$100 to replace the Cabin Filter in an 06 Kia Optima?

That’s what my dealer quoted me. ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS TO REPLACE AN AIR FILTER? Isn’t that like a two minute job? Are these people out of their minds or what?

Go to rockauto.com, order one (no rush, that’s for sure!), and install it yourself.

Not sure on your vehicle…

I know on my 4runner and my wifes Lexus…takes less then 2 minutes…I get fliers in the mail all the time from the Lexus dealer for “Specials” on replacing the cabin filter… for $75. I replace it myself for $18.

These people asking this price aren’t out of their minds…the people paying it are!

All the parts stores in my area have been stocking these cabin filters now. You can order from Rockauto or any other parts supplier, and perhaps even pick one up at the local parts store. Perhaps even the local Walmart. Your owner’s manual will tell you how to change it.

That is quite steep.

This is what you do>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qL8OZBHdY4

I have to say those connectors look pretty flimsy so be careful. My Acura MDX you simply squeeze the sides inward to so the glove box can lower.

Break the 100 bucks down and let’s have a closer look at that tab.
How much, with tax, is the filter?
How much of an enviro fee, shop supplies charge, etc is tacked on?
What’s the shop hourly flat rate charge?
What locale is this?
What is the specified book time in tenths per hour?

On the surface a 100 is high. When the smoke clears, maybe not.

On my 08 Accord and 04 Sienna it takes five minutes to replace the cabin air filter. On my 99 Accord it takes over an hour of dashboard and glove-box dis-assembly and re-assembly. The dealer charges about $100 if I let them do it (which I don’t).

Perhaps even the local Walmart.

I’ve been buying mine at Walmart or a local parts store (Sanel Brothers). Walmart is Fram…Sanel Brothers carries Wix.

Just bought a cabin air filter for my Toyota for $17.95 and installed it in 5 minutes. Installation is similar to that shown on the video.

Bought two air filters and one cabin filter at Rockauto plus shipping, $28. 20 minutes total for installing all 3. No driving to any shops.

Check with auto parts stores or go on line for price. Also, locate fifter location thru internet to see if it’s easy to replace yourself. YES 100.00 dollars is way out of line!

Whether it’s out of line has not been determined. The OP can register and make a complaint but has yet to provide a followup (and likely won’t) with details and how that bill is broken down.

Comparing the cost of DIY to the 100 dollar charge is misguided at best.

The dealership will probably not be able to match or beat rockauto.com’s price on the part without losing money. The dealership purchases their filters from whatever supplier the factory used, probably Wix in this case, which is top of the line, and has been branded a genuine factory part. Rockauto, on the other hand, buys and sells in tremendous volumes and is able to source the absolute cheapest parts available in the world from any manufacturer, so their prices are understandably the cheapest around in most cases. As for labor, most repair shops and dealer service departments have to charge a minimum of .5 hour labor as policy. It’s part of keeping their heads above water, the payroll account out of the red, and the lights on. Of course DIY is free or cheap (if you have to buy or rent tools to do the job), but auto repair and maintenance is a daunting task to many people, regardless of how easy an experienced hand says it is. Others are doing well to drive the thing and put gas in it before it runs out. These people should not complain about what it may cost to maintain and repair their vehicle if they choose not to do it themselves or criticize repair shops for needing to make enough to keep their mechanics’ families fed and the lights on so they can provide this service. There have been many threads done here on what the overhead at a repair shop really is like, and countless threads amounting to “this crummy rip-off artist wants $300 to fix my brakes, but I can order the parts online for $100, plus shipping. What’s up with this sleazeball?” Let’s also consider how many customers would be peeved if they had their dead car towed into a repair shop and was told that, to stay competitive, the shop orders all parts from an online vendor and they should have the parts in to fix the car sometime in the next couple weeks, as long as they send the right parts the first time. Most people want their car fixed NOW. Comparing the cost of ordering parts from an online vendor to the repair bill at any shop that is not a charitable organization is comparing apples to oranges, as the saying goes.

I can peform an appendectomy on myself much cheaper than a surgeon can along with gaining huge savings by doing it on the kitchen table instead of paying for a pricy surgical room and those annoying add-ons such as nurses and anesthesiologists.

It would seem that to keep everyone happy a mechanic should be replacing cabin filters, pulling codes, checking brakes and various other types of knick-knack things for free. A mechanic can do this all day long, day in and day out; at least until he starves to death from all of the freebies.

ok4450 is right on this one. Book time for the cabin filter replacement is .4 hours on this vehicle… so roughly $40 at $100/hr shop rate. Add in the cost of a filter, etc, and yeah, I can see how a retail shop would set up a package price of 100 for most vehicles. In general, yeah, it’s gravy work for them, but every district bean-counter likes to see certain package deals pushed. Don’t bitch at the shop manager for trying to keep his job by selling a service you very well may benefit and/or need based on established factory maintenance. There are some vehicles that are far costlier than that to change out a cabin air filter. Some of them are a legitimate 3 hour job… dashboard gets gutted and then some.

If you can do it yourself, and the cost of your time, gas to drive to the parts store to get the filter, and the price of the filter are worth less to you than $100, by all means, Do It Yourself. It would take you a hell of a lot less energy to tell the gentleman, “No, I think I’ll swap that out myself, thank you,” and be on your way than to jump onto an online forum and complain like a teenage girl about how wrong this world is. We’re not trying to screw you by recommending a job that is, yeah, maybe a little overpriced compared to DIY… but what you DON’T see are those days in the middle of winter when I’ve got 3 technicians’ paychecks to write, not to include my own, and a car hasn’t pulled into the lot in a day and a half, and the ones that do pull in want oil changes where I’m barely breaking even, and a district manager wondering where all the money went after paying the hefty utilities, snow removal, paychecks, trash removal, waste oil removal, shop equipment repair/calibration, and parts suppliers. Because of lawyers and lawsuits, I’m no longer able to use a torque stick to tighten lug nuts… instead, Snap-on gets a few hundred every six months to recalibrate SIX shop-owned clicker torque wrenches… that’s an expense just to cover me so that I can take your wheels off and put them back on.

Why does everyone want mechanics to work for free? Lawyers, doctors, and insurance adjusters seem to be the worst offenders. By God, they have training to do a very specific job and they can’t afford to work for free… surely that lowly mechanic, versed in vehicle systems that are electronically more complex than yesteryear’s fighter jet engine systems, can work for free… after all, he’s just a mechanic.

To all you cheap tightwads who squeak when they walk: if you don’t like the price of a garage, then go get 2+ years of formal training in the subject, $25,000+ in personal tools, $50,000+ in shop equipment, and do-it-yourself to your heart’s content. If not, then shut your mouth and don’t come back griping to me about that $100 alignment pricetag on a $20,000 optical alignment rack when “it’s only a toe adjustment on one side of the vehicle.”

That is all.

To W123Benz: Well said.

This perception of being overpriced is based on ignorance of the field. (Ignorance meaning lack of knowledge, not stupidity.)
On the surface a 100 bucks sounds obscene but there’s more to that simple job than meets the eye. For the sake of discussion let’s assume cabin filter on the car in question is a 2 minute fix and we’ll look at the big issue here; time.

Customer calls service writer about bringing car in. Time there.
Customer arrives, service writer fills out repair order. More time.
Repair order goes to dispatcher where it is logged into the system. More time.
Mechanic approaches dispatcher for job and waits while dispatcher fumbles around.
Mechanic gets repair order and heads to the time clock to punch in.
Mechanic goes to lot for car (hoping said car is not hidden who knows where.)
Mechanic brings car into shop and goes to parts department.
Mechanic (very hopefully) will get cabin filter PDQ.
Mechanic changes cabin filter, runs car out, and goes to time clock to punch out on that job after filling out any paperwork that is needed.
Service writer signs off on repair order and sends it to dispatcher.
Dispatcher takes care of his end and sends repair order to cashier.
Cashier fills in blanks and pages customer who is in waiting room.
Cashier then deals with (very hopefully) a customer who is not ticked off over a 100 dollar cabin filter.
Customer pays and leaves. (All assuming there are no complaints or questions.)

So. Still think replacing a cabin filter is “only a 2 minute job”?

I don’t think anyone is suggesting that the mechanics do it for free (certainly NOT me). And I’m certainly NOT expecting them to NOT charge their normal hourly rate. Dealers have the right to charge you what ever they want…and you as a customer can refuse this service. This is one of those services it’s best to learn how to do yourself…you’ll save yourself a LOT of money.

My brother has a doctorate and was a college professor. He earned a law degree and was an attorney in a law firm. He and a friend bought a plumbing company and he became a plumber.
When he does a job in a working class neighborhood, his price for the service is never questioned. These people understand what is involved in labor and maintaining equipment. On the other hand, he has had upper middle class really argue about his charges. He was on the telephone one time when a middle level manager called him about his rates for doing some work. My brother gave him his charge for a service call and one hour labor and the rate if the job went beyond an hour. The caller was indignant. “I have a master’s degree and am in charge of a division at my company and I don’t make that kind of money”. My brother replied, “I have a Ph.D. and have been a college professor. I have a law degree and have been a practicing attorney. I am now in the plumbing business. I’ve given you my charges. You have three options: 1) have me do the work; 2) find someone who will do the work for less; 3) do the work yourself. You have 30 seconds to decide what you want to do I have another call coming in”.
I don’t expect freebies from the shop that works on my car. My time is valuable as is the shop’s time. If the shop does a job in one hour that would take me a whole afternoon, I will have the shop do the job. The chances are very good that they will do a better job.
That said, my dad did business with a DeSoto/Plymouth dealer when I was growing up. I would sometimes take the car in for service. The head mechanic who was also the service manager would sometimes say to me “That is something you should be able to do yourself. Don’t waste our time or your dad’s money”. He would then tell me where to get the part and explain to me how to do the job. He would then say, “Boy, I’m going to make a mechanic out of you yet”. Other times he would tell me that the job would take specialized tools and I shouldn’t try it. Although I never became a real mechanic, I learned what jobs I could do and what to leave to an expert.
I’m retired now, but when I was working, my shop would check and change the air conditioning air filter if needed. I was glad to pay to have this done along with the other things being checked and serviced.

Most good owner’s manuals have an extensive “things you can do yourself” section. My Toyota manual tells you how to do these simple things, including changing out the cabin air filter.