It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Looking for advice/labor information from a pro mechanic

page: 1

log in


posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 09:06 AM

I'm about to do some repairs to my 2005 Elantra and I am getting different quotes on labor from everyone I talk to.

I'm wondering if anyone has access to a Chilton's, AllData, etc labor manual and can tell me the estimated labor hours to replace all 4 struts (keeping old springs) and a timing belt/water pump replacement.

I have done all of this work before but I don't have the tools to do it now. I am guessing if I had a spring compressor and impact wrench it would take me about 45 minutes to an hour per strut (no ABS) and about 3.5/4 hours for the timing belt (I actually think it would take less time, but I recall seeing labor hours for this item somewhere and I think this is what it was)

Anyway, I was hoping someone who has no chance of getting my money (unless you're close and willing!) could give me an honest answer as to what your labor guide says this will be.

I'm thinking 8-10 hours of labor and I am getting quotes for double this amount. I think 8-10 hours is generous too. I'm hoping to get some clarity on this but I don't have access to any labor guides. =

Any help is appreciated, thanks!
edit on 31-1-2012 by TinkerHaus because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 09:12 AM
delete this post

edit on 31-1-2012 by haven123 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 09:19 AM
I normally would, but I don't have a spring compressor, an impact wrench, impact sockets, a torque wrench, etc.. And I want it done RIGHT.

I have gone back and forth between just buying the tools and doing it myself or paying someone to do it. I still have not made up my mind 100% but some information about estimated labor hours would help me do so.

I don't need a guide, I've been taking apart/putting together cars and tractors and anything else my entire life. I just don't have a garage and don't want to do the repairs in the winter, in the cold, out in the open. (it's cold here this time of year!)

Thanks for the link but what I really need is to know what the labor guides say about these repairs.

As added info - my uncle is a long time mechanic and co-own his business. He has offered to do this for me for free but I feel really guilty, as I don't see him very often even though he lives across town.. I would feel really bad asking him to do this for me after being so distant, I don't avoid him or anything I'm just busy and can't get out to see the whole family as much as I'd like. I don't want him to get the idea I'm only going to come by when I need something.

Money isn't a problem. I have money - but I also don't want to get ripped off. I don't mind paying someone who is honest and trustworthy to do the job...

edit on 31-1-2012 by TinkerHaus because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 09:35 AM
reply to post by TinkerHaus

Did you factor in the price of a wheel alignment when you change the struts ?

posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 09:36 AM
You may be getting charged for overlapping work on the water pump and timing belt when this work should be combined since (I would assume) you must remove the timing belt to get to the water pump. You should also ask to look at the shops flat rate manual or flat rate computing system and have the shop mechanic explain it to you. I have been on both sided of this issue, either doing the repairs or having repairs done, A fair and honest mechanic will not hesitate to answer all of your questions and take a little time with you. If a mechanic or shop makes you feel like a bother don't do business with them. I always appriecated an informed customer and enjoyed taking a little time to let them know what their repairs entailed. I always expected to be indulged in when I was the customer.
A fair and honest mechanic will look at you as a prospective return customer and walking/talking advertisment. I got the majority of my work from word of mouth and referals.

posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 09:41 AM
reply to post by rick004

Yeah, I've considered the $69.95 for a 4 wheel alignment..

I'm being quoted prices that based on my labor estimates are in some cases $150 per hour. I used to have a mechanic who I trusted and went to for everything (we went to highschool together) but he's in another state now.

As I said, I don't mind paying a reasonable price.. It's just that in this case I know exactly what needs to be done and yes, I should not pay labor twice for the water pump/timing belt but I can't say whether or not any of the estimates I've got are trying to screw me with that method..

I just want to know what the labor guides say. =\

posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 09:46 AM
Let your uncle do it - you help. Pay him a very fair price or buy him something really really nice that he wouldn't buy for himself.

I fix all my step kids cars I can't believe the quotes they get. The last time was a 1000.oo to replace the ac/heater control on a Toyota Highlander. It took me an hour to remove solder three wires and replace.

posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 09:51 AM
I say an hour per strut is reasonable since there is nothing really complicated about it. As for the water pump/timing belt it is certainly more involved. Like on my old Alero, the belts go around the engine mount so therefore the engine will need to be supported while one of the mounts are removed. Of course the coolant needs to be drained. The power steering pump, alternator, AC compressor etc will all have to be either removed or at least moved out of the way to get to the timing belt. Timing belt in itself can be tricky but I think fairly straight forward in your car. Found this post although the images are missing (Link) but does give you an idea on what needs to get done.

If I were doing it I would give myself at least 8 hours to attempt it (and since I'm no pro it would likely take me longer). For a pro 6-8 hours sounds reasonable to me.

Of course 12 hours of labor will be pricey. If you have the know-how to fix it, have you checked to see if there are any shops you can rent in your area? If you can rent a shop for say a couple hundred bucks for day/weekend, plus parts and case of beer, you'll still come out on top.

posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 10:15 AM
Thanks all.

I very well might ask my uncle. I've also thought about just buying the tools I need (about $300) and just doing it myself, but again I don't have a garage and it's cold outside!

I'm still very curious what the labor guides say labor should be.. Anyone who has access to this information will earn my eternal gratitude.

posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 02:08 PM
I "rent" tools from Autozone or others. Basically you pay for a select group of tools - suspension body etc. Use it as long as you need it. Take it back and they refund the money. They do this because that is what people did with tools they don't use often -like spring compressors. I''ve done that a few times and it is a pretty nice program.

posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 07:37 PM
this elantra with a 2.0 engine has a timing belt which is purchased as kit with a tensioner,water pump sold
seperatetakes up to 4hrs. labor the struts for the front show 1 hr.each plus it it needs bearing plates or mounts the rear struts call for 1.5 hrs.each and the same if they need bearing plates or mounts,also they can come in complete strut kits one peice or they may only be listed as seperate parts per wheel

posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 10:10 PM
reply to post by auto4x4


I finally found someone who's claimed hourly labor rate and estimate for this job lined up with what you are telling me.

Got new KBY mounts, front and back, timing belt kit, water pump, SenSen 1290 shocks.. Dropped it off tonight, picking up tomorrow.

I was asking this because people were claiming to charge $30 an hour for labor, then telling me $500, then telling me I could drop it off in the AM and pick up in the PM.. Basic math has always been rough for me but something about this smelled fishy.

Anyway I found a guy through a friend, this guy owned a shop for many years and still has most of it in his garage. He charges $30 an hour labor and quoted me $265 (one helluva deal!) which turned out to be quite a bit less than the guy who charged $25 an hour labor. Crazy.

I plan on giving the guy a good tip for being the first honest person in the bunch.
edit on 3-2-2012 by TinkerHaus because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 05:24 PM
My labor guide (ondemand5) says 7.8 hrs for all 4 struts and the water pump.

new topics

top topics


log in