Exorbitant cost to replace bushings


#1

My Honda dealer advised I needed new bushings on my car (Honda Civic Ex Coupe-2000 w/78,000 miles). He said it would cost $1,000+. Internet says bushings cost between $6.97 and $44.00 and the replacement time is 1 to 1 1/2 hours. This doesn’t add up to $1,000 to me. Any info would be appreciated.


#2

What was the name of the bushing(s) the Dealer said was bad? What was the name of the bushing(s) you looked up?


#3

Which bushings are we talking about?


#4

A service writer can make anything come out to $1000 if he wants to. As others suggest, have him make a list of the exact bushings that need replacing and then get a quote from a good independent mechanic for parts and labor. It will be substantially less, I predict. The mechanic may also find not all the bushings in question need replacing.


#5

The car has a number of bushings so which ones are being discussed?

Before blindly assuming the dealer is robbing you blind you should consider this.
An aftermarket bushing may be available on the cheap. However, the dealer may be using factory OEM parts and this mysterious bushing may be part of an assembly.

In this case the dealer may simply not be able to obtain a bushing only and may be required to purchase the assembly with bushing installed.
In spite of the perception, those factory OEM parts are not sold to the dealers at discount, wholesale prices. The dealer pays dearly for them.

The devil is always in the details.


#6

In contrast the Dealer may pay dearly but sells them back to the manufacture at a profit in a warranty situation.


#7

The bushings on the rear struts/springs are quite pricey to change. Not $1000 but expensive.

What bushings are you speaking of?


#8

It’s been my experience (VW, SAAB, Honda, NIssan, Subaru) that the warranty markup is limited though. It’s always held to 20-25% over the price the dealer paid for the manufacturer for the part. On most lower cost parts that percentage either does not cover or barely covers the administrative costs.

In some cases the car makers start tweaking those dealer costs when they’re having to buy those parts back as warranty items. An example.

One time Subaru had a good-will warranty going on a halfshaft part.
The dealer cost on that part was 65 bucks and retailed to the customer for 95 dollars on a normal customer pay. Under warranty, this meant the dealer was reimbursed 65 + 25% or roughly 81 dollars with approx. 16 dollars for total adminstrative costs.
After Subaru started having to buy a number of these things all of a sudden the dealer “cost” dropped to 6.50.
This meant the dealer was reimbursed 6.50 + 25% or about 8 dollars and change total.

A 1.60 doesn’t go far when it comes to administrative costs.
Add in the time (months or even years) those parts may have been collecting both dust and interest money while sitting on the shelf and the profit on warranty items can be almost non-existent.


#9

First, mary22 has to define her terms, because “bushing” is extremely generic and non-specific.

To give you an analogous situation, if someone complained that the dealer or the mechanic wanted to charge $400. to replace “the belt”, despite a parts price of $25.00 and a labor time of 45 minutes, that would not be a valid complaint if the belt price quote was actually for replacement of a timing belt, but the uninformed consumer looked up prices for a serpentine belt replacement.

It is possible that mary22 was given an inflated price quote by the Honda dealership. It is also possible that she has been researching the wrong bushing. Personally, I recommend that she get specific information before further questioning something that may not be excessively overpriced. In other words, she may be “comparing apples and oranges”. They are both fruits, but they are very different fruits that sell for different prices.


#10

Why not look around and find a local mechanic that will give you an estimate and maybe take a look at it and determine if it really needs to be done?

Dealers are not gods.  They are no better than independent mechanics, but they almost always charge more.

#11

Rear trailing arms. Was advised that cost high due to fact that difficult to reach and have to take parts from RTA. Concern was this was discovered on prescribed oil change but hadn’t been noticed on previous two changes at 3,000 intervals. Told him I wasn’t interested and he advised it could cause me not to pass state inspection. This was a different fellow than I usually deal with and a different mechanic but at same dealership. Now have to take it in for state inspection. Concern is the cost. Which no one here has addressed. Do you fellows normally dole out $1,000 for bushings??? Is polyurethene so rare?


#12

Your follow up post was on a very good path and then you lost it, let me explain. Bushings that are difficult to replace make for high labor nothing wrong here. Nothing wrong with you saying you don’t like the “your car will fail inspection” sales technique, I don’t like this either. You start to stray when you attach some type of red flag because the bushings were not noticed earlier. It goes bad when you stray from facts and throw the inflamatory “they want $1000.00 just for the part” complaint.

You are not stuck using this Dealer. You are correct to question this repair. I would go through inspection and see if this problem is even noticed. If you pass inspection then this pressure is removed and you can go to another garage and ask them to inspect.

I see nothing wrong in questioning this situation but don’t be inflamatory when you relate the facts.


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