Boy does it PAY to SHOP AROUND!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    My '03 Explorer needs major A/C work (and with the temps this time of year in the high 90s or low 100s, I'm really missing it right now).

    husband tends to go to big retail shops for his car work and just does whatever they say. First he went to Firestone this morning to drop off the car, but the A/C guy doesn't work on Wednesdays. :-/ So then he drove it up the hill to Pep Boys and left it there.

    The mechanic called a while ago and said it was leaking coolant and that it needs a new condenser, new accumulator, a recharge of the coolant, and then with labor on the parts it all comes to about $833.

    I told him thank you and I'd get back to him on what we wanted to do.

    Meanwhile I got on the phone and called around to some smaller independent shops asking for a bid based on what I was told needed to be done. I just got a call back from one of the places, and they are $250 LESS for the whole job!!! Waiting on one more shop to call back and then we'll go pick up the car later this evening, and I'll probably get the work done this weekend. I guess I was shocked that there was a 30% difference between the national chain and the independent shop! That's a LOT!
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Just make sure you are comparing apples to apples...
    - original equip? or "replacement" level parts?
    - what level of warranty on the work
    - if something takes longer than expected... is this an estimate or a quote? (quote, they have to stick to...)

    It IS possible to have that big of a spread in costs - and NOT have a big spread in quality.
    But I'd want to be sure I know what I'm getting.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    I agree with Insane. I had similar work done last year for a hair more, and it included the really long really crazy looking pipe that connects all the pieces. It was done by a local shop. I could have had it done by "my" mechanic, but he doesn't take credit cards, and for emergency big fixes, sometimes that's my only option.

    I do and will pay more at the big box places if I qualify for their credit and 0% interest financing for 6-12 months or whatever deal they are offering. In the long run, it works out better and less expensive for me.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm about ready to "shop around" for tree removers. Yuk! I have an oak with roots splitting the flooring on the back patio. Last time husband got a tree removed the bill was $1500. We can not afford that. Lordy I hate to face the task. You just don't know who has proper equipment, experience, insurance, etc. Ugh! DDD