This message is for [snip - no names please] people who think automotive shops overcharge. Do people have any clue on how much overhead it takes to run an automotive shop, let alone any business. If you want a backyard mechanic to be working on your car, sure I am sure you could be getting it done cheaper somewhere else. A good automotive technician gets paid about 40k to 50k a year. If you as a company don't want to pay that then your going to have a shop full of backyard mechanics and whole lot of shop claims. The reason a lot of these technicians are getting paid this is a lot of your vehicles today are becoming more and more computer controlled than vehicles even 5 years ago. For instance, your top of the line Mercedes vehicles have computer controlled brake systems, some of your new Hybrid vehicles if you have not had any proper training on these brake systems you could potentially hurt somebody or even kill somebody by not properly shutting down the ABS system (the caliper piston literally shoots out of the caliper at a fairly decent speed). Plus, newer vehicles have a computer for just about everything on your vehicle today. The old saying is that newer vehicles have more computers on them than the Apollo 13 did. Also, take into consideration how much liability insurance is for and automotive shop, lease payments, equipment maintenance, equipment replacement, etc.
Those 2 post hoists you see in the shops run about $5000-$8000 roughly to purchase and install, new alignment racks are about $50,000 for the rack and the equipment and software, plus you have to consider the diagnostice equioment you have to purchase to be able to diagnose and repair newere vehciles (costs are anywhere from $5000-$30000 depending on the vehicle being serviced), the repair software to use with the diagnostic equipment. I could keep going, but I think you get the picture. So next time you want to complain about how much it costs for something, keep in mind how much it is to run from the backside of things. Businesses are here to make money, it's the nature of things, do you go into Applebee's or a Wolfgang Puck restaurant and complain about the price, sure you could go to a grocery store and your steak in the meat department and save money, but it wasn't prepared by Wolfgang Puck. So in other words your paying for quality, and convenience. There are about roughly 900 Tires Plus stores, and about 3000 Firestone stores, yes they are pretty much the same company, so if you have a problem with a repair you can take it to any one of these stores and have the problem resolved.
Say you have a head gasket done at a mom and pop shop, which is fairly expensive and time consuming work, you take your car on a 3000 mile round trip, 600 miles into the trip your head gaskets fail again, you think the next shop is going to do them again and just send a bill to the original shop that did the repair and let you take your car, no you are going to have to pay for it again, then when you get home you are going to have to have to go back to "Bob's" repair down the street from your house and try to get back that say $1500 the charged you to do it the first time, Tires Plus or a Firestone store would just take care of it (beautiful thing about big corporations and sister stores). I could keep going about this downright ridiculous stupid complaint. So the next time you want to complain about the price of something, stop and think about how much and what
it takes to run the backside of the business!!!!!
P. S.-- Also a lot of part manufactures are starting to not give warranties on parts unless certain procedures are done during the repair, or if the parts are not installed by professional technicians (that means they are asking for repair receipts). Do you think that a vehicle warranty company wants a backyard mechanic working on there vehicles, no, they make sure that the repairs are being done by highly qualified reputable shops.