How to Read a Car Repair Estimate
There are several things that an estimate should include. Let's learn more about them.
It is very important that you know exactly how much they are charging for the part that they intend to install. If you have the price that they are going to charge you then you can double check to make sure that they are not charging you too much.
Remember that auto repair shops DO markup the parts they sell, that is part of the way they make money so don't be surprised if you could go buy the part for less than they sell it to you for, BUT if you call around and you can get the part for a lot less you might want to question them on this.
This should include the number of hours that they intend to spend on repairing your car.
How can they do this? Well any good shop will have software that will tell them how long it should take to do almost any job on almost any car. This DOES NOT work for diagnosis (there is no way to determine how long some things will take to diagnose) only for the actual repair. Not all labor estimates will be the same for the same job, but they should be close.
This just means that they sent your car to another shop that specializes in some type of repair that they did not have the capability to perform. This is a fairly common practice as it is hard for a repair shop to specialize in everything.
This is a fee often found on car repair estimates. The reason for it
is that instead of a shop charging more for their hourly rate, they
might just charge each customer a flat rate or a percentage or the total
to help them pay for disposal of hazardous materials. $5 per customer seem to be the general ballpark figure for this service.
This one is obvious. Just make sure that this matches the tax rate for
your area and that they are not charging you tax if you don't have any
state taxes in your state.
Now that you know more about them you will be able to compare estimates easily and make an informed decision about where to take your car.
Keep in mind that you do not just want to take your car to the cheapest car repair shop. There are many factors to consider, including how they treated you, what their shop was like (was it clean, etc.) and many others. The goal is to get your car repaired correctly and efficiently, not necessarily cheaply!