Fair price for labor?

Hi guys. First time posting. Happy to be here.

So, real quick, there is a small auto shop a 2 minute walk from my job… 30 years in business. 5 stars on Yelp. Could be my new go to shop.

I need spark plugs done on my 2006 Ford Escape V6 3.0. I’ve had the car since 196K and is now at 206K. I don’t think the Valve cover gaskets or spark plugs have ever been done. The head of the shop quoted me $220 LABOR ONLY for the 6 plugs, manifold gaskets, valve cover gaskets and change out the PCV valve. Its all mostly preventative maintenance and I have all the parts.

What do you guys think? Good deal? He wanted $250 at first. He said the job would take 4 hours minimum.

any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Around here that would be on the cheap side. It would be helpful to know where you were – auto repair in, say, Silicon Valley is a lot more expensive than it is in a low cost of living area.

With transverse-mounted V6 engines like yours, the front 3 plugs are very easy to get to, but you have to disassemble a lot of stuff to get down to the rear 3, and that’s where the high labor cost happens.

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The shop is in Van Nuys, California. It’s in LA. A fairly poor neighborhood. Mostly machine shops and other industrial type businesses in this area.

I’d say that’s probably a good price, then.

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4 hours labor for all that work is entirely reasonable and you’d be hard pressed to find any shop willing to work for $55/hr, I don’t care where you live. Especially if you bring the parts and they don’t get any markup there either.

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Yeah… when you put it that way you make a good point. I was going to go the DIY route. But I’ve only just started learning the little things. So far I’ve done Oil, transmission & transfer case fluid change. And brakes. Not sure I’m ready to dismantle a bunch of stuff to get to the plugs lol.

If you provide the parts, keep in mind that you’re the one on the hook for the additional labor and parts price if any of them turn out to be defective.

Yeah I would say that’s not a bad price, especially given its in California. I don’t recommend using your own parts so just be ready if he finds out he can’t use everything. I tried putting a water pump on my Olds once where you needed the special socket etc. Tried and tried and couldn’t get the dang thing off. So took the Delco pump to the Olds dealer. They put it on but said it was a leaker so ended up buying their pump anyway.

Yeah, not to mention the manifold gasket(s) and valve cover gaskets. That’s likely the lion’s share of the expense. probably not something you want to bite off when you’re just learning. Might turn you off to wrenching before you get started! :wink:

Yeah, that’s something I considered. But I would much rather have high quality parts go in then leave it up to the shop to find the most affordable ones.

Man, that blows. I was very careful to cross reference every gasket and plug that I bought with the Ford specs for my particular year and model. Even then, who knows what could happen. Fingers crossed!

I saw a YouTube video on the step by step and as soon as the guy was like “It’s very easy, you just have to… take this off, unplug this, detach that, scrape this off…” I was like, “NOPE!” Lol. Oil change, transmission drain & fill, spark plugs, brakes, etc, I can handle… lol.