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Am I getting hosed?

I took my 2003 Subaru Outback in for an inspection and 100,000 mile maintenance. The following is the laundry list of repairs/maintenance that was performed:



- Inspection $81

-Replace all belts (Timing, Altenator, Serptinine, Power Steering, Pullies, Tensioners, etc.) $339

- Replace water pump $194

- New battery $101

- Flush and refill transmission $133

- Replace gasket on exhaust pipe (I had a noticeable gas smell when you turned the car on) $76

- Brake shoes & pads x 4 (FR and Rear) $338

- New spark plugs $153

- Oil change $31

- Replace cracked windsheild $349

- Other random small stuff $100



Including all parts & labor my total bill came out to $2,000 after tax. It seems okay when you lay it all out like that but I’m just not sure. Any thoughts would be great!

Well let’s look at the expensive stuff:

Belts: you HAVE to do the timing belt, might as well do the others, and that’s always expensive.
Brakes: The car needs brakes, and that’s reasonable for all four.
Windshield: Might be able to get that done cheaper somewhere else.
Water pump: Might as well do it while they’re doing the timing belt, and at 100k, sounds about right.
Spark plugs: 100k mile tuneup time.
Transmission: Scheduled maintenance (seems kinda high, as do the spark plugs, but everything is more expensive at the dealer).
Battery: Again, kind of expensive… do you think that you need a new battery?
Oil change: Is it time?
Random stuff: don’t know.

Overall, it sounds like they’re suggesting work that is necessary, and while the prices for the spark plugs, transmission flush, and battery seem high, they do not seem like “getting hosed” to me. Good luck!

Not a “Subie” guy but I say WOW on the spark plugs,windshield price seems way high (any thing special about it)Timing belt (with others included)seems way low,have you figured this correctly?,pretty expensive water pump (I conclude $194 is part only)

Your invoice does raise questions,in both ways.

I didn’t catch it initally but the $81.00 for a “inspection” is way out of line,in fact it should have been NO CHARGE

It all seems reasonablly priced to me; especially if you’re on the east or west coasts where things run much higher in price than the country’s midsection.

You can save a few bucks by probably having some of this done elsewhere. Price the windshield at a regular glass shop. Most WSs around here run about 225 dollars. If this is a dealer pricing this job then it’s unlikely they’re doing the glass themselves anyway. They are probably farming it out to the same glass shop you could use yourself.

You can also get the battery done elsewhere for less; even Wal Mart. WM will even intstall it for free and WM batteries are as good as any other out there.
50-60 bucks at WM should take care of that problem.

As the others have said, much of this is necessary maintenance, and the only prices that seem high are the spark plugs, the battery, and the windshield. And, as has already been said or implied, the prudent car owner who is looking to save money does not buy his battery or his replacement windshield from a car dealer.

However, I am guessing that you had everything done by the dealership, due to the convenience factor of having everything done at the same time. No, you were not hosed.

Was this a safety inspection???

It sounds to me like you don’t keep up on normal maintenance. The prices seem reasonable…with the exception of the windshield. Get it done at a glass shop for about half the price…better yet check with your insurance company to see if they’ll cover the cost.

If they knock thirty bucks off the battery they will be perfect. No problem.

It is all better than I would normally expect from a dealer. You may well be able to find a better deal for the equivalent work by an independent mechanic, but for a dealer it seems good.

I own a Subaru WRX and those prices seem on par for dealer except the price for a transmission flush is higher than the typical transmission fluid change. Also the spark plugs may be steep but do you have the H6 engine or the standard fare 2.5L H4? The H6 has the plugs quite buried like most modern cars hence the 100k change interval. The 2.5L engine is not bad to change plugs and my guess is $48 possibly is dealer price for parts and $100 for labor. I know my WRX requires you to remove a few minor engine items in order to access them.

Not sure what the inspection entails but if on the vehicle itself its pricey however it may be the time they take to look at everything when doing a xx,000 mile service it may be on par.

Your timing belt/associated item and water pump replacement is very reasonable.

Double check that the timing belt is included in the price of $339. You can’t get those things done anywhere for $339.

Thanks everyone who repsonded. After reviewing your posts I searched around a little more and found that while certain services were cheaper at other places a total “all-in” cost was relatively the same no matter where I went. After some additional negotiation the total after taxes turned out to be just over $1,800.

Additional background to anyone wondering on why things were so costly. I live on the east coast just north of Philadelphia and all the costs above were for parts and labor. The windsheild cost a little more because my model Subaru had the winter package which has electric de-icers built into the windsheild for the wipers. The battery I did myself for around $60.

I love my Outback and after getting the 100K maintenance the car drives just like I remember when it was purchased.

It can’t be the H6 because that engine utilizes a timing chain, rather than a belt.

Thanks for posting a follow-up. So few people do but it is always great to hear how things got sorted out.

For what a new car costs, maintenance on a good car is a better deal. I am one who believes in replacing before it fails, and a five year old battery is definitely ready to replace, just on age.

Assuming a new Subaru costs a lot of money, and this $2000 makes it drive like new, another 30,000 miles without expensive repairs, except possibly sensors, that is a major bargain.

I learned this back in 1967 when I bought my first new car. It was a Chevvy II 250 cu. in. straight six, with no options except that 250 cu. in. engine.

I was told I should have gotten a V-8, that the 6 wouldnt handle highway driving. Driving cross country at 70 mph it ran great, and one of the guys who said a 6 wouldn’t do it, admitted his V-8 was geared too low to run 70 mph.

When things failed, I had new parts put on, and fellow workers criticized me for wasting that money on new parts, when I could get parts at the junk yard for a fraction. After three or four years, they were out shopping for new cars. The old one just had accumulated too many problems, etc. My Chevvy II was still running along, no worse than when it was new. (And, in those days new cars were only one notch above junk.)

Cutting corners on an expensive car, in my opinion, costs more in the long run.