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Author Topic: Interstate Repair Costs, are they excessive to you??  (Read 3388 times)
Gary LaBombard
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« on: September 10, 2007, 11:48:04 PM »

Cat,
My apologies for hi-jacking your thread, (Whine, whine it's almost over) thread about your rally.  I hi-jacked it with all my jibber-jabber about my interstate break down.  Well here is my own post now and you can pay me back if you wish.  I have been laying awake here about an hour at the KOA campground and decided to post this experience of what it cost and perhaps those of you in the repair business or those of you like me can enlighten me to make me feel like I did not just have annal sex with the repair shop that fixed my RV.  I know we have to expect this not to be cheap when on the road but a do it yourselfer like myself has a hard time justifying cost like this and perhaps I am just a cheap ----ard!!  Anyhow here is the break down of the bill to fix two things, (Broken Rotor Button on my Distributor & replace my leaking water pump) on I-40, within 20 miles of Knoxville, TN!!!
Distributor cap      $38.41
Rotor Button            8.45
Water Pump           72.80  Note this is refurbished pump.  they wanted to sell me a new
                                     one for $150.00
Coolant 2.5gals       37.50
By pass hose           3.00
(4) longer bolts        4.68
Trans. fluid 2 qts.     9.00
SHOP SUPPLIES       10.77  What is this?? Nothing was used except their water for my
                                      fresh water tank on board.
Towing of trailer not
covered by ins.       50.00
Diagnoss for a not
run conditon vehicle 90.00
labor to replace
water pump on gas
v-8, 7.5 eng / w air 225.00
hazardous mtl.          10.77
                           ________
            sub total   $560.11
                  tax        51.81
                          _________
            TOTAL      $611.92

This repair shop was choosen by Camping World over the road insurance, I did not have any other choices I knew of to choose from that perhaps another busnut dealt with but I am giving you information now so you will prepare yourself like I didn't AGAIN and you can carry information on the road with a list of repair shops state to state you travel in in case this happens to you and then you do have a choice to to go to.  I will invest and get this list from here on out but my newest in-experience to on the road repair traveling has just enlightened me personally.  I hope I get you motivated to get information for choosing where you can be towed to also for your over the road emergency road repairs if you have to be towed that is.

Now I may be way off base here and please enlighten me if you think I am.  I am not so proud to admit I may be wrong but this seemed a little higher than it should of been and if you agree be prepared to go to the same shop per Camping World choice of repair shop if you have no other to choose from if you break down withing 30 miles of Knoxville, TN.

You also have to remember, you lose all barganing power for repair cost when you sign the permission slip for them to do things to get you going and if you do protest, you do not get the keys to your vehicle (Per TN Law) until the bill is satisfied!!

Again, sorry Cat for hi-jacking your rally post on this bb'd in the first place with my interstate break down posting.
Gary
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Gary
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2007, 02:39:42 AM »

Did you transcribe all the numbers correctly? The sub-total doesn't quite match with the numbers given.

Shop supplies and hazardous materials are both $10.77 -- perhaps you got double-charged for that, especially if more than one person was involved in creating the bill (second guy doesn't see hazard fee, so adds it).

I've no clue how much work replacing the water pump on your rig is, so hard to comment on the labor charge. The parts don't seem out of line. 30% markup on actual cost is pretty normal in the automotive industry. (I once worked as a parts-runner for an Indianapolis service station.)

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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2007, 03:57:48 AM »

Nusa,
Every number on this post is copied directly as is from the service bill as I presented it to you.  Not noticing the exact figure at the time of payment that you did notice does seem very, very fishy to me.  That is why I asked what you all thought and hopefully warn you of this repair shop in TN or any you may have to go to. 

I had no choice but to pay as I said above, you just don't have any choices.  I am sure I am not the very fist person to get ripped if I did while on the road, anyhow I will be home in a couple of hours but if my aggrivation puts you all on guard and you carry a list of reputable repair shops that other bus nuts have frequented and documented good results with then I did good by having something bad happen to me and make it into something good for others in the future.

I did not know the amout of mark up on parts, I know they do it but when I balked at the $150 for new and I heard him quoted over the phone of $49 for refurbished from "Reilieys" I believe or close to that name.  I got charged $72.80 for it??  That is close to 50% without a calculator to me.

I am posting a quote of information from the "HELP" section of MAK from one of our family, (Russ) that backs up what I am recommending you to do also:


EVERY busnut should have a copy of The Bus Garage Index, published by Bus Ride Magazine, one of the industry trade journals.  New 2007 issue is now out, probably the best forty bucks you can spend on your bus.

Order directly from www.busride.com. Link to Index is in the LH column.

I don't have any affiliation with them, just a long-time awareness due to my industry background.


OH well, everyone have a great day, hope to see you at a rally soon as we plan to attend as many as we can also as long as we are welcomed.  I will work on the Eagle as much as I can stand to "Git R Done"

Gary
« Last Edit: September 11, 2007, 04:23:00 AM by Gary LaBombard » Logged

Gary
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2007, 04:29:44 AM »

Gary I really feel for you but to tell you the truth this is not that far out of line,most shops have a set shop supplies fee that include cleaners,roloc discs,razor blades ect,it kind of averages out as some jobs use alot and some use little. as far as the hazmat if you were to see the hazmat charges on things like rags,fender covers uniforms.cleaner disposal ect you would understand it a little better,as far as parts prices I never used more than a 25% markup but by the time I sold out in 99 most shops and dealers were at 50% on parts,most shops have a minimum on diag charges it seems that this shops was 90$ as it should have been a quick diag, the labor rate seems to be set at about 75.00 per hour which is not as high as some places,not that the water pump is a real hard job on your van but by a flat rate book it should pay about 3 hours,after 30 years working on cars I got tired of trying to make a living and make customers happy at the same time,so I chose retirement. but I am sorry to hear it happened to you and Linda but glad you are on the road again and looking forward to seeing you all soon    Mike
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2007, 04:31:48 AM »

Gary,

Its on the high end for sure, but not in the "Major ripoff" category.

I replaced my water pump on the same engine in my ole class "C"

and it was a major PIA, they didn't leave much room to work on those 460's.

That Ford water pump is so hard to get to and everything has to be moved out of the way.

And if you still had the smog gear on, good luck.

But yeah, everyone I have ever heard about has paid a premium for "Out of town" repairs.

Cliff
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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2007, 05:35:43 AM »

Its really high, but for rip off I would think double that! Distributor cap? I have not seen one of those in years Roll Eyes
 Back in the good old days when replaceing a cap I would keep the old cap,points,rotor in the trunk also the old belts ect. Just in case. But how much spare stuff can you carry?
 I stopped at an RV place in FL to have a bit done including a new air conditioner belt. They had to call a parts place to have the belt delivered. Took 3 hours for the belt to come. They charged me for $80 hour for the 3 hours my RV sat in the bay and would not budge when I complained! If I have another RV problem, I will burn it in the street befor I take it to an RV dealer!!!!!
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2007, 05:53:51 AM »

Gary,

Those prices are probably a little high but not really out of line that much.
The labor part anyway. That also depends on how close the guy follows "The Book".

Having been a service writer and mechanic in a dealership, I can tell you that if they follow "The Book" you are probably paying "Book Time" rather than real-time.

Sometimes however the book might say 3 hours for one person, but it really takes 5 hours with 2 people, But usually the customer gets only billed at the book rate. Those are risks that mechanics take unless they are flexible.

The markups and prices were off a bit considering actual versus retail, But they always are when a mechanic get involved. That darned overhead gets tucked in there, Things like worker comp, insurance, property taxes, electric, depreciation on tools...

Other than that, Uh... You mentioned Knoxville, were you headed East on I-40?
I am near Exit 280 @ Baxter, TN and if you had been hving trouble you could have stopped and we could have fixed it here. I am 110 miles West of Knoxville....

Oh Well......

Dave....
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2007, 07:24:50 AM »

Gary at 48.5% mark up on the parts they were a little high, but I can assure you the labor rate was fair (for the area & an RV). The misc shop materials fee again was fair and as Mike pointed out includes items he mentioned along with RTV silicone, parts cleaner, gasket sealer, etc. The haz-mat fee is also inline. You did pay in the maximum of the normal range for everything except the labor (as I see $85-90/hr rates everywhere these days), which was really quite fair. I don't have my labor guide in front of me, but I'd say they cut some slack on a 7.5 with A/C in a MH on the labor. The towing fee for the trailer also was fair, but to be honest they could've let it slide too. As they were already charging the Road Service Club for a larger tow truck than was needed! (a medium class would've done the job just as well!
OK now that we've established that ya didn't get ripped, just no we love ya because yer a swell guy discounts either.

I got to ask did they pull a driveshaft, or axle? If not make sure you call the motor club right away and have them document that they did not unhook the driveline when they should have! Then if you have the slightest hint of transmission troubles in the near future, you need to contact the towing company and see how they wish to handle their liability for not taking proper precautions when towing it! Anytime they pull you any distance (more than a couple miles) with the drive wheels turning they should disconnect the drive line to prevent transmission damages! FWIW BK
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2007, 07:31:15 AM »

Gary,
     Always pay bills you think you might dispute with a credit card.  The credit card companies will at least hassle the crooks, though in cases like this you'll probably end up paying.  IMHO what you were charged, while a bit high,  is within the range to be expected today.  Believe me a similar breakdown in a bus is going to cost more, BTDT.
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120
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kyle4501
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2007, 09:44:26 AM »

Gary, I've replaced the water pump on a 460 in a van before, & I'd pay that to avoid that pain again!  Shocked

The markup on parts seems fair to me, they have overhead to pay for that concerns getting the part. Don't forget that if the part is bad, they usually have to eat the labor to replace it since they provided the part.

My first trip out as owner of the Airstream involved waking up Sat am to 2 flat tires & me with no tools (Hey, those tires were only 6 years old, had never lost air, & spent most of their life inside an enclosed shed). $95 for the guy to come to me & remove the tires so I could take them to get fixed & $105 for a craftsman tool set to put them back on (it now lives in the camper), another $30 for valve stems. Note to self - don't let the hub caps rub holes in the valve stems!

I chalked it up to the costs of a higher education. - Now, I know that the suburban jack will lift an Airstream & I also know that if I'm not prepared, I'll have to pay someone who is.

Glad you got fixed up without having to use up any of your vacation days. Oh wait, you're retired Cool, so you don't get any vacation Cry

Lookin' forward to seeing y'all in about 4 weeks  Grin  Grin
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2007, 10:50:27 AM »

Thanks for the comments from you all, I guess then I am just a cheap bas!!.  We just got home a few minutes ago, engine / trailer & S&S are now separated nearly divorced!! Haha.

I am not as pissed now as last night, as I said it is hard to swallow when you do have a fair mechanic as I do here in Greenville who has not made me feel gouged in nealry 20 years and that is hard to get used to.  Also being a do it yourselfer does not help as I just knew I could of kicked @$# there and got "R" done and on the road in a lot less time but they got me fixed is what is important.  I just had to get reassurance from you more experienced to make me realize just what is involved in paying for labor at $90 per hr. good grief!!!

BK, I did ask the driver of the towing rig about towing my S&S with the automatic transmission and he stated because of the age of it, (1988) that it does not have overdrive and there is no problem but you are right, I am going to call the Camping World Road Service immediately after this and make a report as you have just suggested just in case.  My luck is not very good these days. 

I have not uncovered my Spare motor yet, I better still have my valve covers and Jakes on there you guys!!!

Dr. Dave, our S&S puked unexpectidly when she did with the broken rotor button so to come to your place I would of just probably replaced the water pump but I thought I could make it home by keeping refilling the radiator every 100 miles, wrong!!!!  The last time when my S&S puked it was leaking out at a pace similar to a guy with an enlarge prostate!!  Hehe, still have a little humor.   If we come that way again anytime Dr. Dave, we will email and call you and make a direct stop at your place.  Promise!!

Thanks again all you guys for corrected info on the repair charges, I need to rest up now a day and then start photo sorting and posting. Getting old now I am told, oh, I already said that on one post eh?? 

See you real real soon Kyle and all that will be attending Kyle's Fall Gathering.  Kyle, while on that subject, I want to say at this time I am offering a $20 Donation to you for the two of us attending so that if others attending can do the same you will have some more support for things like plastic forks etc, incidentials.  I know we will give more when we get there but this is money you can depend on getting from us and I hope others will also consider doing.  I hope we all chipped in enough at Dallas & Cats gathering also for all they did for us.  I have to again thank Good Ole Captian Ron for all he did for us.

OK, now to unpack and lay on my fat a$$ for a few hours.
Gary 
« Last Edit: September 11, 2007, 10:54:09 AM by Gary LaBombard » Logged

Gary
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2007, 11:04:43 AM »


  Gary,

    Your tranny is probably a C-6 maybe an AOD.   The only automatics that can be towed are the ones
 with the oil pump off the rear shaft. The rest require the engine to be running.....

   Yes please call and make sure they have all the facts


  FWIW

   Skip
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2007, 11:07:32 AM »

I guess then I am just a cheap bas!!. 

Gary,

Don't get me wrong, I can also be a cheap &@#**&.

Ha!  Thats probably why we are all building our own conversions....LOL   Grin

Now get some rest......You cheap %$#@*&.....LOL   Grin

Cliff
« Last Edit: September 11, 2007, 11:13:18 AM by FloridaCliff » Logged

1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2007, 11:17:29 AM »

The towing company is responsible for any & all damages they cause, period. They are professionals & must have insurance to be in business.

The C6 can be flat towed a short distance at low speed without harm. The fact you made it home pulling a significant load tells me you have no worries - assuming the tranny fluid isn't burnt.

OK, now to unpack and lay on my fat a$$ for a few hours.
Gary 

Yeah, you old retired people seem to have to rest more  Shocked  Grin   Grin
Enjoy spending that ss check for me since there won't be any left for me  Shocked
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2007, 11:27:55 AM »

My only advise would have been to go for the new pump.  My experience with rebuilt water pumps is not good.  For the $75 or 80 bucks more it is not worth doing the job again.  It depends on who did the rebuild and whether the new pump was Chinese or OEM.
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Don 4107 Eastern Washington
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