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Marlin2

Did I get ripped off?

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I feel like I might have overreacted today.

I took my steering knuckle in to get the outer ring of my wheel bearing pressed out, and then had them press in a sealed bearing and hub...they wanted $50 and I payed $40 to avoid the cops.

 

Something tells me this should of only been a $30 "tip" and a good ol' fashioned handshake. After all, I wanted to come back the next day with the other hub.

 

Any thoughts?

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Personally, I would have just given them the $50 they asked for and take the other hub somewhere else.... If you were worried about the price they'd charge, you should have asked them how much it would be before they did the job.. if you don't agree a price with him then it's up to him how much to charge you, for him $50 seemed fair.

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I feel like I might have overreacted today.

 

I took my steering knuckle in to get the outer ring of my wheel bearing pressed out, and then had them press in a sealed bearing and hub...they wanted $50 and I payed $40 to avoid the cops.

 

Something tells me this should of only been a $30 "tip" and a good ol' fashioned handshake. After all, I wanted to come back the next day with the other hub.

 

Any thoughts?

You'll know more when you get the second one done.  How long did the job take?  Most shops have an hourly rate.

 

This is not a Z?  They don't have sealed bearings in the front end, and no hub to press in.  The hub can be handled without the steering gear.  Sounds like you took a big bulky thing in and just thought about the simple operations, not everything involved.

 

You probably pissed off a good shop just to save $10.

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Personally, I would have just given them the $50 they asked for and take the other hub somewhere else.... If you were worried about the price they'd charge, you should have asked them how much it would be before they did the job.. if you don't agree a price with him then it's up to him how much to charge you, for him $50 seemed fair.

 

You're right, that was my mistake, and I shouldn't of made it. At the time I was just so upset at myself for allowing it to happen. Next time, I'll get the price in writing beforehand. 

 

You'll know more when you get the second one done.  How long did the job take?  Most shops have an hourly rate.

 

This is not a Z?  They don't have sealed bearings in the front end, and no hub to press in.  The hub can be handled without the steering gear.  Sounds like you took a big bulky thing in and just thought about the simple operations, not everything involved.

 

You probably pissed off a good shop just to save $10.

 

No, it was an old Ford Focus I use as my daily driver. But thank you for teaching me something about my Z  :)

 

After reading your comments again I felt like a huge schmuck. I do understand that shops here in SoCa charge way upwards of $100 an hour for labor.

 

Still I couldn't sleep on it so I looked it up and for any of you who care to learn, here is what is required to press a bearing in/out of a steering knuckle on most modern cars: Proper installation of press-in style front wheel bearing

 

The video is 5 minutes long, and includes a very in depth explanation. 

 

What I brought to the mechanic was all the parts, a steering knuckle with the hub and c-clip removed, and all of the bearing, except for the outer ring still inside. The mechanic had to press the ring out, press the new bearing in (doesn't have ABS so who cares what side), press the new hub in, and install the new c-clip. 

 

Total time for realistic labor = 3 minutes. I'd expect most mechanics to be able to do it under less.

 

I don't know, I still don't feel like $40 was an honest/fair price. 

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I work at a shop some of those bearing can be a pain in the butt. You have to have special tools to set it up on the press to be pressed out. Your paying for the tools to do the job.

 

The only special tool the mechanic required for my knuckle was a disk to fit inside and on the bearing, and a tool for the c - clip. It wasn't a fancy gig. The clerk justified his price by saying the press cost $1500. But I do agree with you, when you go to a mechanic shop you are paying overhead, to include the price of their tools and the convenience. 

 

So I checked a couple websites, Harbor Freight, Summit, and the cost of a good 6-ton press can be easily had for $100.

 

Then I checked the price for the press kit. Those range from $30 to $500+ but again, Summit sells a good one for $50.

 

I still need one more hub assembly pressed, and will probably need it done again some time later in my life.

 

I think I might just make the $150 dollar investment now and hook myself and a couple buddies up. So if anyone is in the SD area and needs this done, I'd be happy to do it for ya, for an arm and leg.

Edited by Marlin2

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You often see this, people unhappy with the rate of a shop, "how can this cost SO much?". Simple answer, being in business is horrendously expensive. Especially in California. 

 

Remember, the shop has to pay for the labor, the tools, the rent, the utilities, the multiple insurance policies it takes to operate in CA. Not to mention, if anything goes wrong you will certainly come back demanding the honor their work and fix it for free, right away. That liability has to be built into the price. Professionals, in any profession, are not cheap. Yeah, your buddy with a press will do the work for a couple of beers, but he does not carry the same liability and overhead of a professional shop.

 

 

On the flip side, it's just plain bad business to not communicate the price to the customer before the work is done. Even if its a ball park "this should be between $40-$50 depending on X".

 

Just my .02 I suppose.  

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You often see this, people unhappy with the rate of a shop, "how can this cost SO much?". Simple answer, being in business is horrendously expensive. Especially in California. 

 

Remember, the shop has to pay for the labor, the tools, the rent, the utilities, the multiple insurance policies it takes to operate in CA. Not to mention, if anything goes wrong you will certainly come back demanding the honor their work and fix it for free, right away. That liability has to be built into the price. Professionals, in any profession, are not cheap. Yeah, your buddy with a press will do the work for a couple of beers, but he does not carry the same liability and overhead of a professional shop.

 

 

On the flip side, it's just plain bad business to not communicate the price to the customer before the work is done. Even if its a ball park "this should be between $40-$50 depending on X".

 

Just my .02 I suppose.  

 

I often think about opening a small auto shop in CA but for the very reasons listed above I haven't seriously considered it. I know just to hook up an OBD2 sensor the going price is $100, because the darn machines are so expensive. I think there is good and honest money to be had in this business, but unfortunately rent is so outrageously high down here.

 

Many shops charge a "flat rate" also.  Sometimes they win, sometimes you win.  

 

Here's a tool - http://repairpal.com/estimator/ford/focus/front-wheel-bearing-replacement-cost

 

Thanks for the tool! However just to clarify, that rate is if you bring your vehicle in and they have to disassemble and reassemble everything.

Edited by Marlin2

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Someone put this in the shed. Talk about a whining entitled rant.

 

 

Cost of pressing in Bearing: $10

 

Cost of having the tools, business license, SKILLS REQUISITE, etc.: $40.00

 

Get over yourself and get over the idea people owe you their labor for free.

 

EVERY shop i know of in SoCal has the shop rate listed by BAR requirement. You can be ANYTHING in the shop will be a MINIMUM 1 hour labor.

 

It's your fault for not looking at the rate sign and asking if they do partial-hour billing. 

 

And just as an FYI, I looked up "FORD FOCUS WHEEL BEARING REPLACE FLAT RATE"

 

2.5 hours for the operation.. so you asked what the flat rate was, there you have it, that would have been your quote.

Edited by Tony D

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