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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Alright so currently I'm going to school to become a fully certified automotive technician. I'm working currently as a licenced smog tech at a quick lube and now that I have the summer free my mother has been recommending me to all of her friends at work for basic repairs and maintenance.

Little things like oil changes, battery's, alternators, brakes, etc... But recently its picked up quite a bit and I just wanted everyone's opinion how much do you think I should charge for some of these things??

I've been doing oil changes in my garage for $20 and having them bring their own oil and oil filter. All of the other repairs have been based on how well I know them for prices. $50 for an alternator change. $20 for a battery swap. $50 for a brake change...etc. Just wanted to hear some opinions.

Mostly their all just looking for someone to do the job right and respectfully apparently there's a lot of crooked places out here lately and they just want honest opinions and work done right.

There have been a few cars I've turned down for things like intake manifold gaskets, water pumps, fuel pumps, timing belts, etc... because I honestly don't have that kind of time, space, or facilities to handle things like that.

Thanks for any and all feed back.
 

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If your prices aren't right, then they won't come, look around at what places are charging and go just a tad less. Make those people understand that there is some liability when working out of your house. I would hate to hear of a lawsuit, just like a buddy of mine....Who works on cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've already made it perfectly clear to everyone that all work carries no warrently niether written nor implied and I can not be held responcable for anything that may happen through their fault or my own.
 

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Your prices seem fair. I'll usually charge around that - or sometimes a job turns out to be more than you were expecting, so I charge on an hourly rate .. usually $20 - 30 an hour.

If the work is quick, $20 minimum .. if it takes at least a couple hours, $50 - 80 .. an all day ( usually 8 hours ) job is at least $150-250 depending on the work involved.

Warranty ? I'll tell my customers to take a ride around the block to make sure everythings okay - and if there is a problem, I'll take care of it. It happens from time to time and you end up spending time working for free.
 

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Word of advice NEVER change a water pump on a GM 300CID V8 (Caddy Seville)--very bad experience.

Personally I'd feel charging $20 for a battery swap is a bit much, but if they're willing to pay I guess not. Guess now with oil changes having gone through the roof can actually make money do it, back when I was doing this on the side I refused to change oil because what I'd have to charge.
 

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I recently have been wondering the same thing. I work on family friends cars all the time and I'm never sure what to charge per job. I hate to charge someone to much and have them say forget it but at the same time I know I will do the job right rather then doing it half a$$ed. For instance my dads friend had someone from his work install a strobe kit with 4 heads leading to a switch under the dash the guy charged him $150 for the labor and did a **** job with no crimps, he just twisted and taped(poorly I might add) and when they stopped working he asked me to take a look at it and I was surprised at the mess I found. I literally had to rerun all the wires because of how poorly he did the work. I ended up charging him $250 because I had to undo all the crap work and then I ran it into his main control box which I installed under the center console to make it a clean install the had the remote head attached to the center console, looked professional and was now integrated into the rest of his system.

Sometimes people get stingy when you charge more then another person but you have to explain to them what the last guy did was so shotty that now to fix it you have to do twice the work to undo their mess and to do it the right way.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all of the helpful advice.
 
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