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went to get my truck smogged yesterday and the shop labor rate was $140 an hour!!!!!

have I been asleep for 20 years???? $140 an hour! I saw an ad for mechanics for this shop and they will pay $30-40 an hour depending on experience.

is that average?

The Honda dealer charges $85 an hour and I thought that was high. I don't know what they pay their mechanics.

I know some members here have their own shops or work for shops. Do you have hourly labor rates or do you just charge by that particular job????

I help people from time to time and get paid in beer. I must be nuts.
 

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YEPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP 140 Per hour is now the Gold standard of shop labor. but in most shops the mechanics work off of commission. there is this place here in town that if you just take your car/truck in for an oil change. you will walk out of there with a laundry list of things that really do not need to be done. they just want to make money for themselves. case in point you but a new air filter in yourself before you take it up there. and they will pull it out with the dirty paws and run there finger over the paper element. and tell you it needs to be replaced. or your engine can be clean as MR CLEAN Himself and they will try and tell/sell you a engine steam cleaning. BUNCH OF BLOODY FREAKING MORONS THERE!!!!!!!!!!! :icon_cussing_black::icon_cussing_black:
 

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Wow! That would be $184 hr up here! Anyone charging that would be outta buisiness in no time!
 

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Small engine guys get 65-105 in my area. I don't like taking in outside work, but do it for friends and neighbors or people I sold the machine to. I charge $40...or free haircuts to my barber....
 

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YEPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP 140 Per hour is now the Gold standard of shop labor. but in most shops the mechanics work off of commission. there is this place here in town that if you just take your car/truck in for an oil change. you will walk out of there with a laundry list of things that really do not need to be done. they just want to make money for themselves. case in point you but a new air filter in yourself before you take it up there. and they will pull it out with the dirty paws and run there finger over the paper element. and tell you it needs to be replaced. or your engine can be clean as MR CLEAN Himself and they will try and tell/sell you a engine steam cleaning. BUNCH OF BLOODY FREAKING MORONS THERE!!!!!!!!!!! :icon_cussing_black::icon_cussing_black:
That happened to my naive daughter in law. she took the car to Jiffy Lube for a $29.95 oil change and walked out with a $700 bill.

I told her she should have talked to me first or at least take it to Wally World.
 

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Small engine guys get 65-105 in my area. I don't like taking in outside work, but do it for friends and neighbors or people I sold the machine to. I charge $40...or free haircuts to my barber....
Like I said , our local Honda dealer charges $85 an hour . I have refixed some of their "work" . stuff not done on a service that they charged $250 for. One guy came to me with all his receipts on a HS828 going back 20 years.

Yes, that's right . He brought it back for a service EVERY year almost. The dealer changed the scraper bar EVERY year. They would "change" the belts and impeller bearing every 2-3 years.

UNFREAKINBELIEVABLE !

This is the Honda dealer. They are under new management now but I don't see any changes. They told me they don't do carb cleanouts anymore. Just replace the carb. They don't weld up anything like a height adjustment pedal for an example. Just replace it for another $300.

Insane. If I were not a seasoned citizen collecting Social Security and 40 years younger , I would open up my own shop. It would be a goldmine.
 

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i don't know if i would call $140 average shop rate. that sounds like dealer rate around here unless it has been that long since i went to a dealer. i think most good/decent shops around here are still only charging about $60-80/h. i know last time i was into the small engine mechanics for some parts their sign said $50 or $60/h which is pretty decent. most shops are pretty decent as long as they don't have some big brand name attached to them. it seems like most of the dealers and big brand name shops that are overcharging and trying to scam people out of their money. this is part of the reason i do most of my own work even tho i do know a couple local shops who are fare and reliable but usually very busy.

I told her she should have talked to me first or at least take it to Wally World.
wally world here doesn't touch vehicles anymore. they just use the shops as storage now. i am guessing it has something to do with not making as much money on the very few services they offer not making them much money. i also saw a video on youtube where most place try to upsell you on stuff you don't need and completely miss some of the basic safety related recalls. you can even tell when a service adviser at a dealer works on commission since half what they say makes absolutely no sense and completely goes against what the vehicles owners manual says.
 

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It's been 2 years since I started this thread and things have gotten worse. Many owners bring their machines to me even more now as they can not trust the local shops.

slow turnaround time and very high service charges. too many parts being changed when there is very little need to. I take the previous shop sticker off their machine . I see a LOT of work that wasnt done. And I dont tell them to bring the machine in annually like the shops do.

I recommend the same thing Honda corporate does. A service every hundred hours BUT I do emphasis some common sense about lubrication , oil checks and/or changes , fall inspections, tightening up stuff and checking adjustments.

The main thing I emphasize is to address small issues before they become bigger. If someone brings a machine to me for a service I charge the same as dealer and make sure the machine is ready . If they bring it back to me in 2-3-4 years I charge about half that price because not much has to be done other than an oil change, a general inspection, and maybe some adjustments. It takes half the time usually.
 

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auto and SORE dealers around me av $140.00 for cars unless it's a upper class import than it jumps to near $175.00
sore dealers are $95.00 to 105.00
what hurts is what it costs to run a shop, we have to start with insurance, liability, building,health, workers comp. than add utility's gas and electric, add in what has to be paid to get a good tech, plus a lot more, just costs take up close to 75% of whats being charged
 

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auto and SORE dealers around me av $140.00 for cars unless it's a upper class import than it jumps to near $175.00
sore dealers are $95.00 to 105.00
what hurts is what it costs to run a shop, we have to start with insurance, liability, building,health, workers comp. than add utility's gas and electric, add in what has to be paid to get a good tech, plus a lot more, just costs take up close to 75% of whats being charged
I understand that but unnecessary repairs may be a problem in some areas. Maybe the pressures of staying in business affect some owners of shops. I have turned down 4 large commercial accounts in the last several months. Don't want the headaches. After 43 years of work just wanna do what I wanna do when I wanna do it.
 

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I charge $50.00 an hour labor with 1 hour minimum. The shops around here are $75.00+ an hour. But they have bigger overhead to handle. I'm just doing it as a hobby.
 

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I understand that but unnecessary repairs may be a problem in some areas. Maybe the pressures of staying in business affect some owners of shops. I have turned down 4 large commercial accounts in the last several months. Don't want the headaches. After 43 years of work just wanna do what I wanna do when I wanna do it.
i agree with you 100% about what many do to rip people off sell un needed parts many times just like a car dealer. OH at 30 k you need a tune up, de carbon oil change air filter cabin filter,and a alignment , all when it was just done days before by my self
same with me after selling my sore shop i get many calls each week about servicing machines, i do what i want when i have time between fishing charters , and for sure it will never be a commercial owned job as i won't wait 90 days plus to get paid like many did when i did have the shop,
i don't need to fix machines i do so for fun now,
 

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I bought a nice Ariens Platinum 30 SHO last summer from a gentleman who was moving south. One of his selling points was a receipt from the local dealer for a "snow blower tune up" a couple of months earlier. They charged $75 / hour as the shop rate and his total ticket was approximately $240 (not including their transportation charges). There was a lot of vague wording about "diagnostics and adjustments" but it appears they simply replaced one broken and stuck shear pin and greased the auger! I began with my usual checklist and discovered:
  • Oil had certainly not been changed
  • Uneven tire air pressure; rims never removed and axles greased
  • Chute deflector was completely out of adjustment (barely moved at all)
  • Traction control and auger cables were loose and out of adjustment
  • I'm certain I was the first person to ever crack open the belly pan and lubricate anything
  • Scraper bar and skid shoes were borderline; you'd think the shop would have at least flipped the shoes to the unused side
I can't remember the last time I sold a snowblower to somebody who didn't plead with me to fix something they already owned- weed eater, leaf blower, chainsaw, mower, tiller, etc.
 

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I hate to say this but with all these shady practices by the dealer, sometimes it is better to just throw away the machine and buy a new one.

I've learned to fix these small equipment so I haven't had to junk any pieces yet.

Several years ago, I neglected to check the oil level on my lawnmower engine. The motor seized and stopped running. I thought it was the end of it and I would put it to the curb. I decided to let it cool off, change the engine oil, and at least tried to revive it. Fortunately the engine started and there was no change in power or sound. I still have the same mower today. It had the B&S side valve engine. I was never crazy about the engine, finicky to restart when warm, noisy and vibrate too much, and I felt it could use a bit more power for being 190cc. Aside from that, it was trouble free, probably runs forever as long as it has oil in it. It was old technology but it just works
 

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I hate to say this but with all these shady practices by the dealer, sometimes it is better to just throw away the machine and buy a new one.
or sometimes it is cheaper to replace it than repair. i know that is how it is most of the time with mowers. most of the time if you need a cable it is $50+ for the cable plus labor to install it. i was recently given a mower someone wanted me to service. probably would have been about $70 on a mower that would be about $500 new for the service he initially wanted. then he mentioned it needed a cable which is $70. i told him it may be worth considering replacing the mower. would have been about $150. just parts alone would have been about $100-$110. i would have no problem doing the work if they want it but $150 is a pretty big dent towards a new machine. you could even find a nice used machine for $100-150 range.
 

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You are right wolfie. Some of these repairs would make me consider a new machine if I took it to the shop. I am a mild hoarder so I have 2 fully functional backups that I can use while I take the time to properly fix the broken machines. Plus, I've taken all these things completely apart and put them back to near mint condition so there is some sentimental value. It is unlikely that I'll throw anything away.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I bought a nice Ariens Platinum 30 SHO last summer from a gentleman who was moving south. One of his selling points was a receipt from the local dealer for a "snow blower tune up" a couple of months earlier. They charged $75 / hour as the shop rate and his total ticket was approximately $240 (not including their transportation charges). There was a lot of vague wording about "diagnostics and adjustments" but it appears they simply replaced one broken and stuck shear pin and greased the auger! I began with my usual checklist and discovered:
  • Oil had certainly not been changed
  • Uneven tire air pressure; rims never removed and axles greased
  • Chute deflector was completely out of adjustment (barely moved at all)
  • Traction control and auger cables were loose and out of adjustment
  • I'm certain I was the first person to ever crack open the belly pan and lubricate anything
  • Scraper bar and skid shoes were borderline; you'd think the shop would have at least flipped the shoes to the unused side
I can't remember the last time I sold a snowblower to somebody who didn't plead with me to fix something they already owned- weed eater, leaf blower, chainsaw, mower, tiller, etc.
Have seen this also. Mentioned before about the Honda that the dealer told the owner to bring it in every year for an annual service. He brought me the receipts going back 20 years.

Every other year the scraper bar and skid shoes were replaced. Every year the plug was replaced. Every year there were parts supposedly replaced that I saw NO evidence of.

Have worked on a couple dozen machines that were last serviced by this dealer and seen some of the same non evidence of work done but charged for. Bart may be on to something.

I don't say anything bad about the dealer in front of people. Just do the service and they wonder why I didnt change this part or that part like the dealer did. I just say it didnt need it.

Now I have people that will wait for me to service/repair their machine instead of the dealer . I think they figured it out on their own. I use the dealer quite a bit for parts and advice from their head mechanic and need to keep a good relationship with them. They know what I do and I do send many people to them to buy the new machines.
 

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Have seen this also. Mentioned before about the Honda that the dealer told the owner to bring it in every year for an annual service. He brought me the receipts going back 20 years.

Every other year the scraper bar and skid shoes were replaced. Every year the plug was replaced. Every year there were parts supposedly replaced that I saw NO evidence of.
I used to work in an industry that goes by the mantra "If it wasn't documented, it didn't happen"

This industry should go by the mantra "We didn't do a darn thing, but we can give our customer detailed receipts that can proudly deceive the next buyer. It's the gift that never stops taking. Puts food on the table and keep the lights on"
 

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I used to work in an industry that goes by the mantra "If it wasn't documented, it didn't happen"

This industry should go by the mantra "We didn't do a darn thing, but we can give our customer detailed receipts that can proudly deceive the next buyer. It's the gift that never stops taking. Puts food on the table and keep the lights on"
Reminds me seeing the back of a guys t-shirt . It was a joke of course..

"Done RIght HVAC"
"We screw the other guy so we can save you money..! "
 

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If I recall correctly, when I was 17 I paid a shop to test my car’s alternator. When I was 40 I paid a shop to change a rear pinion seal and fix broken the exhaust manifold studs on my modern truck. Damn that was expensive.

That’s about all I’ve ever paid any shop to repair, any motorized stuff since I was probably 19. Including stuff I’ve owned but not limited to: cars, dirt-bikes, motorcyles, snowblowers, lawn mowers, seadoos, weed whackers, ATVs, snowmobiles. Whatever. I will figure it out and learn to do it myself. I’ve tried my patience and skills on many, many, components. Engine. Tranny. Diff. Electrical. Carbs. Fuel injection. Exhaust. Brakes. Shocks. Driveshafts. Clutches. Whatever... I am too stubborn, and way too cheap to pay professional shop labor rates.

I fear I’ve spoiled my wife and our two older sons. They have a personal mechanic. They can park their car in the garage, get up the next day and magically its all serviced or fixed up again. I am trying to teach my sons some garage skills. Slowly they’re coming around. They sure like the cash savings!
 
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