Automotive

1.5 hours of labor done in 39 minutes?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 5th, 2020 7:37 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
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Dec 31, 2010
875 posts
318 upvotes
Richmond Hill

1.5 hours of labor done in 39 minutes?

I took my Acura for a B1 service, where they are supposed to change oil, filter, service front and rear brakes, rotate tires, and inspect everything etc...
I was charged for 1.5 hours of labor, service advisor told me it was 2 hours of labor needed to complete it, perhaps he was taking into account the wash.
However, my car's dash cam showed that it entered the shop at 10:11 and left just around 10:59, after which point it went for a wash.
The car is fairly new, about a year old, and its a routine service.
I have no evidence really to assume that they did not do something I was charged for, but I am curious if that is reasonable to complete all of B1 service within approximately 40 minutes.
Is it a couple of guys working on my car then? Apologies if it is a stupid question, I am genuinely curious about the dealer's service practices/workflow.
Thanks everyone
41 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2013
2435 posts
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Toronto
You must be new to auto service.

They have a book rate it shows how long it should take and that's what they charge for the job if they can do it faster than that they finish early but still price the job the same. If there is more than one person working on it, sometimes 2 the job will get done faster but you've got to pay both people, the job will be completed in theory in half the time. While one is doing your oil change and fluid check the other is rotating/checking your tires and doing the brake inspection and adjustments (if needed.)
Newbie
Jun 30, 2016
33 posts
19 upvotes
The dealership has a crazy amount of overhead to cover so that's part of it.
For that kind of job that's a little iffy to take the full two hours though. But does that mean you paid over $200 for the privilege?

The other way to think about it is if you have a super experienced guy who knows everything inside and out then for sure it will be done faster than book time and so you are paying for that experience and expertise.
Or you get a newbie technician who can't always find where the dipstick is right away who will take the full two hours to work on your car ... who would you rather have working on it? :rolleyes:

And then there is the odd time when a super difficult job says it takes 5 hours but then things go sideways and it takes them 10 hours where they eat that extra time so it can work both ways ...
Sr. Member
Apr 5, 2010
835 posts
84 upvotes
If I was working on it, I might take 2 hours. Does that mean that you would pay 2 hours though?
The specialist tech did it in 39 minutes, which means hes done thousands of them. You're paying for the 1.5 hours which is the book time.
Don't like the price? Go to an indie mechanic.
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Dec 31, 2010
875 posts
318 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Alright, cool that makes sense everyone thanks for clarifying!
I wasnt complaining - I am indeed new to auto service, and thats why I asked the question to learn more about how this works
Deal Addict
Jun 14, 2008
3119 posts
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Montreal
The book time is calculated by timing someone who does the job with all manual tools, probably not in a hurry, so obviously things will almost always go faster.
Deal Fanatic
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Dec 28, 2007
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Alberta
ZeroToHero wrote: Alright, cool that makes sense everyone thanks for clarifying!
I wasnt complaining - I am indeed new to auto service, and thats why I asked the question to learn more about how this works
Whatever you do, don’t let them talk you into changing your cabin air filter. I was at my Honda dealer for an oil change and they charged the lady in front of me $99 to change it. It’s a $30 Honda part and less than a 5 minute job.
Deal Expert
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Jun 12, 2007
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London
It’s based on an average time allotted for a particular job- a flat rate. If it was paid by actual hours, it would end up paying more for a less experienced person that took more time, ( the opposite of what should happen). Also, if the inexperienced guy screwed up and had to start over again, should you pay double the labor?

The average time also takes into account the more common problems that could be encountered, for example a rusted/ seized part that has to be heated with a torch to be removed
Last edited by l69norm on Jul 31st, 2020 7:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Expert
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Apr 21, 2004
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What do dealerships do when servicing the brakes? Lube the caliper pins and kinda brush off visible brake dust? Or do they remove the calipers and rotors and do the work?
Deal Addict
Sep 6, 2017
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If you find it costly to bring the car back to the dealer then find an indy.
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
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alanbrenton wrote: What do dealerships do when servicing the brakes? Lube the caliper pins and kinda brush off visible brake dust? Or do they remove the calipers and rotors and do the work?
Not sure what your question is.
On a brake service, they do all you say but also ensure that the brakes are safe and fully functioning. It is not just dusting and brushing off dirt, it is to make sure that all parts of the braking system are within specs. The brakes are then declared safe as required by law. The mechanic's license is on the line if he says the brakes are in spec and safe if something bad happens with them.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
Deal Expert
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Jul 30, 2007
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when the service survey is sent to you, be sure to give this dealer the ultimate score for being super fast and efficient. Winking Face

Someone from the dealer will surely call you up and say thanks and more service coupons will be mailed to you
Deal Expert
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Apr 21, 2004
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Pete_Coach wrote: Not sure what your question is.
On a brake service, they do all you say but also ensure that the brakes are safe and fully functioning. It is not just dusting and brushing off dirt, it is to make sure that all parts of the braking system are within specs. The brakes are then declared safe as required by law. The mechanic's license is on the line if he says the brakes are in spec and safe if something bad happens with them.
Good to know Pete.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
First off these "service inspections" are a rip off and there's a good chance that the technician, who may be some teenager, did a shoddy inspection anyways.
That said, you agreed to the service cost so it doesn't really matter how long they took. 1 hour or 2 hours, it's still a rip off that any person with above average intelligence could do themselves with a little investment in time and a few tools the first time.
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2013
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Durham
Yup, nothing new. Just did my fuel pump, by Book Nissan is 3hrs labour. Took my Indy an hour to do

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