The alternator conked out on my 2000 Kia Sephia. The tow truck driver told me a new alternator should cost about two hundred dollars plue labor. I had it replaced by the dealer and the bill was $687.00. Did I get hosed?


Yes and no. If you had an independent do it, you would have likely ended up with a good rebuilt starter and less labor cost.

   Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent. 

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee.  During the warranty period be sure to document all maintenance work.

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic.