The following article was done by Steve Lehto. We thought it was good and wanted to share
Mechanics charge you more for parts than what you can buy those parts for online. People ask me about it from time to time. Is this a ripoff? No, it’s not.
This question usually pops up in my line of work when someone goes over a work order with a fine-toothed comb and then “checks” the prices they were charged for parts against prices on the internet. $249 for an alternator? You can buy one on Amazon for $86!
A markup on retail items—car parts or otherwise—is part of any business. And comparing Amazon prices to anything retail is misleading. My latest book (sorry not sorry for the plug) has a cover price of $39.95 but Amazon is giving them away for only $30.53.
Why is this? Among other things, Amazon does not run a local retail location with a person standing at a counter who can answer your questions.
But the parts question has a few more components. The part you get on Amazon might not be the same quality or have the same warranty as one from the local shop. The cheaper alternator cited above from Amazon comes with a one year warranty. The Ford Motorcraft alternator comes with a two year warranty.
And let’s face it: If you want that cheapo price on that car part, you have to buy it and install it yourself. While you might be fine with that, most people aren’t (hence the number of times I get asked this question.) When you pay the expert to install the part in your car, part of what you are compensating them for is what they bring to the transaction. The ease of installation (it doesn’t require you to get your hands dirty!) and the expertise. Most people would rather have the part installed by an expert who has done the installation many times before than try and do it themselves in their driveway.
And that installation quite likely comes with a warranty. The alternator dies the next day? Take it back to the shop if they installed it. You installed it? Pop the hood and start troubleshooting, Chief. Is the part defective or did you install it wrong?
I posted a question and asked guys in the industry to write and give me the lowdown on markups at dealerships and shops. Parts markups can vary from shop to shop and from dealer to dealer. Generally though, there are industry standards. What you are buying is the expertise of the shop and helping them keep the lights on and the doors open.
Would there be a markup that was too high? Of course: If they charged you $2490 for the $249 alternator, that would be a price “grossly in excess of the value of the goods.” In Michigan, and many other states, that would make it wrong. But notice the phrase “grossly in excess . . .” Simply charging you retail for a part that you can buy for close to wholesale isn’t going to break the law.
So, before you freak out when you see the price difference between the shop price and Amazon, remember that the comparison is not fair. Mechanics have to feed their kids too. And if you want the cheap price, you’re going to be doing the work yourself.
Article by Steve Lehto
Original article found at http://thegarage.jalopnik.com/
Photo credit Shutterstock
At Trubey Auto Repair we salute the men and women in the Military. We also would like to thank you for your service.
Trubey Auto Repair strives to be your honest and fair auto repair in Tavares Florida. We work hard to get you back on the road as soon as possible. From our family to yours.
This summer has really been a hot one so far. We have stayed busy with lots of A/C jobs. If your A/C doesn't seem to keep you cool then bring your car in and let us take a look at it.
^^ Some of our more memorable A/C jobs.
I'm sure all of us can relate when this question is asked, have you ever had a flat tire? (Nod head now)
In this post we wanted to cover the simple differences in a tire plug and a plug patch.
A tire plug is simply a plug put in the hole of the tire. There are several different types of material used but they all do the same thing, plug the tire.
On the right you see some of the common kits that you can purchase at just about any bigger retail store in the automotive section.
With tire plugs the tire can be left on the vehicle and plugged.
Does not keep the manufacturers warranty of the tire.
Tire Patch Plug
Tire patch plugs are the plug as well as a patch. The tire has to be dismounted from the rim and the tire has to be prepped for the patch plug. The patch plug is installed from the inside of the tire and pulled through.
Keeps the manufacturers warranty of the tire.
Takes longer due to tire needing to be dismounted.
From what we have seen is if it is a small puncture and you aren't worried about keeping the manufacturers warranty on the tire then go for a plug. If you have nicer tires or have a larger hole go with a patch. All around though a patch is what we would recommend because it is a more sure repair.
Well we have some pretty exciting news. If you have a Windows phone we are happy to announce that we have an app out that will help you identify those annoying dash lights. Want to know which ones are important and which ones aren't? Well now you can. So again if you have a Windows phone check it out and let us know what you think.
Here at Trubey's we are proud to say that we have one of the latest and greatest alignment machines. Newest in the Tavares area. The reason we have made such an investment you might ask, well it is because we believe in keeping your investment in the best possible running shape and extending the life of your tires and vehicle.
With wheel alignments there are a lot of things to factor in and know. We will attempt to go over these so that you will have a clearer understanding of vehicle alignments.
There are 3 things that are measured when doing an alignment. Those 3 things are toe, camber and caster.
The toe is direction the tires point relative to each other (see image). With positive or negative toe you will see uneven wear on your tires and you will also notice the car pulling in one direction while driving. Each tire can have its own toe. For example maybe on your front end one tire has negative toe and the other has positive toe. This would not be good at all for your tires.
Now camber is the tire angle pivoting toward or away from the axle (see image). This will also cause uneven wear on your tires and cause some pull and decrease your steering stability. Just like toe each tire can have its own measurement.
Finally caster. Caster is the degree that the steering axis is tilted as viewed from the side of the car. Caster doesn't cause any extra wear on your tires but it does effect your steering stability which can be pretty serious. Having your caster adjusted correctly will save you at the time you need to make a sudden turn.
Here are Some Examples of Tire Wear
How is an Alignment done?
Now that you understand the different measurements that are measured to get your vehicle aligned you might ask, How is an alignment done? Well that is a good question. Modern-day wheel alignment equipment includes an on-board computer that has the specifications for all kinds of cars built right in to the software. With your vehicle on the lift we clamp a plate to each tire (see image) these clamps have reference marks on them for the two cameras that are mounted on the top of the alignment machine. After a few procedures are completed such as rolling your vehicle back and forth and turning your wheel the computer will compute these measurement and compare them to the specs for the vehicle.
These machines also have a printer on board so that a color copy showing your vehicles alignment can be printed for you.
We offer free alignment check's meaning we will put your car the lift and give you a print out of your vehicles measurements.
Making the Adjustments
After your measurements are given it is time to align your vehicle to specs. The tech will get under your vehicle and follow the computer instructions and watch the measurement lines as he adjust various parts to get the arrow in the center of the measurement. Each adjustment will have a few degrees it can me off that will put it still in the green but we do our best to get you exactly on target.
There are a few parts that are needed on some vehicles to perform an alignment. When the dealership make a car over time parts wear out and well some of those parts they put on it aren't adjustable. With these parts there are aftermarket parts that can be purchased that will allow your vehicle to be adjusted and put back into proper alignment. These parts can include special bolt or shims and even adjustable control arms. Some of these parts can be a little pricey or labor intensive but it evens out when you are able to spare your tires for an extra couple of thousand miles or so.
Ready to Go!
Now that you know the alignment basics you can understand why it is important to get your vehicle aligned we look forward to seeing you.
Wow with the weather warming up here in Tavares, Florida it is amazing to think, How did people ever get along without air conditioning in their cars?
Air conditioning is a vital part of our comfort while driving in our vehicle. Often times and A/C system will stop keeping you cool simply because it is running low on Freon. Why is it running low on Freon? Well because either there is a leak somewhere or you have had the vehicle for a while.
On average a cars A/C system with no leaks will loose an average of an ounce of Freon every year, so with that being said if you look at a car that lets say holds 17 ounces of Freon and it is a 7 year old car, well the A/C system will probably have only around 10 ounces of Freon and that is not going to keep you cool.
You have to be careful when running low on Freon and running your A/C system. Running the system while it is low can cause further damage because the compressor and other parts aren't being lubricated properly and can burn out which will be a costly repair.
To have your A/C checked come by and we will check it out. We want to keep you cool this summer!
Well everyone we are excited to announce that our online garage is now live! Be sure to check it out and sign up. If you have visited our shop and have given us your email then your service is already entered you just need to claim the account and if you are new just enter your email to start.
If you don't live close to us, no problem you can still sign up and use My Garage. Enjoy!
My Garage will make your vehicle ownership more enjoyable, economical and convenient by combining all your automotive needs in a single personalized online garage.
Simply sign up and receive:
We are happy to say that we have a new owner and operator here at Lugo Auto Repair. We are sad to see our former owner and operator Jose Lugo go, but we know that he will have success in his endeavors. Jose started this business in 2003. He started the business in a one car garage of his house. After building his name with local friends and customers he eventually moved into a one-bay shop in Minneola. Due to the growth of the business he decided to move to a larger shop. The current location now is a 6 bay shop located in Tavares where we continue to serve most of our very first customers and also serve our new customers. His mission was to provide excellent service combined with high quality products and years of training.
Our new owner and operator is David Trubey. Working on cars is something that he has always enjoyed. When he was younger his dad would have him help him work on their cars. It was a hobby and something he always enjoyed and still does to this day. Dave is very excited for this opportunity to be able to own and operate Lugo Auto. It has always been a dream of his to do the one thing he truly loves.
David is also excited to bring a few new ideas and interests to the shop. One of those being hybrids and electric vehicles. Back in 2006 David attended an electric car conversion class and ever since then has wanted to offer such services for people. We are sure that this will be a future service that we will offer here at Lugo Auto Repair.
So we welcome David and encourage you to stop by to say hello.
Here are a few things that have been going on around Trubey Auto Repair.