They don't think twice about the cost of their own health insurance and don't realize the amazingly high cost to the employer.

My customers are small companies with average of say 75 employees.
When I do the analysis of the cost of benefits over and above hourly or salaried rates it always ends up between 42 and 48%. Getting worse and worse.

Steve
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  #30  
Old 08-07-2006, 11:30 PM
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I don't mind paying $100 an hour for an honest hour's work, and if the work is quality work done right.

I don't like seeing $500 in labor being charged for a 90 minute brake job is all. That's just stealing. If they said $350 and hour for 1.5 hours it would be honest, but then nobody would go there, so they say $100 per hour and charge for 5 while it only takes 1.5.

Since I started this thread I thought I would chime in.
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