How much does it cost for new struts?
Last week I received a phone call requesting an estimate on new front struts on a Honda Accord. While looking up the price I asked if the struts were making noise, were washed out or if he had a tire ware problem. He informed me that he was told he needed them during an oil change at a local shop but was never told why. I gave him an estimate range but told him I couldn’t be accurate without looking at the Accord first.
He came into our shop the next morning and I had a mechanic take a look at it. The mechanic found nothing wrong with the struts or any of the suspension parts. We went for a test drive with the customer listening for loose front end noises or noticing alignment problems but found nothing loose. But we did notice a wheel bearing noise on left turns and lane changes. After bringing it back into the shop and confirming the wheel bearing problem we gave him an estimate and did the repairs on his car.
I don’t know if the other shops mechanic told the service writer that there was a noise in the left front that could be a strut, if he thought some surface rust on the strut was reason enough to condemn it or if the customer heard wrong but in either case there was a communication failure that lost that auto repair shop a customer.
The point is car repair is not the same as shopping at Target, Wal-Mart or any other store. When price comparing for auto repair communication is critical. A strut is not always a strut. If you want to compare auto repair bring the car into the auto repair shops you want get estimates from, have them show you and explain the repairs needed and quality of the parts. Sometimes lifetime warranty parts are of poor quality and lesser costs in order to keep you coming back in for service leaving you with a bill on labor or related parts.
Getting estimates from different auto repair shops takes time but at times can save you money. When you don’t have a good understanding of the repair needed ask questions and look it up on line. If you don’t have the time for driving around getting different estimates I suggest you stick with an auto repair shop that will communicate repairs needed in an easy to understand manner. Build a relationship of trust by starting with small things like oil changes and other routine maintenance items. If you feel the cost of your auto repair is too high don’t be afraid to let them know. And if they can’t show you or explain to you why you need a repair go get another opinion.