Tool for comparing the cost of parts for two vehicles

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#1

The RockAuto.com parts catalog was mined to create a tool (found at: http://www.rockauto.com/repairindex )for comparing the cost of parts for two vehicles. It is another objective bit of data to use when shopping for a used car. There are also fun surprises like when parts for an “economy” car like the Chevy Metro cost more than a parts for a performance or luxury car.


#2

I love it!

This is a really valuable tool. And a simple to understand graphic presentation of the data. Please become a regular visitor here and post your site as a recommendation for those looking for advice on car purchases. It would be a real help. We get this question (which will be more expensive) regularly.


#3

I don’t think this answers the question which vehicle will be more expensive…just how much the parts cost. Example…If you need to buy a Intake Manifold for a 2000 Lexus it’ll probably cost you $1100. But for the Comparable GM it’s less then $300…WHY…because there are many aftermarket intake manifolds you can choose from. GM has had a MAJOR problem with intake manifolds that aftermarket companies started to address the problem. For the Lexus…since it’s very very rare you’ll ever need a new intake manifold no aftermarket companies are making them…so your only option is dealer only.

They are also only comparing the price of the part…NOT the labor to install the part. What’s going to be more expensive…the $100 part GM or Ford has that costs $300 to install…or the $2000 part for the Toyota and costs $300 to install?? From this limited information sure the GM and Ford will be MUCH cheaper to fix…But Lets add some information…GM and Ford are seeing a 10% failure on this part…while Toyota is only seeing a .01% failure rate…NOW which one is cheaper???


#4

And what about the GM/Ford part that costs $100, and $200 to install…and the Honda part that costs $400 and $1000 to install? Even with an extreme 10% vs .01% failure rate, I’ll take the GM/Ford vehicle any day. Statistics are not guarantees.

But I agree, I like the RockAuto part cost comparision tool, but it only tells a part of the story.


#5

I agree that it only tells part of the story. But it’s a valuable part!

Um…what parts in the GM vs. Ford vs. Honda were you referring to? My experience has apparently been very different from yours.


#6

That was just a hypothetical example, I have no idea how those compare in part/labour cost. I do know that parts and labour is much cheaper for my dad’s Grand Marquis than my mom’s Toyota Corolla.

And I do like that part cost comparison tool…it’s kinda fun as well as being useful.


#7

It might be the way honda and the like shoehorn the engine in the car. If you have a couple spark plugs to change out that pretty much requires the entire engine to be removed, then yes, it’ll cost a LOT more for labor


#8

I think I’ll keep my 225k miles Lincoln for now since it shows the repair costs for a Honda Accord run about 1.05 X higher and a Toyota is 1.68 X higher than my clunky old Ford.


#9

I do know that parts and labour is much cheaper for my dad’s Grand Marquis than my mom’s Toyota Corolla.

And I know that my wifes 96 Accord parts and labor was about 200,000% less then her sisters 98 Taurus. Yet according to the tool the Taurus parts are about 15% less then my wifes Accord.


#10

It is great to hear you have been enjoying the Repair Index! The tool does just look at the cost of replacement parts and many other factors like purchase price, resale value, insurance costs, fuel economy, horsepower, favorite color, etc. should be compared too.

I noticed comments about labor costs. The tool does not take into account the cost of labor, but so many parts are included in the comparison that some of the differences in labor costs might be averaged out. I have yet to find a car that is 100% easy or hard (labor time) to repair. One car might have these labor times: heater core= 20 minutes and power steering pump= 20 hours (my '67 Continental). Labor times for the next car might be: heater core= 10 hours and power steering pump= 30 minutes (my old Mustang). So compare enough parts and the short and long labor times for two cars might balance out, especially if comparing cars of about the same age. If the total labor time to replace a hundred parts is about the same then the difference between cars is the cost of the parts.


#11

Thank you for the link. I don’t put a whole lot of faith into things like this due to so many unknowns but it’s very interesting to play around with.

Primedia publishes a guide called IntelliChoice that compares a lot of areas on motor vehicles; price, reliability, warranty, resale, etc. but even that should not be taken as the entire Gospel truth.

A tune-up on a Lincoln Mark is more expensive than one a 4 cylinder Honda Civic. Who would have thought.
My guess is that it would swing the other way if the valve adjustment (not required on the Mark) was performed as part of the Honda tune-up; as it should be.

Thanks again for the link; I’ll probably play around with that one a bit.
:slight_smile:


#12

It might be the way honda and the like shoehorn the engine in the car. If you have a couple spark plugs to change out that pretty much requires the entire engine to be removed, then yes, it’ll cost a LOT more for labor

You must be talking about the V6…because the 4 cylinder in that engine is about the EASIEST sparkplugs I ever changed in any vehicle. It might take you 10 minutes…if you rush…5.


#13

A tune-up on a Lincoln Mark is more expensive than one a 4 cylinder Honda Civic. Who would have thought.
My guess is that it would swing the other way if the valve adjustment (not required on the Mark) was performed as part of the Honda tune-up; as it should be.

I think since 94 Honda has been using Hydraulic valves so no more adjustment. But I do remember doing several adjustments/checks on wifes 87 Accord.


#14

Not quite.
http://www.artsautomotive.com/HondaV6ValveAdjustment.htm


#15

We had the 4-cylinder…I know it had the hydraulic valves…I assumed the V6 and V-Tec did too.


#16

Tom,
What! No Cozy Coupe? I’m disappointed. :slight_smile:


#17

This was fun to fiddle with. There does seem to be a sweet spot for older cars where parts are cheap but not yet hard to find. Wait until my wife hears parts for '05 Vette are a little cheaper than parts for her '05 Sienna.