Your mechanic could be ripping you off, but how would you ever really know? RepairPal CEO David Sturtz explains, car repair is one of the classic cases where the consumer “is at an extreme informational disadvantage.”
If you find your car in need of repair you might want to check out RepairPal, a utility to determine “cost of repairs” for when you need work done on your car.
RepairPal has a host of supporting features for its repair cost estimator, such as expert advice that you get when you look up a repair. For example, if your mechanic tells you that you should replace your spark plug wires when replacing a failing ignition coil, and you can see that RepairPal recommends that for your car, you can feel less suspicious of your mechanic.
Here is a sample of what you will find. I selected brake pad and rotor replacement for my 2000 Saturn SC2:
Estimated price range for your repair
$410 – $809
|Estimate Includes: (Adjusted for your area and make)
Parts: $145 – $471
Labor: $265 – $338
(Estimate excludes applicable taxes)
(Diagnostic charges not included)
About this Repair
What to watch out for
- The parts for the Brake Pad and Rotor Replacement service on your Saturn SC2 tend to have a wide range in prices, even for parts of similar quality. You may benefit from checking around to compare the prices at different shops.
- Some shops will recommend brake pads before it is time to replace them. Ask the shop to be specific about how much of the pad is left. We recommend that brake pads are replaced when there is 20% or less material remaining.
- We recommend braking gently for the first 40 to 50 miles of driving on new pads. This will allow them to adjust to the rotors and may help prevent squeaking.
Common Problems for the 2000 Saturn SC2
|Brakes||The brake fluid should be flushed every 60,000 miles. Brake fluid that is dirty may cause problems in the brake system.|
|Exhaust & Emissions||No common problems reported.|
|Electrical & Lights||
|Miscellaneous||This engine commonly leaks oil from the valve cover gasket and the front crankshaft seal.|
|Suspension & Steering||The power steering pump seal may leak.|
|Heating & Air Conditioning||GM recommends replacing the engine coolant at 100,000 miles. Our technicians recommend a complete cooling system flush every 60,000 to 70,000 miles.|