View Full Version : Need info re: transmission repair... please help!

04-26-2011, 02:56 AM
Need some advice... can anybody tell me approx. how many hours it would or should take a transmission shop to take out a torque converter and replace it with a rebuilt one? I think I may have been overcharged for the hours, so I am looking for some experts to weigh in. This is for a 2008 Sprinter. They charged me for 11 hours, which seems excessive?
Any help appreciated!

04-26-2011, 05:09 AM
6-7 hours would be about right for an 08 2500 or a 3500. Hope this info helps.

Thank you, John
Sprinter Store
A division of Upscale Automotive, Inc.
19460 SW 89th Ave.
Tualatin, OR 97062

04-26-2011, 07:33 AM
Mechanics charge by the "book" . Even if a job takes five minutes but the book says 2 Hours they charge by the book.

I don't ever see how you can fight AFTER the bill is presented. Normally and I know here in Ca. they must present you with a price up front and call and get you permission if the price goes higher than the estimate.

I won a court case where a dealer quoted me $500.00 for repairs then wanted $750.00 when I showed up. I refused and he kept my vehicle hostage. I sued him and he lost the entire price of the bill. PLUS he paid an additional $1,200.00 for my rental car the entire time he held my car hostage. So he was out $1,700.00. He learned it wasn't worth trying to screw customers for an additional $250.00.

What did you sign for when you dropped the vehicle off?

Aqua Puttana
04-26-2011, 12:46 PM
Yep. Your paycheck can live... or die by the "book". Was the transmission service the only thing done? Sometimes people forget the other "little" things they wanted taken care of as long as the vehicle is in the shop. So I should think the book rate for all work done would be the guideline. vic
Mechanics charge by the "book" .

What did you sign for when you dropped the vehicle off?

04-26-2011, 01:53 PM
Yep. Your paycheck can live... or die by the "book". Was the transmission service the only thing done? Sometimes people forget the other "little" things they wanted taken care of as long as the vehicle is in the shop. So I should think the book rate for all work done would be the guideline. vic

As a shop owner I am oftened ask these questions What did they do?
What were the the details of the procedure?
Often repairs are done on vehicles that have been in service for some time, hence to execute a job in a worthwhile quality level manner extra time/parts is/are sometimes needed.
Was the job done right?--Does the shop warranty the repair and for how long?--'cos that (ain't free either--nothing in life is!)

Finally as an additional comment.
If you went to your Doctor (physician), Dentist, "et al" would you querie the bill if they took longer than quoted?
Would you sue a doctor for taking longer than he quoted on the estimate?

I am sure that in most cases you would say NO!
So what makes a Professional Mechanic any different than a Medical Doctor when providing a service?.

Lastly and you may take this as a derogatory example however it is worthy of comment!
I mentioned in a previous posting that I swear 80% of the world's lawyers are in the USA and that I swear 20% of the population is crazy! A mix for a perfect storm!
From my perspective and many other nations North Americans reach for the attorney telephone directory instantly before negotiating or even discussing an objection to an issue!

A long time ago in Alexandria which is the one in Egypt I was witness to a family fued over land where some family members has been murdered by their own family. As you can imagine there was a lot of bitterness and anger in the air.
Adjudicated by a young army officer mediator, the fellow had the members sat on the floor drinking tea in an aggreance within about 4 hours!
No attorney, no sueing, no acrimonious behaviour only a meeting of minds.
Now we might in the USA & the West regard Arab people as a silly people, a brutal people, a primitive people.
Gents at times I begin to wonder who might behave in a civilized manner when presented with a bill which may not be what is expected due to a mis-understanding of the task involved or the compexity of the vehicle involved.
Just like medical matters the general public is largely ignorent or what is involved in doing a successful medical procedure, and I submit the same applies to modern complex motor vehicles.
I will quote a statement made by my Latin/Classics teacher (a Mr Evans) when I was in school in the late 50's early 60's.
Making war is such a clumsy way of resolving an issue, rarely is there an outright winner and it is usally costly to all involved. Boys, do try not to follow these examples and not the ones persued by the Ancient Greeks!

04-27-2011, 02:15 AM
6-7 to re and re just a torque converter would be a little rich but not out of line.

Does the 11 hours include diag time and trans flush and cooler flush?

04-27-2011, 05:09 AM
Here is some inside info.
For a repair shop to be financially sound and profitable the parts content should optimally be 21% up to 25% TOPS on any RO estimate.

When receiving an estimate to repair anything amounting to substancial do the math, and calculate the parts and labor content.
Hence on this opening thread you will have a torque converter plus fluids and parts sundries. (Direct parts costs)
Then there are fixed shop sundries and overhead costs like cleaning materials etc.
Plus the labor.
From that it is easy to determine if the shop is a successful one or one spinning its financial wheels and even in some cases about to go under!
This is especially poinant in todays economic climate.

I like looking over the dealers estimate, they always (for the mostpart) get it the 21% factor right. Yes the "main stealer" dealer will be more expensive than me the Independant, but remember their cost of doing business is much higher than mine.

If the establishment has been in business for more than 3 years it is NOT regarded as a risky start up. Or a Wannabe!
If the business is attractive contact the local BBB for a reference and finally don't be afraid to ask for other customers names as a reference.
Of course a referral by a friend or family member is usually a good sign the shop is legit.
If the bill is likely to be in excess of $3000 get a second opinion plus a second estimate and compare using the 21% factor on parts versus labor.

Being a savvy consumer avoids arguments/sticker shock surprises at the pay counter when you are about to collect your vehicle.

Equally don't expect to turn the place into an Arab souk/Iranian Baazar bargaining the price down to something you can afford its too late for that! Plus threatening to call the cops (that is so passe, so California dreamin!)

During the repair process if it takes several days call into the shop in question and ask how its going; are there any hidden problems discovered, items likely to be create a supplement on the job.
If the place is a professional shop they will gladly explain in most cases and be very pro-active and up front with pro active customers.

Really this applies to most spendy contractual parts of life, a doctor's/dentist/vets etc /should I state Attorney (heaven forbid):lol: in fact anything that takes your hard earned money.
Hope that helps with the enquiry today, tomorrow, and forever more Amen:smilewink:

04-27-2011, 06:07 AM
Good post Dennis,

Too many search for price instead of value! I would much rather pay $500 for the guy to do it right, rather than $400 to let them learn on my vehicle, an on my nickle.


04-27-2011, 11:07 PM
3.6 hrs Warranty time X 1.5=5.4hrs cash time .... plus 1 hour to re-adapt transmission


04-28-2011, 08:27 AM
I was told once when I had a tranny leak. The "O" ring cost $0.15 and $400.00 to know where to put the "O" ring.

04-29-2011, 04:43 AM
I was told once when I had a tranny leak. The "O" ring cost $0.15 and $400.00 to know where to put the "O" ring.

Now you are sounding like my daughter studying to be a doctor/surgeon. (UMTB Galveston)
The stent is cheap but knowing where to put it in the artery is the expensive bit.
As she says
Dad when you make in a mistake in your business , it comes back on your dime!--When we make a mistake it comes back on the patients' dime--or it gets buried or burnt!:laughing:
Who says life is simple or easy!
ps Her professor said recently Quote:-
"Tell your dad who is obvioulsy footing the bill to learn all this from fixing cars, that we are teaching you to take the engine apart while it is still running and THEN put it back together again so that it will still run!--that's the challenge!
Ahrg! Frightening!