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Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - dakotaspurs
Hi all,

This is my first post and I wanted to get people's opinions on whether the quote I have just got from MasterFit for my Astra is about right?

I went in and asked them to look at a leak for me, the estimate has come back with:
Rear spring remove replace - Qty (which I'm guessing is hours) 0.5 - NET: 42.98
Sump gasket Replace - Qty: 1.5 - NET: 128.93
G/Box Gasket - Qty: 1 - NET: 85.95
Drive Shaft Seal O/S - Qty: 0.7 - NET: 60.17

PARTS USED
Set-Rear Springs - Qty: 1 - NET: 151.00
NSI Locking Compund - Qty: 1 - NET: 8.50
NSI Gasket - Qty: 1 - NET: 4.48
NSI Seal Ring - Qty: 1 - NET: 6.45

TOTAL:
NET - 488.46
VAT - 85.48
TOTAL - 573.94


What's really annoyed me is that I have just had it serviced and MOT, which it passed, at an independent place and it passed first time. It was here they said about the leak and that Vauxhall had to do it because of a tool they need. No mention of the springs at all.

On top of that, they charged me £50 for telling me this, without doing any work. Now Is this them being very steep and annoying the hell out of me, or is £85.95 an hour a fair reflection?

If not, who can suggest a dealer in Hertordshire I can get another quote off?

p.s. - if you haven't guessed, I'm not a happy bunny!!!

{Some wording changed / deleted - DD. By all means email me for clarification as to why - dave_moderator@honestjohn.co.uk}

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 21/01/2008 at 13:49

Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - mark
Hi DS

Over £200 of this quote is to just replace the 2 gaskets.

You don't mention the year of the car but I did replace these 2 gaskets/seals myself on a 1.4i 93 Astra some years ago. No special tools were needed just a socket set and some spanners.

I had access to a pit at the time and it was very straightforward. Drain the engine oil then take the sump off (unscrew about 14 bolts) then remove the plate at the bottom of the gearbox (about another 4 bolts) and drop the oil, Clean the surfaces, apply the goo and the new gaskets and bolt everything back up. Change the oil filter at this point.

Then of course refill the gearbox and the engine with the appropriate oils. Did the whole thing inside a very leisurely hour and a half and the bits cost no more than £20 excluding the oils.

Interestingly your quote does not include oil for the box or the engine, are they going to pour the old stuff back in. If not its going to put another £50/60 on the quote if its not already included.

As for the springs and seal you should find an independant garage who will do these 2 jobs for less. They will also probably be cheaper with regards the sump and gearbox if you dont fancy doing it yourself.

As always

Mark

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 21/01/2008 at 14:04

Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - drivewell
Do you have another local, well established firm of motor engineers you can go to?

I don't know what your local labour rates are (maybe others can comment here), but I'm sure a local garage could source springs from a motor factor, at a lot less than £151 / pair.

Can't comment on need for a special tool - was this for the oil seal? Would have thought most resourceful garages would have been able to fit a driveshaft oil seal without too much hassle.
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - Falkirk Bairn
Do you have another local well established firm of motor engineers you can go to?
I don't know what your local labour rates are (maybe others can comment here) but
I'm sure a local garage could source springs from a motor factor at a lot
less than £151 / pair.


A good Indie will vary in what they charge BUT in Scotland they seem to charge £30-£40 / hr - less than 50% of the £85 at Vauxhall outlet
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - Screwloose

So you went to a dealer to get them to investigate the sources of a leak and to give you a quote. They charged only half an hours labour and provided the quote as requested.

You're not under any obligation to accept it and can now garner as many other quotes as you like for the work that they've spent time identifying and detailing.

They also noticed a broken spring that everyone else seems to have missed and quoted for replacing that too.

It seems that they've done a very thorough job - and you're still unhappy? Exactly what did you expect? Don't you get paid for your time?
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - FotheringtonThomas
They charge what they charge. An independent garage might charge less. The broken spring is quite simple driveway DIY (and you only really need 1 spring!) - which would take your bill down to nearer £400 in one go! You could always 'phone some places and see what they'd estimate for the work you specify from the report you commissioned!
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - dakotaspurs
Thanks for all your comments guys, I've calmed down now.

Especially after I have found another garage that will charge me half the hourly rate and can get the springs for a third of the price!

It just baffles me the way they were, acting like my car would collapse on me if I drove off the forecourt, when only 10 days ago it passed it's MOT with flying colours! Imagine how those scare tactics work on vulnerable people such as the elderly!

It's disgusting!
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - Screwloose

It may have passed the MOT ten days ago; [I take it you've complained to VOSA that it was missed?] but it certainly wouldn't today.

As such it's legally unroadworthy, probably uninsured and if that broken spring moved and cut the sidewall out of the tyre.....

The garage could be held liable if they don't point out to you the hazards of driving a potentially unsafe car - and they know it.
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - wemyss
Had both front replaced 18 months ago by my local independant and just checked the bill.
Front road spring 2x £28.00 = £56.00
Change Dot 4 brake fluid =£3.00
labour = £64.00
vat = £21.53
Total = £144.53

wemyss
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - slowdown avenue
no, you been turned over. get a local indie, rear shockers can be bought 20 a pair , second hand spring 5 diy job on your drive.
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - FotheringtonThomas
It may have passed the MOT (...) but it certainly wouldn't today.
As such it's legally unroadworthy


No, it isn't.
probably uninsured


No it isn't.
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - Screwloose
FT

If you think a car with a broken spring is roadworthy then that's your opinion.
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - FotheringtonThomas
If you think a car with a broken spring is roadworthy then that's your opinion.


Ages ago, I had an Astra, also G-reg - it failed an MOT because the rear offside spring was broken. The top coil, where it was "flattened" to seat, had vanished, so the spring (uncompressed) would have been about 12mm shorter. This was not noticeable at all when driving. The spring was not displaced. There's a big difference, in many cases, between "MOT failure" and "unroadworthy".
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - Screwloose
There's a big difference in many
cases between "MOT failure" and "unroadworthy".


Good luck if you ever have to argue that point in front of a VOSA vehicle examiner.
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - FotheringtonThomas
Thank you. I would, however, not be concerned, given the circumstances mentioned. Having no/failing an MOT and having a car that is unroadworthy are two different things.
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - FotheringtonThomas
I can add that, just "for instances", that I can drive my MOT-failed car on the road quite legally, to the place of repair, unless it's "unroadworthy", in which case I can't. When it's been repaired, I can drive it back to be tested, again with no current MOT. I can also get an MOT in advance of the current MOT expiring. If the vehicle fails, I still have the original MOT, which is not invalidated. Should I drive with a tyre with sub-limits tread, that doesn't invalidate my MOT, or make the car "unroadworthy". Perhaps these examples aren't as clear as they might be, but I hope they're helpful.
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - Screwloose
FT

Your view and VOSA's view are diametrically opposed. Their view is that a roadworthy car - or truck - is one that is capable of passing an MOT test on safety-related items at all times.

If you are aware that there is an MOT-failable fault on your car; but ignore it and this leads to an injury accident, do you really think that there would be no consequences just because your old MOT had a few days left to run? You'd be crucified by any barrister worthy of the title.

As it says on the back of the certificate; it only applies to items tested - and only at the time of the test.
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - FotheringtonThomas
Your view and VOSA's view are diametrically opposed.


A brief inspection of their website appears to indicate that my and their views are not "diametrically opposed", but in fact similar.
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - Dynamic Dave
It just baffles me the way they were acting like my car would collapse on
me if I drove off the forecourt when only 10 days ago it passed it's
MOT with flying colours!


The spring could have quite easily snapped since the MOT 10 days ago. An MOT is only a check of roadworthyness on the day it was tested.
Is this a fair price for the work carried out? - barney100
I got a warning a few years ago that my diff was leaking on a Volvo 340 and was quoted megabucks. I knew a bloke who worked locally in the motor business and he phoned his mates and came back with ''they all leak a bit on that car just check the level every now and then''. I did just that and ran the car for a couple of years after with no probs.
 

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