Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationMaintenance & Repairs · 3 days ago

My cousin's car dashboard kept flashing. The garage charged him 500 bucks for replacing a fuse. Was the price reasonable?

My cousin couldn't find the fault reason. He turned to a garage friend. The several mechanics had also been clueless for three days. At last, the cause was bad fuse connection. His garage friend honestly told him the 500 bucks were primarily the three-day labor cost as a fuse was cheap.

Updated 3 days ago:

He didn't go to the dealership because he was afraid the rate would be even higher. He trusted his garage friend. I guess his friend really had a three-day check. Or he wouldn't have told my cousin frankly that only a fuse had been replaced.

He could have said that sensors, ECUs or something else had failed. I'm not sure if my cousin had been ripped off.

Updated 2 days ago:

Stephen, I'm the guy who "got charged $500 for an oil change". I prefer DIY maintenance. So my cousin isn't the only one who was charged 500 bucks for a hiccup. Everybody'll ask the question when the car dashboard flashes constantly.

Updated 2 days ago:

Suppose my cousin goes to the dealership. The fuse hasn't blown. It's bad contact. I'm afraid they'll suggest that the whole system should be replaced when they're confused about what's wrong. My cousin trusted his garage friend. The mechanic couldn't quote a price before any cause was pinpointed. That's the dilemma he was faced with.

Updated 2 days ago:

Stephen, I'm NOT the guy who "got charged $500 for an oil change". Sorry for the mistake!

15 Answers

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  • not
    Lv 7
    3 days ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hard to say if he paid a fair price or not. Maybe it was a crummy mechanic that took all that time meanwhile a good mechanic might have figured it out in 10 minutes. Or maybe it was a good mechanic and it was just hard to track down. 

    On that note nobody wants to pay for a good mechanic. The business owner and car owner often seek cheaper cheaper cheaper. As people say, Cheap, fast, good: pick two because all three don't exist together. 

    A crook would have come up with a better story than we chased out tail for 3 days. Crooks have good stories.

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    • Lv 4
      3 days agoReport

      good answer; also, thats the sort of thing that a Good factory place may find/ be aware of and maybe only charge for the diagnostic fee etc: it could be a quirk of that particular vehicle model etc

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  • 2 days ago

    Yeah, I would definitely question that.  Intermittent electrical problems are notoriously hard to troubleshoot - but $500 is a little steep.

    My dad had an older Dodge Intrepid that would just shut off from time to time - fortunately he had a friend who was a Chrysler mechanic and he started tracing it down - it turned out to be where the wiring harness was rubbing against the frame and shorting out.

    Five minute fix, but it took him a while to find it.  The guy only wanted $50 for fixing it, but my dad tossed him $100.

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  • Anonymous
    2 days ago

    Way  too much to dick around, A  bad fuse or Connection  should be found in 10 minutes. ID care about  3 days or "intermittents"; should always take to auto Electrical  shop. Hourly rate may be higher but more experience, won't take as long. Most  wrenches  can't even  replace brushes in an alternator, charge $$ for a New one. 

    Law sez they can charge  you one hour's labor for estimate. Then, you Must ok this estimate.If it runs over, U must Ok again. Or you have a civil suit. Sue them.

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  • hart
    Lv 6
    2 days ago

    there is no charge on troubleshooting

    repairs get payed

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  • Anonymous
    2 days ago

    Pretty obviously, NO mechanic would even be ALLOWED to spend 3 days looking for a problem! Cus should have gone to an auto electrician.

    He's been ripped off.

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  • Dan B
    Lv 7
    3 days ago

    Probably reasonable. The HARDEST thing to troubleshoot is an intermittent problem. If it was a hard failure, easier to locate, maybe $100 parts & labor would be reasonable.

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  • Anonymous
    3 days ago

    Considering that it was your cousin, that was a very fair price. No one keeps a car for three days before telling you what's wrong. A dealership would've told you within an hour & told you the cost. I doubt that a dealership would have charged more than $20.00. You can report them to your community business license & every shop is governed by a state agency. A garage friend??

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  • Dan
    Lv 4
    3 days ago

    Very vague question - no year, make or model, or description of the real work done or the repair. All hearsay at best, the $500. was likely very fair.

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  • 3 days ago

    That's very good for 3 days work, if that's what they actually did. I, too, would be surprised they took that long to find a problem with a fuse, it's one of the first things you check.

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    • Dan
      Lv 4
      3 days agoReport

      It was not a problem with the fuse - a problem with the connection, likely under the panel and much harder to isolate.

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  • 3 days ago

    Yes often the solution is very cheap. He is paying for the the time it took them to find the issue

    • Lv 4
      3 days agoReport

      good answer; also, it actually seems nice that the failure didnt require two thousand to fix,on top of the labor; maybe a less reputable place would have claimed to have replaced something exotic sounding/ very expensive, eg the alternator & 'computer', & then added on the  retail prices of those ..

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  • 3 days ago

    Electrical diagnosis can be very tricky and everything is so interconnected.  $500 for 3 days worth of work seems very fair.

    On the other hand, a bad fuse connection seems like one of the first places they would have looked.

    If he said something like, "Fix that thing at any cost". then they did as instructed.

    If he said "See if you can figure out what the problem is and then we'll discuss the cost of repair". then he has a stronger case

    If we said "I would like a free diagnosis of the problem, but call me before proceeding with work that will cost me anything,"  then they messed up badly.

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