do you ever buy auto parts then have a shop install?

 

I like to DIY, but some things are not practical without a lift.

I was gonna change my wife's struts and shocks with my uncle, who has access to a lift. But with the pandemic etc.

It's a 2011 GM SUV, and I know the struts are not good OE, because one side was replaced under warranty (hahahahaha one side, common sense says to replace in pairs). Leaking in only 65k.

So I went and ordered Bilsteins online, they actually don't cost much more than GM OE. Lifetime warranty, etc.

I decided not to do it in my driveway, I dunno.

Shop is gonna charge $420 labor. Since they are nice people, I feel they are entitled to earn a living, I'm good with it. Think about having to undo all the wiper area cowling, remove the mounts, sway bar end links, on and on, again, I'm ok with the price.

I happen to know that if one drove right in to a muffler shop it's about $950, and they use inferior parts (say a Monroe quik strut--the Bilsteins they have to separate the old, move the spring, and reassemble). So you can say I "chose" my parts to be all good quality--Bilstein, then OE mounts, boots, bump stops, OE sway bar end links, Moog sway bar bushings. You don't get these in a $950 job. You might at dealer job which will be very pricey.

I'm lucky I have shops for German, Japanese, and American cars, who will install customer parts. sometimes it does make sense to let the shop sell you the part, like if the starter is a 10 hour job, and it fails, then it's on them. When we supply parts, generally no warranty.

I know that all shops, won't install customer supplied parts, though...

do you ever buy auto parts

Yes i have bought some parts that the dealer cannot(back ordered for many months) get for my rear A/C and they did not mind.I bought a much better grade of pipe for 1/2 the price.

--
The Home of BLUMARU HOUNDS

know

coonhunter wrote:

Yes i have bought some parts that the dealer cannot(back ordered for many months) get for my rear A/C and they did not mind.I bought a much better grade of pipe for 1/2 the price.

What's funny, so many vehicles have rear AC given so many cars are SUVs. I was afraid of that failing on my wife's, so I got the extended warranty. And being a GM, actually the retail price of needed repairs equaled the warranty. But my buddy pointed out--that may be true, but you know you would never pay $1000 for an alternator at the dealer, you'd DIY for a couple hundred, so the extended warranty is never something anyone should ever get lol

But what I was gonna say is for some reason I envisioned a house having 2 AC condensers being similar to a car, one system. I did not realize they are 2 completely separate systems. Really the car has one condenser and two evaporators.

btw to illustrate what my buddy said....the water pump went after the extended warranty had expired...I bought genuine GM parts, and when all is said and done, $140 or so including coolant and a serpentine belt (belt is not part of the job but have to remove it). If I had the warranty, $100 deductible plus $6 sales tax = $106. I lost $34, and Labor Day 2019. But I learned how to do it and gained the satisfaction it was done right (it's more than a year later no issues)

Do You Ever Buy Auto Parts Then Have A Shop Install?

johnnatash4 wrote:

I know that all shops, won't install customer supplied parts, though...

Many years ago I worked in a shop and about the only thing they would not do are oil changes when the client brought in his own oil. We likely PO'ed quite a few customers as we sent them packing but the shop reputation was very high and had a large customer base.

Many an owner of a high end car (Porsche, BMW, etc.) would bring their oil and offer to pay something like $5/quart additional. Those we would do and often waive the charge anyway, especially if we found additional work. These days parts distribution is very good. My local Porsche dealer can get most routine needed parts in a few hours, a day or so tops.

--
John from PA

sometimes

John from PA wrote:
johnnatash4 wrote:

I know that all shops, won't install customer supplied parts, though...

Many years ago I worked in a shop and about the only thing they would not do are oil changes when the client brought in his own oil. We likely PO'ed quite a few customers as we sent them packing but the shop reputation was very high and had a large customer base.

Many an owner of a high end car (Porsche, BMW, etc.) would bring their oil and offer to pay something like $5/quart additional. Those we would do and often waive the charge anyway, especially if we found additional work. These days parts distribution is very good. My local Porsche dealer can get most routine needed parts in a few hours, a day or so tops.

What I like about German cars is 100% transparency--this BMW OE brake sensor wire for $33, is the identical part, to the PEX OEM @ $14. This is a little true with American cars, completely disguised with Japanese. to the point that Japanese cars refer to original equipment as OEM. So they categorize what comes from the factory and aftermarket as the same. My conspiracy theory is it's the business model for service.

Sometimes it makes sense to let the shop get the part. I did my starter 3X on my Nissan--failed aftermarket part out of the box.

On my Toyota the starter is a 10 hour job by the book as it's 8 cyl. and under the intake. So imagine if I provided a failed out of the box part, shop puts it in, fails. Now there is no warranty as I provided the part. Maybe they would have charged $100 more for the part--conventional wisdom is to let the $100 go and get the warranty due to the nearly $1000 in labor....

Dunno if we live in the same area (Phila.). I used to get invited to the Porsche launches, so I got a tour of the dealer and the service area was so clean one could literally eat off the floor. And it was amazing how many current gen Turbo 997s (at the time) were in the shop with the engine completely out lol

I got to drive all the Porsches in 2015 in lead/follow exercises...no manuals though all PDKs...they on purpose put the best cars last and passing was not allowed. I'm in the 991 GTS and the woman in front of me was soooooooooooooooooooooooooo slow, wanted to pass her. Instructor led 4 cars and we had walkie talkies. Cayman S, Cayman GTS, Carrera S, and GTS was last. Shoulda reversed that order imho...with the autocross the instructor had the personality of mortar drying. I asked him, any tips (driving a Panamera GTS).

"Always on the gas, or brakes, never coasting. If you're coasting, you're losing time."

Man imagine if a stock broker gave such advice: "Buy low, sell high."

do you ever buy buy

coonhunter wrote:

Yes i have bought some parts that the dealer cannot(back ordered for many months) get for my rear A/C and they did not mind.I bought a much better grade of pipe for 1/2 the price.

As an update the factory rear A/C pipes are a known problem and the dealer has replaced many and now cannot get them as they are on long term back order.Where GM routes the line is above the wheel well and sand ,salt and vibration destroys the alum pipes.The original pipes lasted 3 years under warranty,the second ones lasted 2 years same problem.The new set i supplied is warrantied for life and is using a rubber type of pipe and routs them in a more secure position away from the original areas.Something GM should have done in the first place rather than over a rear wheel well.Was told by dealer it was cheaper and easier to route them this way but not for wear and abrasion.So in the rust belt areas they don't last.

--
The Home of BLUMARU HOUNDS

GM

coonhunter wrote:
coonhunter wrote:

Yes i have bought some parts that the dealer cannot(back ordered for many months) get for my rear A/C and they did not mind.I bought a much better grade of pipe for 1/2 the price.

As an update the factory rear A/C pipes are a known problem and the dealer has replaced many and now cannot get them as they are on long term back order.Where GM routes the line is above the wheel well and sand ,salt and vibration destroys the alum pipes.The original pipes lasted 3 years under warranty,the second ones lasted 2 years same problem.The new set i supplied is warrantied for life and is using a rubber type of pipe and routs them in a more secure position away from the original areas.Something GM should have done in the first place rather than over a rear wheel well.Was told by dealer it was cheaper and easier to route them this way but not for wear and abrasion.So in the rust belt areas they don't last.

Is interesting. My wife's car being a 2011, has incandescent lights for DRLs, despite having HID/xenon headlamps.

Don't you wish you got $10, for every GM car you saw going down the road with only 1 DRL? I'd be retired if I did.

Well with my wife's, I played musical replace 3157 bulbs. One day, likely 3rd time, I replace the bulb, next day, it's not working again. So I google it, and there's a TSB covering cars from 1995 to 2012. If customer complains 3157 bulb out repeatedly, replace it with a 4114. Same physical size, higher wattage!! So now you went from a 27W bulb to 31W. If I remember to, I turn the DRL off. Consuming 54W is doing nothing but throwing off heat, there's little light. This was all corrected by the use of LED lighting, but dates back to the 90's.

The headlight, btw, uses 35W, to put the current into perspective. So I ordered the 4114s, as this is not something anyone stocks. Googled again, and people on forums said increasing the current is not the answer, because the housings melt and are likely already burned if you replace a bulb, and next day it doesn't work. Inspect and sure enough the gray plastic is brown from heat. Replaced the sockets themselves, and knock on wood, been good 2 years.

My point is it's a car co who can know about a problem for decades. I would still like a manual Corvette, however, Grand Sport is good enough for me.

p.s. on the GMC version of my wife's car, the DRL is inside of the headlight housing, and being HID/xenon, the owner of the car is out about $1000 per side when this happens. For us, the sockets I think were around $5 each at rockauto so I bought 4, another pair for next time around....

Yesterday I had to replace a backup light, but that meant disassembling the inside of the rear hatch, so I replaced all 4 bulbs while in there, and a cargo light went out. those are on order lol 2825 miniatures....the cargo lights are accessible from the outside, whereas the inner tails are only with the hatch disassembled. I wanted so much to buy American and I think I paid the price in doing so, I mean the car needed a new steering rack at 27k and a new AC condenser at 30k. Most cars those are lifetime parts. The interior vents all broke under extended warranty and tend to be $400 per, and the alternator went which is $1000, on and on, oh water pump went but I diy'd. Car only has 94k today hahahahahahahahahahaha one other car in the driveway has over 250k and all said above parts are original.

The truly strange thing is I feel partial to GM because of my dad's cars through the years growing up. Weird. At least when I go to cars.com I see cars like my wife's for sale that have over 200k, so that's the plan to keep driving and never have a payment...

Luckily my neighbor across the street ...

... owns two auto repair shops, and does work out of his home as well. So I've had him replace the timing belt/water pump on my Honda Pilot, as well as the brakes and a few other jobs, and he's saved me a great deal of money.

I don't have a lift at home or the tools required to do some of the work such as the timing belt replacement. I'm able to perform minor work myself, but lately I let my neighbor do most of it. He truly loves working on cars, and because he's done it for a living for years his repair knowledge is far greater than mine.

funny

BSideTheCSide wrote:

... owns two auto repair shops, and does work out of his home as well. So I've had him replace the timing belt/water pump on my Honda Pilot, as well as the brakes and a few other jobs, and he's saved me a great deal of money.

I don't have a lift at home or the tools required to do some of the work such as the timing belt replacement. I'm able to perform minor work myself, but lately I let my neighbor do most of it. He truly loves working on cars, and because he's done it for a living for years his repair knowledge is far greater than mine.

My Lexus is the only car, I have ever owned, to have a timing belt! Seems so primitive. My first car was a Volvo and it's so old it was OHV, not SOHC. Then my next two Volvos had chains as they were not 4 cyl. but 6 cyl., as did every car since. But then in 2016 I got a 2006 Lexus with a timing belt. Stroll into the dealer innocently and they say I need $6,700 of work hahahahahahahahahahahahaha from the multi-point. I admit, I was a bit "scared" cuz I had only owned the car a month.

Go to a Japanese indie, he said here's what you need, $0. But at 90k the timing belt's recommended. The dealer gets $1,800, but the indie $900 ($800 if no tensioner and idlers which Toyota does at 180k). Not cheap but he returned all the parts and it had the water pump, tensioner, and idlers. There's a really long YouTube on it and I'm resolved maybe I would do it someday. I told the tech like 2 years later, when you did the timing belt, there was almost no evidence that you even did the work, except a little bit of pink coolant that dripped onto the pans. He smiled and said, that's the idea, the way we treat your car. Actually my theory is these reliable cars get dumped, because owners do maintenance by the book at a dealer, and one day they encounter what I did, "You need $6,700 worth of work." Whether true, or not.

Oh and I don't doubt your neighbor does great work. People do that when it's their reputation and they take pride. The Japanese indie once said to me, "We don't simply replace parts for the sake of replacing them. It's your money, so we'll replace anything you want." This is when I asked if they'll replace the thermostat during the timing belt job--he said they just don't generally find they need to be replaced at 86k.

My mechanic

who specializes in German cars, will order any part you want, and advises what he thinks is best. I cannot beat the price he gets the part for.

I do alot of my car maintenance myself, but there are jobs I prefer the mechanic to do.

I like

mr55 wrote:

who specializes in German cars, will order any part you want, and advises what he thinks is best. I cannot beat the price he gets the part for.

I do alot of my car maintenance myself, but there are jobs I prefer the mechanic to do.

(not advertising for them) FCP Euro, because you buy a part from them and it's for life. I've tested it. When the dealer broke a part on my car, that I installed, I called them and they said doesn't matter who broke it, yes, it's covered. Then I went to the BBB and suddenly dealer calls what can we do to resolve this....

Also, like many other German car part websites, they show you OE, OEM, and aftermarket, in one view. I usually go for OEM. Sometimes I go for OE. I love how you can get a brake sensor wire for $14 on a BMW, when it costs $120+ on a Toyota. This is the "myth" that German cars cost more to maintain. As a general rule, they are not as reliable, but if one DIYs, they are quite affordable to drive.

Yep!

I have done that several times in the past. Usually save money by doing that.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

Parts and Steaks

I purchased a vacuum brake booster once to replace the OEM one that had gone bad. More specifically it had accumulated a lot of water over time (as it happens to do), and one very cold morning the water froze, which precluded normal operation. Very noticeable at the bottom of a hill when braking took a LOT of physical effort. It was also hard to reproduce, because when the weather was warmer or enough engine heat was available to melt the water, everything appeared normal.

My trusty independent shop owner wouldn't touch the part I supplied, as it as "bringing a steak to a restaurant."

I had it done elsewhere, as the repair was fairly involved due to access issues, and I didn't want to spend days acquiring tools and running into headaches while my car was undriveable.

n.b. It was probably only an issue during very cold weather until the ice could melt. I probably could have had the water removed from the booster, but at that point I figured a new/remanufactured part not rusting from the inside would be safer.

Many Times

I have a great Automobile Shop that is more than happy to do that. I have done that for our cars for years. In the past couple of years, I found a “Big Truck” shop that has done that for me on my Freightliner M2 .... Some repairs on the big truck just can’t be done in the driveway or RV Storage Facility.

"Do You Ever Buy Auto Parts

"Do You Ever Buy Auto Parts Then Have A Shop Install?"

I do it all the time. I'm not a mechanic. I buy the parts and my guy charges an hourly rate, or sometimes a flat rate depending on the job. I recently had a new front and rear metal bumper installed on my Jeep, also had a winch put on the front bumper. I also had my wheels changed.

I bought all the main parts, he puts them on, there may be a few things like extra wiring or something I didn't have that he supplies.

He does it for a living, even if I was mechanically inclined he would get it done in much less time, and done correctly, and I can get the parts for less than he could in most cases.

--
. 2 Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, Nuvi 2689, 2 Nuvi 2460, Zumo 550, Zumo 450, Uniden R3 radar detector with GPS built in, includes RLC info. Uconnect 430N Garmin based, built into my Jeep. .

After market cruise control

I bought an after market cruise control system for my 2011 Ford Ranger about 5 or 6 years ago and it is still sitting in the box it was shipped in. I have tried to get a couple of shops to install it, but they don't want any part of it. The instructions look pretty strait forward and I think I can do it myself, but I just never get around to it.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

I wonder

alandb wrote:

I bought an after market cruise control system for my 2011 Ford Ranger about 5 or 6 years ago and it is still sitting in the box it was shipped in. I have tried to get a couple of shops to install it, but they don't want any part of it. The instructions look pretty strait forward and I think I can do it myself, but I just never get around to it.

if it's a throwback. I remember my grandfather would buy the autoparts over a counter, then get them installed. I bet in the 70's there was not a resistance.

I don't object to the shop making a profit. But what I don't like, is the chain stores, muffler shops, etc.

They charge $1000 for routine jobs--BUT THEY DON'T USE THE SAME PARTS AS THE DEALER. I get it. Easy credit terms! 0%!

But ever peek around the outside of a shop? tons and tons of struts thrown in a pile, with the springs. Because they replace them with fully assembled "quik" units, that cost $99 retail, instead of using a quality part, disassembling the old part, removing and reusing the spring, and reassembling. Again, the point is the time they saved by not doing so, was never passed along to the customer in dollars. That's why in the industry they're called "time savers" where the job is a flat rate, so the sooner it's done, the more profitable.

In my above case, I want quality parts, but the after effect is that even with the shop charging labor, using best quality parts purchased online, it doesn't even touch the muffler shops' prices. Of course DIY is off the hook for savings, like $4200 jobs for $249 lol, but again we can't excpect a shop to do that, they have insurance, lights, payroll, etc.

I guess the moral is if you do want a shop to install your parts, don't get discouraged if you call 3 and all 3 say no.

car shop

It is great that you have a car shop that does this and charges a reasonable price. I don't have anyone that would do that near me and would not know what the true cost of the labor would be. Also, how can you check that they actually used your part.

Bring your own parts to a shop

Shops fall into one of two categories: Ones that simply say "No"; and others that say "Yes", but then charge you a labor rate that makes up for the cash the didn't get on the parts, so you end up paying what you would have paid if the shop supplied the parts.

You ain't gonna win on this topic..............

I'm showing my age...

johnnatash4 wrote:

I remember my grandfather would buy the autoparts over a counter, then get them installed. I bet in the 70's there was not a resistance.

I'm showing my age but I can remember in the early 1970's the ability to visit some service stations that would rent you a service bay, with lift, for an hour or so. It was very handy to have a lift and accomplish an oil change and tire rotation with appropriate tools.

Most also had a mechanic available to give advice if needed.

I would suspect that lawyers and our litigious society was the downfall of this concept.

--
John from PA

haha

John from PA wrote:
johnnatash4 wrote:

I remember my grandfather would buy the autoparts over a counter, then get them installed. I bet in the 70's there was not a resistance.

I'm showing my age but I can remember in the early 1970's the ability to visit some service stations that would rent you a service bay, with lift, for an hour or so. It was very handy to have a lift and accomplish an oil change and tire rotation with appropriate tools.

Most also had a mechanic available to give advice if needed.

I would suspect that lawyers and our litigious society was the downfall of this concept.

Yes! I will show my age. When I was in college, there were vocational schools that did that. And I had a job at a Cadillac dealer and I lifted my friend's Porsche as high as it would go as a practical joke. It would not come down and I panicked.

Why? It was a single post lift, and as it comes down there are two safety things that protrude that must be pushed in. Every once in a while I see these single post lifts still exist in gas stations.

Last time I used a lift was summer 2018--I was doing my wife's brakes and it made it easy to do all 4 at once (front rotors were original on the GM and took some banging to get off). I had to ask a tech where I should place the pad on the rear right, and I also noticed the two post lifts have a protector so as to not scratch the front doors. Today, a lift is like having a skating rink, whereas the time on it is valuable...

I would

JFP in PA wrote:

Shops fall into one of two categories: Ones that simply say "No"; and others that say "Yes", but then charge you a labor rate that makes up for the cash the didn't get on the parts, so you end up paying what you would have paid if the shop supplied the parts.

You ain't gonna win on this topic..............

Disagree on that. Read on for actual #'s.

Checked my total cost using Bilstein B6's, and it comes out to $738 with the $420 labor.

Just to set some baselines, I know a muffler shop wants $950 to do my wife's struts, 2011 GM. Because they pulled that on a state inspection years ago, and I said can you hold on a sec? I googled her extended warranty, and it covered struts, but not shocks. So I said let me bring it to the dealer it's got a warranty.

Now--I went to yourmechanic dot com. It validates that a dealer gets $1377 for the job. A shop gets in the $900 ballpark.

I stated at the beginning, they want $420 labor to put in my Bilsteins, which will require disassembly to reuse the spring. The labor includes installing sway bar end links and bushings. There's more labor in this job than the muffler shop, who uses a quik unit.

Frankly I don't see any padding of the labor to make up for the loss of profit on the parts--it's the book rate. I think it's either they have a policy to do this, or they don't. Why they would do it? It's still profitable, $420 towards payroll and lights, is $420. $0 is $0. my .02

btw the prices on the Bilstein B6's were $114 ea for the front. GM OE end links were $38 each, and the bushings were Moog at $14 for the pair. These are the numbers that can be added to the $420, to get the entire job's price--now you got $318 + 420 = $738 with tax.

This can't be compared to the muffler shop because the parts are not the cheap Monroe Quik struts, they are more comparable to the dealer's $1377 job. Bilsteins are superior to OE--OE leaks in about 60k from experience.

Again we all get that many can't be bothered with buying parts online, looking them up, etc. That's why I posed the question, it's all good!

Rarely

There have been only a few times over the years but only because the shop wasn’t able to get the OEM part. Most recently, I had the dealer change the oil with my filter and oil provided since the car was already there for warranty work. They charged $10 for the oil change.

then there's the other end

where they use the wrong transmission fluid and get to eat a new transmission plus headache plus covering customer's costs.

My shop roasted a CVT transmission by using the wrong fluid based on their computer's part numbers. OEM for my wife's car has a different fluid for that one year. I don't want to guess which version i would have provided them if i had gone that route.

I can see that

cratecookie wrote:

where they use the wrong transmission fluid and get to eat a new transmission plus headache plus covering customer's costs.

My shop roasted a CVT transmission by using the wrong fluid based on their computer's part numbers. OEM for my wife's car has a different fluid for that one year. I don't want to guess which version i would have provided them if i had gone that route.

Meaning customer provided wrong transmission fluid type? It's a valid point, does a shop take the customer's word these are even the right parts? When it comes to auto trans there is universal which they say should never be used on a toyota which has very expensive WS that's not even synth. I've used both universal and Dexron VI on my wife's--it's so old school easy to drain and fill, tough to get the level right but it does have a dipstick. Toyota doesn't even have a dipstick and a very complicated process to drain/fill where temp is critical...

I gave the shop a list of parts for the record, and I was thinking did the tech read it, or even need to, because for him he knows what they are by looking...strut mount, strut bearing, upper and lower spring insulators, boot and bump stop...

I was looking at the work and two things struck me. Did they break something on the ABS sensors? Did they forget to put something back on the cowl?

Why pics and old parts returned are a good idea imho.

No they did not forget, GM is CHEEEEEEEEEEEEPP!!!! Before pics same, looked like some covers should be in place that are non-existent.

Also, the Bilstein B6 strut DOES NOT have a 3rd hole where a plastic rivet holds the ABS wire to it, like on the factory part.

I notice that GM OE has both AWD and non versions, aftermarket only one. Maybe that hole is the reason, not sure.

There's still a creak that I thought was the left front strut, now I believe it's a torque strut i.e. 3rd engine mount--ordered on amazon hope to do it tomorrow in the driveway...

btw rubber is funny it either softens or hardens over time....the sway bar bushings that came out are squishy and tacky. The new ones cannot be compressed at all by hand and super hard rubber. Again why I like to see old parts and how they deteriorate over time. Really, just to know and have an idea of what's going on...