Need your opinion

I have not brought a vehicle to a shop in years so I dont really no todays repair costs. my son knows my body is not letting me work on cars that much anymore. so he brought his 2008 acura tsx to a shop that works on his companies work vehicles. they replaces lower ball joints and lower control arms on both sides and had a alignment done. they charged him $1600. that sounded way high to me. what do you guys think?

Sounds about right to me.
The invoice will have the breakdown of parts and labor.

ok thanks. just seemed high to me. but like I said I have not brought my car to a shop in at least 10 years. I will have to ask him about that when I talk to him. he texted me earlier about the cost but he is working know, I will find out the break down when I talk to him.

He got ripped off.


thats what I thought. even using honda parts it seemed really high. but now I feel bad for not doing it for him. oh well.

Yeah, if that’s all that was done it seems high. Have you seen the invoice? Next time he needs to do a search for a good shop. Maybe do it now, before he needs it.

no I have not seen the invoice. he texted me on the way to work. he went their because it was close to where he lives and they worked on his old companies work vans and vehicles. they always did good work and never had a problem with them. he can not really talk at work so I will have to wait and find out more info.

I wouldn’t feel too bad though. I’ve done all my maintenance and repairs myself for the last 42 years. Knowing how much cheaper it is than paying a shop. But there does come a time when getting up and down so many times gets difficult. I’ve got six kids and there are kids in laws. I don’t refuse to work on their stuff, but I offer just a little less. Fortunately they have achieved financially enough to start affording better vehicles. Some that struggled early on knew that it took a toll on me and insisted on me not doing the work for them. It’s ok to slow down a little. But with all that preaching, I’ll be spending Saturday doing brakes and viscous coupler bearings with my son.

1 Like

That makes me wonder if more work was done, and the price was actually ok.

in 2003 I was in a bad accident a few blocks from home. I was at the top of a hill with a sharp turn. a kid was coming the other way. he came around that turn in my lane and hit me head on. did not even have time to react. hurt my back, neck, knee, and have some nerve damage. It just sucks knowing I can do the work and save him a lot of money. but my body says NO. and when I do force myself to work on my cars I usually spend the next week in bed. LOL

Not vehicle related but I just wrote an electrician a check to put up 2 bathroom vanity lights . I can’t stand on a step ladder for more that a couple of minutes . It did not bother me at all to have that done and the company I used has done good work at fair prices in the past .

Shops where I live (in NJ) are currently at a labor rate of $141 per hour. You can get to a $1600 bill fairly quickly even with a modest amount of parts.


I did not realize labor rates went up that high. the last time I was at a dealer my wife at the time was picking up her new car. the dealer rate was $100 an hour. at the time I thought wow the rates went up. that was about 4 years ago.

You live near NYC and maybe your son is in the same metro area. Any big city will have higher labor rates than a rural area because the cost of living is higher. The shop might also charge by the hour instead of a book rate. If they run into difficulties, your son will pay for the extra time it takes. The shop I use charges by the hour and the hourly rate is high, but they do excellent work and don’t charge labor to right a job that they botched.

2 lower control arms and 2 lower ball joint are $1000 plus 4.4 hours labor and alignment. We charge $150 for a wheel alignment. Add shop supplies and sales tax.

Subtract a 15% discount and it might come to $1600.


thanks now I don’t feel so bad. I thought he was getting ripped off.

In this day and age, just kinda happy to be able to get the parts and someone to do the work. If I have a problem or if I think I gotten taken, I always ask myself when it won’t be a problem or what would I have been happy with paying. Tends to drill down to how severe a problem it is. So would $1000 be a very good price? Then the extra irritation is $500. $500 is not so bad a loss.

Some years ago we were heading to Europe and thought it was a good opportunity to have some work done on the car while we were gone. I don’t remember all but had a list for all hoses, thermostat, flush, wheel bearing, plugs etc. I never asked for an estimate. When I picked the car up the total bill was around $800 and I commented that it was pretty cheap for all they did. I suppose you either trust the place or you don’t, and if you don’t you vote with your feet next time.

Well there you go. Answers ranging from your son got ripped off to your son got a good deal. How does a person really evaluate the cost of a repair?

If he waited for the work was the waiting room clean and pleasant with drinks and snacks? Wifi so he could work? Netflix available on the TV?

Did the courtesy shuttle get him to work on time and pick him up conveniently? Or was the loaner car he took a pleasure to drive?

Does the repair work carry a 3 year/36000 mile warranty? Was it done at a shop that’s known in town as the “go to” place for suspension and alignment work?

Was it a national chain shop or a local business that supports and plays an active part in your community?

Was the car washed and vacuumed when he picked it up?

Was the car and the customer handled in a way that built trust and respect for all parties?

There really is a lot to evaluate about having your car repaired, more than the dollars you spend.

We charge different labor rates depending on what kind of car it is and what we are doing to it. Rates vary from 122 to 189 per hour. Doesn’t take long to get to $1600 these days.


I didn’t realize how much rates went up , even in private shops. its been a long while since I have used one. it is double.
thanks to all that replied.

I’m seeing about 1 3/4 hours labor for replacing both ball joints, about the same labor time to replace both front lower control arms. That’s 3 1/2 hours total labor if I added it correctly. Plus the parts cost, plus the alignment cost. 3.5 hours labor @ $125/hour = appx $440 labor. Figure $350 each for the lower control arms. Whatever the ball joints cost. Then the alignment cost. Getting pretty close to that $1600 number. If they did a good job, didn’t break anything else in the process, good enough imo.