Shifter and cable need replaced on 2005 Volvo S40, mechanic quoted $1100- isn't this high?

The shifter on my Volvo S40 is getting stuck in neutral. The mechanic looked at it very quickly, and said I need a new shifter and cable, which he would need to order and quoted $1100. I looked up these parts online and they are far less than that. I’m fine with paying for someone to replace them of course, since I know nothing about cars, but isn’t $1100 super high?

You get what is called a second opinion and as for cost it depends on your location so saying the price is high or low is hard to do.

14 year old Swedish luxury car. I’d say you are getting a bargain.

Even if the part only costs, say $600, it is likely a rather lengthy job at, oh $100 or more an hour shop time.


The mechanic makes a profit on labor AND parts

He’s not going to charge you what HE paid for the parts . . . he’s entitled to a fair profit


A friend of mine just paid ~$1500 to replace the fuel pump on her 5 year old Volvo XC60.
I could have mentioned that my Volvo used to eat fuel pumps on a regular basis, but I decided that it would be better if I didn’t rub salt in the wound.

As I tell my friends who will listen…
I owned a Volvo… ONCE!


Get a detailed estimate from this guy, meaning how much for the parts and how many hours labor. Then you can figure out if it’s reasonable.

If you get lucky and someone on this board responds who has done the same repair on the same car, you can get a good comparison. Save that, you’ll need to get another estimate and compare.
$1100 is a lot of money. However, I’ve pretty much determined that I’m not getting out of a shop for less than $500 nowadays for repairs, and I have common cars - Honda, Toyota and, before that, Chevy and Saturn. Volvos are much less common where I live, so I would expect parts tougher to find and fewer options to do the repairs.

My first and my last Volvo were the same car. It was new, and I lived across the street from the dealership. I always got a loaner, and that was often. Many repairs for silly things such as turn signal bulb socket falling apart, drivers door hinge failing on a new car, and the steering wheel cover shredding. Three batteries in three years. The service writer was very good at acting amazed that something had failed.

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THAT is an absolutely ridiculous quote for that specific job to be done on your vehicle. You may want to buy the part and look for an honest shop to install it…or install it yourself.

Every time I see and hear things like this I momentarily think I should start charging people more for my services…then again, maybe NOT.

This may explain why I’m constantly booked for service calls and work… I think honesty will pay off far better and far longer than gouging. That’s my take on things. Please find yourself another shop, that is a preposterous quote for that job.


Since when is a S40 a luxury car? It’s just expensive but not much luxury

A used shifter is $80. Just found 1 on eBay. Is your mechanic saying both need to be changed? Why?

I do think $1100 to replace the shifter and cable on an automatic transmission is high. To put that price into perspective, my father-in-law had to have the entire transmission removed and reinstalled from his car–a 1996 Ford Escort–in order to replace core plugs on the engine which were leaking coolant. The total cost, with labor and materials, was around $850, and this was at a reputable shop–not some fly-by-night “mechanic”. This was less than a year ago, btw.

However, the thing about Volvo and other luxury makes is that parts can be super-expensive. So a part that might cost $100 or less for a Toyota Corolla or Dodge Caravan might cost $500 or more for a Mercedes or Volvo.

Luxury spelled V-o-l-v-o. Higher up the car chain than a Kia or Corolla.

I’ll assume the “shifter” in question is the entire floor shifter assembly . . . which will certainly cost a few hundred dollars new, as it’s much more than just the actual shift lever. A new shift cable will probably cost well over $100

Add in more money for the cable and labor, and I can easily see the mechanic arrive at $1100

Not a rip-off . . . not at all

Who cares if we can find a used shifter for chump change on ebay?

A professional will give quotes for new parts

Besides, that professional would look like an idiot if he ordered a used part and it was defective. Much more likely scenario, versus a high-quality new part


Oh wait…silly me… For some reason I only saw that you needed a cable installed and judged the quote in that light. Now if I were paying attention like everyone else here I would have seen that this job is the entire shifter and the cable…OK. Still I feel this is high (who knows what Volvo wants for these parts) but boy in my mind it was an extremely high quote for only a cable replace. Now its not as high, but still up there. Why do you need a new shift assy?

It’s “high” if other good shops will do it for less. The cost doesn’t surprise me.

Take this with an extremely large grain of salt, but I know that the Mazda3 of that vintage did share some mechanical similarities with the S40…I couldn’t tell you if the shifter assembly was specifically part of that. I did a RepairPal search for the shifter cable assembly replacement, in a relatively high labor cost area (DC), and got about 2.5 times less than what you were quoted:

Now, again, this could be an entirely different job from the S40, and this is only for the cable, not the shifter. Without knowing anything about your mechanic specifically, I will say that he is probably not ripping you off. But as others said, I think it warrants asking for a detailed breakdown of parts and labor.

We once owned several Volvos and found to be an excellent resource, you might see what they have to say about this repair.