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Front brakes and rotors $442.50 . This is why the small repair shops do the most business . The parts cost about 118.00 and takes about 1 hour at the most.
 

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Vaguely badass...
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Options are good. I've actually had a dealer service department meet a quote I got from an independent shop on a job - all I had to do was ask and show them the estimate. Granted, not every dealer service department will do that.

And for what it's worth, I've had a front brake job take more than an hour. It happens.
 

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Dealer parts often cost more, but are often higher quality. I was quoted $500 for a front brake job once, pads and rotors and labor. I bought the parts for $90. Took me 1 1/2 hours with a helper. But the parts were very likely cheaper quality. Sure, my labor doesn't cost $100 per hour.

This is why I do what I can myself - to save money and to know the quality of the work.
 
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Dealers, and I guess Chrysler in general really do need to review some of they're parts prices. I
was at a dealer in Brampton this week, I needed a few ounces of A/C refrigerant oil (I'm replacing
a couple A/C components on a 2000 Cherokee). The dealer carried it in a small Mopar branded 8.4 ounce
metal can. They wanted (with tax) almost $75!!! I went instead to NAPA auto parts and got a larger
container for $10.21 (with tax). I wonder sometimes why I even go to the dealer!!
 

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There is a big difference in the purity of different brand refrigerants. The low price you paid may reflect a lower quality. Some are selling filtered, recovered refrigerants that still have contaminants. And typically a 12-oz can of R134a here is about $15-$18 now.
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
There is a big difference in the purity of different brand refrigerants. The low price you paid may reflect a lower quality. Some are selling filtered, recovered refrigerants that still have contaminants. And typically a 12-oz can of R134a here is about $15-$18 now.
I was actually referring to the refrigerant oil in the system not the refrigerant itself, either way, once you exceed more than 4x the price it's a bit over the top in my opinion.
 

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ImperialCrown said:
The Mopar Value Line parts are supposed to make the dealer more competitive with the various independent shops and auto parts stores out there. OEM is always more desirable than generic aftermarket.
You can have a good or bad experience with any shop. Find someone that you trust and stick with them.

http://www.mopardiscountstore.com/valueline.html
I would be careful throwing around the word "always".... As an example... Moog developed a very superior tie-rod end for the mini-vans (or maybe it was the PT?) compared to the OE ones..... solved a lot of the issues from the original design.
 

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Jeff2KPatriotBlue said:
While I don't make $100 per hour, my time in the evening and weekends are worth that to me.
Exactly, its the old "save a buck" and spend my time to do it, or have the time, but spend your money.

Some things I'll do myself, others I don't have the time/tools/knowledge to do and I let somebody else do them. If the price is a decent price I'll even let somebody else do something that I could do, just to save my time.
 

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The Mopar Value Line parts are supposed to make the dealer more competitive with the various independent shops and auto parts stores out there
But I would strongly advise against using their stuff for brake pads. They guarantee the parts but not the labor and the last time I used Value Line pads, they were dead in less than half the time as "regular" Mopar pads. Definitely not worth the money.

The same "performance" as stock -- perhaps, in braking, but not in durability.
 

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My local dealer has been very equitable with me on parts. University CDJR in Florence AL has been good in their service dept. Parts prices, oil changes, etc. Even got a pair of OE Mopar roof rails for $128 for the PAIR on my Journey.
 

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paultek6 said:
Front brakes and rotors $442.50 . This is why the small repair shops do the most business . The parts cost about 118.00 and takes about 1 hour at the most.
At that price, the dealer parts are Value Line and of lesser quality.
I now buy the OEM rotors and pads, for a Journey, they are $189 a pair, for each, so nearly $800, without labor.
My dealer gives me jobber price, so I pay much less than that and my labor at 1 hour, is also less than the dealer rate of $110 per hour.
Small,shops usually use generic parts and as Dave noted, they are half the price and last half as long, so in the final analysis, zero was saved and nothing gained.
Pay the fair amount and pay less often.
EDIT I must be half asleep! You said front brakes only, so yes, the $442.50 is using OEM parts, just without a discount.
I won't defend the pricing structure, but the parts are good at the OEM level. The $118 parts price is value line and not worthy of use.
 

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It isn't an all-or-nothing decision though.

You can insist that your independent owner-operated garage use only OEM or specified name-brand parts.

When I ask for quotes, I make it a point to specify if it matters - and brakes matter. :)
 

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There's no question that a lot of it is, or can be due to, pure markup. The example I always use is when I went to the dealer to get a replacement dipstick tube for my '89 Lebaron. The guy quoted me some outrageous price (I forget, something like $50 or $60). I needed it so I proceeded to order it. He asked me my name, and upon hearing my last name he goes "are you by any chance related to (my father)?" and when I told him I was his son, he punched in a code and came up with a new price which was less than half. Even at the new price, they couldn't be giving it away, so I imagine there was still some margin built in.

While I appreciate the customer service and the recognition of my father's loyalty to this dealer, not everyone has that benefit. Even the online dealers have pretty good prices for OEM parts, but if you're taking your car in for service, you probably don't have this option.
 

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Let's not forget that there is a LOT of overhead to running a service and parts operation at a dealership, which is why the hourly rate has to be so high ($100 locally). More profit is made on service because there is relatively little in selling new cars (and vs used cars).
 

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paultek6 said:
Front brakes and rotors $442.50 . This is why the small repair shops do the most business . The parts cost about 118.00 and takes about 1 hour at the most.
You don't mention what vehicle this is for. Front pads and rotors for my '06 Ram was about $400 at the local Firestone shop- dealer would have been in the same neighborhood. Quality pads and moderately priced rotors at Advance or AZ would have been $200+. I did go with Advance's Everwear rotors one time and they warped in 15K miles. The rotors installed by Firestone have yet to warp and they have 25,000+ on them. I don't mind paying for quality work and quality parts.
 

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Quite a few years ago, I took my trusty Dakota (1997, 4cyl ) for a warranty work on the head. They stripped a bolt, and ordered a new head, and anyway, ran for years after that.

But at the time they ask, do you want new plugs? Sure figuring they are three bucks each. they wanted $60. Ok, a new fan belt, and other $60 (maybe $80, been a long time). Coolant, gee, $140 or something. I said just put all the old stuff back on, And I did it later.

You would think, since the truck is apart, it would be a whole lot cheaper to put a fan belt on, or plugs.

I figure their cost for a belt is less than $20. Now i would have paid $40..but no 60 or 80.
 
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