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I remembered that i had an issue with a local guy, he gave me a 10 minute lecture on how "that would put me out of business blah lbah blah warranty blah blah blah" This is for replacing the front coilovers with quickstruts on my 1996. he quoted me 600 in labor and parts.


Was it wrong of me to have asked this small local mechanic that question?
 

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They have the right to refuse you that service but he's taking a loss anyhow by not doing it. Some money is better than no money. People that get a brick in their a$$ because they want you to pay there mark up prices.
 

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They have the right to refuse you that service but he's taking a loss anyhow by not doing it. Some money is better than no money. People that get a brick in their a$$ because they want you to pay there mark up prices.
The guy was a jerk about it. Went on a tirade about it. Versus just "no".

this is paraphrased, from memory back in July.

me: "how much to do this if i bring my own parts"

Him: "let's stop this conversation here, becuase i will not work on your car if you bring your own parts, the door is behind you, that will cut into my profits, etc etc"
 

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The attitude probably comes from customers who bring in the cheapest parts they can find. A technician who takes pride in his work wants to install parts that they know will last. They don't want a customer coming back to complain when the part fails one year later. If I was working on a friend's car, and they insisted on going with a cheap part that I wasn't confident in, I would make sure they had a full understanding of what could happen. The stakes are raised a bit when it's a professional shop who doesn't want to get sued, and some might go as far as to have you sign a waiver. They might also refuse to grant a warranty on the labor.
 

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Ive never taken my cars to a mechanic unless it was covered under a dealership / factory warranty / recall.

The profit made from parts isnt necessarily from buying the cheapest quality, but the commercial discount from the parts stores .. sometimes there is a quota on how much volume is purchased to meet the discount requirements.

Ive had issues where people would buy parts from the store and they turned out to be the wrong ones for the vehicle .. in most of these cases I just called the customer and told them they were not the correct parts and I would pick up the correct ones - they could return the ones they bought. Can be a waste of time, but mistakes can go both ways.

Special order or custom parts / hard to find .. I would almost prefer the customer order them at this point, especially if there is a possibility the part could take two weeks to come in - then again, some cases even if I had to order a particular part there was times when the car had to sit and couldnt be worked on - taking up room. If the customer insisted on dealership parts, or wanted something special .. I would take payment for the parts up front.

If I didnt agree with the quality of parts brought in, I could refuse to install them, or just not warranty the parts / labor. Warranty is granted to the purchaser .. some parts stores will actually reimburse labor cost if their part fails under warranty, so the cost doesnt come out of the mechanics pocket at that point.
 

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I can understand shops not wanting to get involved with that, and every shop marks up their parts, so it is going to cut into their profit, but as was stated before, some money is better than no money, and they would still be making a profit replacing the parts you brought in. I have installed customer supplied parts plenty of times before, and I simply tell them that there is no warranty on the parts since I didn't supply them, and if the part fails, they will be paying my labor again to replace it. Some people hear that and decide to let me supply the parts, and some people are OK with it. So I guess what I'm saying is no you were not out of line to ask, but the shop is also not out of line to refuse, but going on a tirade at the customer about it is uncalled for. With that being said, I'm not sure where in NJ you are, but if you want to bring that car and your own quick struts to my shop in Lincroft NJ, I'll be happy to swap them out for you for $200, possibly less if the lower bolts come out easy.
 

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You must have the patience of a saint to run a shop in the salty north.

I'd say disassembling stuff gets to be an art form at times; torch, hammer, torch, lube, hammer...

My local guys charge me an extra $10 an hour on their shop rate to use my parts, and any warranty is my problem; I don't think anyone would warranty labor on parts they didn't sell.

They know I'm getting good parts, usually better than what they can get locally; and our parts are getting longer lead times.

I discovered yesterday I can order a better quality rear caliper from RA faster than I can get it from advanced or AZ. So I bought $400 worth of brakes, lol.
 

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The only time I've brought parts is when they can't get the correct one, and I had made a issue whether they could get the right part at the start. Needless to say when they got the their parts and saw they were wrong me sourcing the part was no big deal.
 

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My guys cool in that he understands that I may want to use a specific part and that I'm pretty good at getting the right parts. This saves him from having to tear the car apart and wait for parts since normally I will try to have ALL the parts needed. He just charges two different labor rates as Grog Mentioned. Regardless he's still reasonable.

Warranty on the parts you bring in to a mechanics going to be your baby. If it fails it's your problem. He does stand behind his work from a installer stand point. If it's His mistake he'll make good on it. He have a mutual understanding that the labor quote is just a estimate. Nothing more. And that frozen rusted parts may add to that total. And that sometimes here in Cleveland frozen rusted parts sometimes break. He's as good as anyone else at getting this stuff apart. So if he breaks it it's safe to assume that I or anyone else would break it. If in the course of a repair a line breaks or whatever I trust him to get the right part and replace it. His mark up is reasonable and he's not the type to pad a bill. In short we have a good relationship. He has my trust. He knows that he's getting a job I can't do or don't want to. Things that require a lift. Thinks that require welding. Electrical stuff that's beyond me.

Normally the labor comes in right were it should be and more often than not he'll fix some other minor issue he finds while under the car.

Your small one or two man shops are best for this. Your not going to get this from most big "Chain" auto service centers. So they are worth seeking out. They normally have a backlog and depend on word of mouth. They understand both budget repairs and they understand the hobbiest that wants specific parts.

It sounds kind of stupid but my mechanic is my mechanics mechanic.

Auto parts stores can be a good source for leads on these type of guys. Find out who your counterman would take his car too. Check a couple of places and when the same name starts popping up you might have a good lead. The flip side is that some of these guys are under the radar.
 
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