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Fair Price or Over-charged

I took my 1992 Buick Century to a NJ State inspection station and it failed emissions, mostly HC. It was 1166 ppm for low idle and 423 ppm for fast idle. The limit for both conditions is 220 ppm. My mechanic, an official emission repairman and re-inspector, replaced all the ignition wires, one coil and two spark plugs (I previously replaced the other four plugs personally as mentioned in a previous post). He also re-tapped the two plug holes to remove deposits. He ran some fuel injector cleaner through the system, re-inspected the vehicle and issued a valid NJ inspection sticker. He told me these repairs were unavoidable. The grand total was $527. Does anyone think this is a fair price? Or, was I overcharged?

Is the '92 Buick worth more than $527 ?? Without seeing the actual repair invoice we can’t tell whether the price was fair or not…

lol, the down side of private inspection stations. the upside(or real downside) is that you can usually find one where the stickers are for sale if you ask discreetly

It’s probably not too out of line. You have to remember that what he did enabled you to go another year. A newer car would be better, of course, but it could easily cost you far more for loan payments, insurance, taxes, etc. In the situation you find yourself the only alternative is that you do all the work yourself and hope you pass, but there are no guarantees.

Wentwest: Actually, in NJ it’s another two years. Getting rid of an old car for a newer one can be like filing for a divorce. It’s cheaper to keep her.

@jmcarc, it sounds to me like you took the car to one inspection station, failed the inspection, got the necessary work done, and instead of going back to the initial inspection station for a re-inspection, you paid for another initial inspection from your mechanic. If, indeed, you paid for your inspection twice, you might have paid more than necessary. If the $527 bill included an inspection fee, it might not be out of line. Aside from that, I’d expect to a little less for all the other services, but not much less. In other words, don’t lose any sleep over this.

“…re-inspected the vehicle and issued a valid NJ inspection sticker.”

So the HC is now below 220 ppm? If he took 3 hours and threw $200 worth of parts at it, then the price was reasonable.

Whitey: I didn’t pay for inspection twice. The first time it was an official state-run inspection station, which is free. The bill did include the re-inspection fee.

In that case, the bill was probably reasonable.