Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationMaintenance & Repairs · 1 decade ago

Is $800 way too much for a shop to charge for a new starter and alternator?

My friend just told me about the amount she was charged for an alternator and a starter. I have bought and installed an alternator myself. It only took 15 min and got a very good alternator for 80$. As far as the starter I have never installed one but online they were max $150. The car was done in less than a day so I do not see where the charges are coming from. I do understand it is a business and they need to make money but I see a little un fair play. Also I know that they charge extra for parts for warranty reasons. So is this a red flag, or about right?


I appreciate all your answers. But what I dont understand is that before I learned to do my own work, I had my cat, y-pipe and ignition coils changed for $250. The cat and y-pipe were bought by myself but the coils were not. Thats more work than what she got. This included welding my cat and y-pipe own. So what is this book you two are talking about? I have always been charged by the hour.

Update 2:

It is a 2004 Ford Focus

Update 3:

Yes she paid for it. She told me a few days after. She had no idea. I personally think they saw her; a young blond as a dollar sign. Im pretty sure I am at least going to stop by the shop and have them explain everything.

Update 4:

"77impala" why are the parts so expensive? When I looked at parts both the starter and alternator would cost $150 each, and those were the higher quality parts. I know they add for warranty and profit but I highly doubt they get the more expensive parts. Again thank you all for your responses. Greatly appreciated. Im not arguing with anyone, just trying to understand evreything.

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    According to my Mitchell On Demand 5.8 the labor time is 4.2 hours max. Parts cost is about 200 for the starter and alternator is about 267. Add the labor and yes 800 sounds fair.

    Many auto manufacturers are putting the alternators in towards the bottom of the engine compartment and all running the AC, Fuel, Exhaust lines in there plus shoe horning the engine into there in the first place and it is getting more difficult to change out the simple items.

    I as someone posted above can change the alternator in my Impala in about 15 minutes but it is a 77 model too so it has a very simple and big engine compartment.

    EDIT: The price I saw from the repair software I have is FORD's price. Now I can get the parts cheaper from an auto parts chain store. Most shops that do buy their parts from say Auto Zone or O'Reilly add 20 to 50 percent to the part, and some may charge the dealer part rate in order to make more money. Another reason the parts for that car are higher than the parts for my Impala is that 1. the engine is not as common so fewer parts, 2. that the space under the hood is limited so the parts work harder in higher heat so the OM tries to build it a little better to hopefully hold up longer, doesn't always work though.

    Source(s): I have worked on cars for over 20 years, and I use Mitchell on Demand 5.8.
  • I hope they kissed her after the sex was done . What kind of car is this , a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow or a Ferrari ? Unless it is some kind of an exotic vehicle , should not be over $300 to $350 . I have seen those prices on a car or truck with the super high amp alternators , but 800 - and she paid it ?

  • 1 decade ago

    The dude above me is right- they charge based on what the book says, not on actual time spent working. An alternator should never be changed at a shop- they're too easy to do on your own. Starters can be tricky, but are generally doable on your own time. Your friend spent way too much, but sadly, it's probably right.

  • 1 decade ago

    let me tell you in most of the newer cars 90 and up its is a job and a half to do an alternator job,starter not so much but still a *****.all of most shops use rate books.they charge for the flagged hours it say in the book not the actual hours it took them,it sounds about right to me.

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  • 1 decade ago

    sounds about right to me.

    If it sounds too expensive do it yourself.

    was the starter and alternator new or rebuilt? could make quite a difference.

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