Truck repair costs-What's reasonable?

SiskaSiska ShortyRegistered User regular
edited April 2017 in Help / Advice Forum
My hubby's 2005 F150 (automatic, 2 wheel drive) needs a new flexplate. Is there anywhere you can look up what the normal price for that kind of work is? Googling flexplate/flywheel replacements in general has listed prices between $250-500 but those prices are 5ish years old and not the exact same model as our truck. The mechanic asked initially quoted $500-700, which was higher but still (barely) doable. However after my hubby had them take a look at it they said it would be over $1000, which is currently NOT doable and seems a bit far out of range of the $250-500 prices we've seen mentioned online.

Does anyone have any idea what the labor price should be, reasonably?
And does anyone know a good mechanic that can do it in the Raleigh NC area? My hubby called several local places but only ONE picked up the phone ( the +1000 USD guy).

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Siska on

Posts

  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    A good rule of thumb is however much the part would cost you to buy at AutoZone or somewhere similar, the dealer will charge double that for the part, and then about double the cost of the part for labor. So if you can find the part double that price, then add 1.5-2 times that price to it. That should be the range to expect at a mechanic.

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  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    The part isn't that expensive, only $50. It's the several hours of labor it takes to switch it out that's costly. From what I understand (not a car-person) it's really deep in there.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Call some places in the area and just ask, or directly ask why they want $1000 when you think it should be $500. You're completely allowed to ask these questions of your mechanic, and you should! As long as you politely do so, if they don't explain it to you to your satisfaction, find someone else.

    What is this I don't even.
  • chr1sh4ll3ttb3chr1sh4ll3ttb3 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Dropping the gearbox out of a RWD vehicle is generally a pretty straightforward and quick task, especially a vehicle like an F-150. A mechanic like me could do this job in the dirt on the side of the road with a jack and some hand tools. Then you fit the new flexplate and put the gearbox back in, it really shouldn't cost a huge amount to do, maybe two hours labour if I'm feeling generous. Is this the dealership, or an independent workshop?

  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    It's an independent workshop. And he only went to that place because they were the only ones that answered their phone in our area. :?
    He's is going to make another try asking around. Drop in in person if he has to. His schedule is 7am-7pm so he can only do drop ins on days he has off though.

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  • BouwsTBouwsT Wanna come to a super soft birthday party? Registered User regular
    Dropping the gearbox out of a RWD vehicle is generally a pretty straightforward and quick task, especially a vehicle like an F-150. A mechanic like me could do this job in the dirt on the side of the road with a jack and some hand tools. Then you fit the new flexplate and put the gearbox back in, it really shouldn't cost a huge amount to do, maybe two hours labour if I'm feeling generous. Is this the dealership, or an independent workshop?

    Book times are about double what you're estimating here (lowest I've found is 3.5 hrs, but most are in excess of 4), and a shop isn't going to ballpark an estimate like this.

    @Siska can you tell me what engine the truck has (either a 4.2L, 4.6L, or a 5.4L)? I'll try to get you an accurate idea of labour for the job... Part pricing is very regional, and since I'm based in Canada I won't be of much use to you there.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    I'm pretty sure it's a 4.2L. It is definitely a 2 wheel drive automatic.

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    BouwsT
  • BouwsTBouwsT Wanna come to a super soft birthday party? Registered User regular
    Can you tell me definitively if it's a V6 or a V8?

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    V6

    Also mini-w00t. He managed go get ahold of another mechanic with a phone. They told him between $400-500. So if that price is still correct once he gets his truck over there, then we are back to something (even more) doable.

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  • BouwsTBouwsT Wanna come to a super soft birthday party? Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    Alright, V6 is DEFINITELY a 4.2L, i'll get to work. If it can be completed for <$500, then that's awesome for you!

    EDIT:

    What I've found so far...
    ALLDATA Repair Guide = 4.2 hrs
    MOTOR Labor Guide = 4.0 hrs for transmission removal and installation, + 0.2 hrs for flex plate R&I
    Chilton Repair Guide = 4.6 hrs standard / 4.9 hrs severe
    RealTime Labor Guide = 4.0 hrs standard / 4.3 hrs high

    A shop's hourly rate is also very regional, but whatever their labor rate is, it's going to be multiplied by one of those times.

    BouwsT on
    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
    Siska
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    edited April 2017
    This is pretty deep in the weeds, but if either you or your SO want to get an idea of the work involved, I recommend looking up the relevant Chilton manual for his truck.

    My dad used to use the manuals all the time, back when he would do the car work himself. They are basically books filled with the parts drawings of the relevant cars. If you can't find it online, check your local library. I understand if you don't want to get that detailed, but I wanted to put the suggestion out there for anyone reading the thread.

    Mugsley on
  • chr1sh4ll3ttb3chr1sh4ll3ttb3 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    BouwsT wrote: »
    Alright, V6 is DEFINITELY a 4.2L, i'll get to work. If it can be completed for <$500, then that's awesome for you!

    EDIT:

    What I've found so far...
    ALLDATA Repair Guide = 4.2 hrs
    MOTOR Labor Guide = 4.0 hrs for transmission removal and installation, + 0.2 hrs for flex plate R&I
    Chilton Repair Guide = 4.6 hrs standard / 4.9 hrs severe
    RealTime Labor Guide = 4.0 hrs standard / 4.3 hrs high

    A shop's hourly rate is also very regional, but whatever their labor rate is, it's going to be multiplied by one of those times.

    It takes less time than that to change out a clutch in a Volvo FH16...

  • BouwsTBouwsT Wanna come to a super soft birthday party? Registered User regular
    BouwsT wrote: »
    Alright, V6 is DEFINITELY a 4.2L, i'll get to work. If it can be completed for <$500, then that's awesome for you!

    EDIT:

    What I've found so far...
    ALLDATA Repair Guide = 4.2 hrs
    MOTOR Labor Guide = 4.0 hrs for transmission removal and installation, + 0.2 hrs for flex plate R&I
    Chilton Repair Guide = 4.6 hrs standard / 4.9 hrs severe
    RealTime Labor Guide = 4.0 hrs standard / 4.3 hrs high

    A shop's hourly rate is also very regional, but whatever their labor rate is, it's going to be multiplied by one of those times.

    It takes less time than that to change out a clutch in a Volvo FH16...

    An honest shop is going to quote on a book time (because most work is estimated by a service adviser, and not a technicican), and hopefully they'll adjust down when the job goes easier than expected. A dishonest shop will say, "transmission? Sounds expensive. It'll probably be $1000".

    OP is asking what a reasonable labor cost should be, and if a shop is working off a book time, it very likely shouldn't be MORE than one of those times. If it can be gotten for less, then good on them. This isn't whether or not it can ideally be done in less than X hours. It's how many hours the shop is expecting a job like this to take (because they are a business, and shit happens), and quoting based on that.

    @Siska If you are quoted less than $500, and that's your absolute maximum, make sure the shop knows and you get a quote signed in writing. That way if they try to pull some shady bullshit and jack up the price at the end, you have your quote. Sometimes small unexpected stuff happens, but if they quote $500, it should't go up more than 10% without at least a phone call, a good explanation, and an option for you to put the brakes on whatever they are doing.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
    Siskazepherin
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