Why do dealers charge so much?


#1

i called the saturn dealer and they want 599.95 to replace the windsheild motor and thats not includeing tax…the place i take it to only wants 297.00…

I know where i will take it to …

but its a shame that dealers still feel it neccecary to rip of the customer more and more, aren’t the over priced cars enough.?.. sheesh


#2

Dealers vary in pricing so you really cannot make general statements that all rip you off. Some cases I have found with regards to timing belts they cheaper,use OEM parts and have superior warranty’s on the parts/labor for repairs done.

Without going into specifics dealer overhead is much higher than an independent. Also they use factory parts.


#3

You’re are NOT being ripped off because the price is higher.

As to the part, the dealer is using a factory OEM part and the dealer’s cost on this is probably more than the retail price of an aftermarket part.
Example? A CV joint.
Dealer COST is 65 dollars.
RETAIL price through the NAPA store is 68 dollars for the aftermarket part.
How long do you think the dealer will be in business if they try to compete and only mark the part up 3 bucks? About a minute and a half by my estimation.
All of those parts sitting on the shelf? Many are required and the dealer is paying for them under the floor plan, along with paying wages/benefits for a parts manager, parts counter help, equipment, etc.

A dealer has overhead an independent shop can only dream of and most of the public does not even know about. High priced special tools, alignment rack, etc. MUST be paid for by the dealer. The factory is not giving the dealer one inch on paying for those tools.
Service schools, service manager and advisors, office help, and even a warranty clerk. All of these people do require a paycheck, coverage by workers comp, benefits, etc, etc.

I have not even scratched the surface on the overhead, but if you were in the dealer’s position and were the guy who had to sit down each month and cut a stack of checks big enough to choke an elephant you would probably understand this issue a bit better.


#4

Maybe the dealer overhead is higher, but to me it’s still a rip-off if the shop across the street does the same repair for 1/2 the cost, especially for a windshield motor job. If it’s a major job and the warranty is a lot better with the dealer, ok it may be worth it, but at twice the cost, I’d still go elsewhere.
Once my ECU went in my Jeep, the dealer wanted $1200 just for the part. I got one from a wreck, put it in myself and saved about $1200. Been perfect for about 5 or 6 years now.


#5

true about the extra overhead, however, volume usually ovecomes overhead but the dealers would rather overprice the parts and labor in lieu of a competitive price and get more volume. Even with bays empty the delaer will not negotiate price to fill them, I have tried thinking that some profit is better then none but the service managers will not budge. . Oem parts are not much more expensive then aftermarket. If you purchase them wholesale you will see that the dealer mark up is 100-150 % over cost sometimes more. Is their labor more expensive, maybe. Dealers break even on new cars and make the profit on used cars and the service bays. A good independent will warranty the parts the same as a dealer.


#6

I don’t look at it as a rip off, either. It’s the cost of doing business. If you as a smart consumer, find a place that will do the same job for less, then good for you. But don’t blame the dealer for selling services for the cost to him plus a small profit.

I agree that dealer’s are pricey, and that is why I do some of my own work. And parts prices are not always outrageous at the dealer. I bought a driver’s side switch set for the power windows recently. It was $65 on line and $68 at the dealer. And the dealer actually had it.


#7

Dealers are providing a service to a customer base the is not primarily concerned with getting the lowest possible price. If that’s not you, don’t go to them.

Personally, I use a very good independent shop who I trust. In many cases they are more expensive than the dealer, but they do very high quality work. There can be a significant difference in the price (and quality) of the after-market parts used by some independents. A good independent will advise you when it’s a good idea to use the OEM parts and when you can get away with after-market (or even used/rebuilt parts).


#8

What is so darned hard to understand about this issue?
Are they not teaching any economics courses in high school anymore?

The dealer has dozens and dozens of things they have to pay for that the independent does not. Want me to start listing?

You can do it in the driveway yourself much cheaper by using boneyard parts? NO kidding.


#9

Ok, I’ll ask armtdm again just as I did a few weeks back.
You’re spouting a bunch of gibberish about “how it’s done” and “how it is” at the dealership level.

Fill me in on your experience.
What position (service manager, mechanic, warranty clerk, service advisor, parts manager or parts counter help, etc.) and how long did you work there?


#10

OK4450… you know this comes up every couple of months, one shop is higher than the other so that shop is ripping me off. Don’t fall into the trap, idiots like Brian don’t have a clue so don’t try to argue with them.


#11

OK440 has been on this board for a long time and has extensive experience in the automotive repair industry. He has a great understanding of how shops work

Brian… What exactly is your experience in the automotive field other than being ripped off for repairs?

This continues to be a stupid argument. Every shop is different,every shop is going to give you a different estimate for the same job.


#12

OK4450… I’ll betcha a dollar he doesn’t reply.


#13

yeah, your’e right.

itss not worth fretting over!!

some people cant do the repairs, (or dont have itme)

other people cant even figure out what went wrong,

and others have a clue, but need help to get it fixed.

where we all fit into this picture is what makes us choose dealers, small shops, or DIY.

personally i abhorr stealership repair depts.


#14

I’ve worked as a mechanic in dealerships and in independent garages. OK4450’s points about a dealer’s higher cost structure are definitely true.


#15

In my experience, dealers may charge more for many repairs you could get done cheaper elsewhere. Still, I do not avoid the dealer for all repairs…example: cleaning the manual hubs on my Toyota truck was done more efficiently and effectively and for less money, even though the hourly rate was higher by the dealer than my trusted independent. There is something to be said for shopping around repair by repair and not prefering one over another as a general rule.
Parts and routine service seem to be the biggest expense difference in our area.


#16

I can tell you this. If you went into business, in any field, you would be belly up within 2 weeks.

About a month ago I dropped by our local thievin’ Chevrolet dealer looking for a tiny, obscure, dealer only widget.

The parts manager spent almost 10 minutes searching for this part, found it collecting dust and accruing interest for X no. of months, printed out a multiple copy receipt, sent me to the cashier who proceeded to waste several minutes of her time processing the paperwork and giving me the change back after payment.

Since the sum total of this part, tax and all, was 1.62 cents, maybe you should fill me in on where the dealer is going to be investing this windfall.
Go ahead; break that 1.62 down amongst the parts manager’s time/pay rate, the cashier’s time/pay rate, printer paper/ink, accrued interest, equipment/supplies, etc. Be sure to deduct the original cost of the part the dealer paid before adding a “100-150%” mark-up.
Itemize it if you dare.

In the meantime, some of you are spouting generalizations about something you have absolutely no idea about. It’s the internet; what else. (eyes rolling)


#17

Since I’m trying to make an analogy simple enough for anyone to understand, try this.

Your grass is knee deep, your mower just broke, and the 13 year old kid from next door offers to mow it for 20 bucks.
Being a thrifty (cheap) person, you turn the kid down.
An hour later a lawn service crew from an established company stops by and offers to do it for 200 dollars, at which point you call the kid back and hand him 20 as you relate how the lawn service company was trying to “rip you off”.
Now you’ve “saved” 180 dollars.

What’s the difference between the kid from next door mowing your yard and the professionals?


#18

Whats interesting is found my last Honda dealer to recommend aftermarket parts when my vehicle was older due to excessive cost of factory parts.


#19

That’s interesting, I normally go to the dealer for parts when I’m looking for OEM, it really depends on the part. There are a few applications where I’m willing to use after-market or rebuilt parts (mostly non-critical stuff like climate control electronics that is easy to replace but expensive to buy). My indy mechanic knows I want OEM unless he checks with me first. There are also some online sources for OEM and good quality after-market. I normally stay away from the McParts stores (too much junk).


#20

OEM parts are generally 50% to 100% or more higher in cost than aftermarket parts, sometimes even more. I’ve actually found shop rates to be often comparable to good independent shops.

Whether or not the added cost of using OEM parts is really justified depends to me to be dependent on the repair. For safety and critical parts that are going to have to perform under mechanical stress I feel the extra cost is justified. The market is full of poor castings, substandard materials, unreliable rebuilt assemblies, parts that don’t quite fit right, and such. For windsheild washer motors, wiper motors, body parts, and noncritical parts I personally don’t think it generally is. A $15 windshield washer motor will do just as well as a $50 OEM windshield washer motor.

The cost of some dealer parts is just nonsensical. I have to replace a rear hatch support strut on my car. Generic aftermarket struts are $15 to $20. The dealer charges $132 for a replacement strut. Since the generics don’t yet list one for my car and the dimensions and lift properties need to be right, I had to pay the $132. Blah! Perhaps the problem is the exchange rate on the yen!