Auto Computer & Electronics, LLC
With the wide and varied types of vehicles on the road today, changing markets, supply variables and other reasons, I've decided to get away from the 'menu pricing' methods altogether.
Most often, menus just can't account for the many specific variables between years, makes and models of vehicles and as such actually become counter-productive to producing the good, quality level of work that I like to deliver. Even simple oil changes can vary by quite a bit anymore. Between vehicles that require 4 quarts of conventional API grade oil and a common spin on filter, and those that take 10 quarts or more of a special synthetic oil and a special cartridge filter, there is quite a difference in shop costs, and therefore quite a difference in retail pricing.
Having said that, I do fully understand the need to have some idea what you're committing to and what the anticipated cost for repairs will be. With that in mind, I've come up with a way to bridge the gap so that no one is caught unawares or by surprise with a bill or a vehicle problem that isn't in the budget.
I've broken repairs and services down into 5 main categories, as noted below. With a minimal commitment of labor time that allows me the time to test drive, inspect, assess and estimate necessary repairs, this approach strikes a good customer-shop balance and allows me to provide written estimates for all work to be performed. Because of this approach, I've been able to be very precise in upfront pricing, to provide written estimates for every vehicle before any work is performed. Because of that, surprises are kept to a bare minimum.
01 ENGINE PERFORMANCE, DRIVEABILITY AND DIAGNOSTICS
If your car isn't running properly, these can often be very easy to diagnose, but they can also be very difficult to nail down. I'll ask you to commit up front to up to 1 labor hour ($70) of diagnostic time in these situations. I'll use my systems knowledge, experience, specialized equipment and other resources to accurately assess the problem the first time so that I can give you the best possible recommendations on what it will take to get it running correctly again.
02 ELECTRICAL TROUBLESHOOTING, DIAGNOSTICS & REPAIRS
(Level I, Level II, Level III diagnostics and bench time)
Like engine performance related problems, vehicle electrical problems can also be quite challenging as well. I'd go so far to say that this particular sort of work can be impossible to estimate. So I've broken electrical problems down to three types, Level I, Level II and Level III diagnostics and can usually at least narrow down an anticipated range of time needed for budgeting and estimating purposes. It really depends on the specifics of the problem and the frequency of the problem.
Depending on the specifics, I'll typically ask for a commitment of up to 1 hour ($70) of checkout time for testing and assessing the needed course of action. I'm averaging approximately a 50% identification rate/solve rate for serious electrical problems in the 1 hour timeframe group. Of the remaining 50%, approximately 25% are found and repaired in either Level I or Level II timeframes, with the remaining 25% in the Level III category and have never had one go beyond 10 hours of straight time to isolate, locate and repair. (Click the link above for further information on what constitutes Level I, Level II and Level III electrical diagnostics.)
Rest assured though, this is one of my specialty's. I'm very experienced and journeyman rated in all phases of electrical and electronic diagnostics, service and repairs. Whether you need to have a short circuit located, electrical accessories installed, engine running problems sorted out, or need to have your car computer flash programmed with the latest OEM software, I've got the equipment and I have the skills to get it done efficiently and correct the first time.
03 BRAKE REPAIRS
Brake work on most vehicles is usually pretty straightforward and as such I'll ask you to commit to a .3 labor hour ($21) for a complete brake system inspection, which gives me time to test drive the vehicle, to hoist the vehicle, pull all the wheels and perform all the necessary inspections and measurements prior to making any recommendations. If your vehicle does need brake work and you consent to the written estimate for the work, the inspection fee is waived as a courtesy.
04 AIR CONDITIONING SERVICE & REPAIRS
I can perform all phases of air conditioning diagnostics, services and repairs, but there are just too many variables to set a menu price that works for all the possible scenarios. If you have an HVAC problem, I'll ask you to consent to .5 labor hour ($35) for diagnosis time prior to putting together an estimate of repairs. This inspection fee is also waived if you have the work performed.
05 GENERAL MECHANICAL REPAIRS & SERVICE
This can be just about anything from acorn nuts that are missing, to Z-bars that are broken, and are also very difficult to set a finite menu style price on. Rest assured though that you will be given an accurate assessment of what the problem is and what it will take to repair the problem. I have been known to perform small repairs at no charge and ask you for a referral instead if the repair time is less than what it takes to generate a repair order.