Dealer or other mechanic?

I need to get some work done on my car. The mechanic’s quote that I’ve been using is actually more than the Honda dealer’s quote. Should I go with the dealer??


The Honda dealer is likely the better route for the following reason: You get a 1yr/12,000 warranty on the part/labor for the work performed. Some mechanics offer this too so check.

However if your more comfortable with your mechanic just ask them to match the price.

You haven’t described the work needed. The price difference may be due to the fact that your mechanic may have to buy the necessary parts from Honda (or chooses to do so) and then adds the customary 10% markup. If you have a good relationship with your mechanic it may be worthwhile to accept the extra costs.

I’d like to hear what work is being done. Are you sure the independent mechanic isn’t actually proposing to do something more than the dealer? For instance, if you are telling them you want 30,000 mile maintenance and leaving it up to them to decide what the 30,000 mile maintenance should include, the independent mechanic might be hitting you for throttle body cleaning and the dealer might not include that service.

Timing belt/water pump and they are both doing the same amount of work.

In this case if the dealer is the same price as the mechanic then I’d go with the dealer. However…it also tells me youre mechanics prices are pretty high. When I needed the wifes timing belt done on her Accord the dealer was almost TWICE the price of any local mechanic I checked with.

Yes, this shop is usually high but I do believe they do quality work. Just seems sometimes that they want to do more than is really necessary. For example, a radiator flush…how necessary is it really to flush the radiator if the fluid is not dirty? I’ve been told not to bother flushing it if the fluid looks clean and if it is dirty, then there are other problems to look for. Is that correct??

It’s quite possible the independent is more expensive than the dealer. My independent is at least as high as the dealer (probably higher), but I trust him and he does very good work. Sometimes you do get what you pay for.

How big of a difference are the estimates?

Did they break out the estimate enough you can tell if it is labor or parts?

I remember once I got an estimate for a water pump and then the final bill was higher because they failed to put coolant on the estimate. Maybe the dealership forgot to include little things like that.

The difference is about $50 and you’re right, I need to get a print out from the dealer to be sure but over the phone, it sounded like everything was quoted that the independent mechanic quoted.

There are a couple of factors here. Is the dealer shop a good one? Not all of them are. On the other hand, if the car is in warranty (unlikely if you are due for a timing belt) then sticking with the dealer may be prudent.

Assuming the dealer has a good reputation I’d go for the cheaper price. They really must do dozens of these per week so they should know how.

If they’re doing it along with the TB/WP, then it’s probably to get stuff flowing through the new pump before the engine gets started. I noticed they did that with my civic when I got my work done, and it had been like a month since I had the radiator flushed with my last oil change prior.

Yes, this shop is usually high but I do believe they do quality work.

And other independent mechanics WON’T???

Replacing a timing belt is NOT that difficult.