How old would you be, if you had no idea how old you really were?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Skewed Views - Sticker Shock

The turn signal on my three year old van was misbehaving. Left was right, then right was left. Sometimes the signal didn't work at all. Had to get it fixed. Went to the Dodge Dealer and asked for a turn signal fix and an oil change. I knew it would be expensive, but thought I just might pay cash. I had $250 in my pocket.

They did a courtesy inspection, no charge. Came back to tell me that my water pump was leaking. Ouch. Knew I had to take care of the water pump, so I said OK put in the new pump. Then we might as well drain and flush the radiator while we are at it, right? Sure, that makes sense.

Two hours and forty minutes later the work was done.

Turn Signal Fixed

Oil & Filter Changed

Water Pump Replaced

Coolant Flushed

Total Parts $297.64
Total Labor $533.50

Two hours and forty minutes. $533.50 labor. By my calculations that's about $200 an hour.

They did have free coffee in the waiting room, but no donuts. In the morning, while I was waiting to check in, with 20 other unsuspecting victims, a perky young woman pranced up and down the line of cars taking names and giving out cardboard numbers. She was pleasant, and I guess that made the job of the actual service writer much easier. I wonder how much an hour she makes.

I've bought whole cars for less than the bill that morning. Good cars that ran a long time. When they were finished fixing and flushing, I thought maybe they'd wash the car. Nope, no car wash, no donuts. I hope the dealer's kids appreciate me sending them to college.