Ever wonder why it costs so much more to fix a similar problem in two different vehicles? Let's say you now own an SUV and before that, you owned a car. Your SUV's air conditioning system needs a new evaporator, but the cost for the new one is way more than you remember it was for your car. How can there be that big of a difference?
There are many reasons. For one thing, vehicles aren't all the same. Yes, they have engines and steering wheels and suspensions, but engineering and design can vary widely among different styles and brands.
In the case of replacing the evaporator, the one in your former car may have been located in a spot where the technician could get to it easily. Plus, the part may have been less complicated and, therefore, cheaper. Your SUV may require the entire dashboard to be removed with special tools to detach the a/c lines from the evaporator. Plus, since it is supplying cool air to a bigger cabin, it may be more complicated; the part itself may cost quite a bit more.
But you're not an expert, so how do you know the price is fair? This is where it helps to establish a good, long-lasting relationship with a reputable service repair facility. They know you, they know your vehicle and they value keeping you as a customer. A facility that doesn't care about repeat business may try to suggest more repairs than are needed or inflate their prices. But those shops are unlikely to stay in business very long since their reputation gets around.
If you've been taking your vehicles to the same shop for several years, you've had experience with them and know their policy on labor costs and parts prices. At some point you may wonder if it's worth it to keep putting money into your vehicle, and if you know your service advisor, you have developed a trust for his or her advice.
Keep this in mind, too. Vehicle designers and engineers have made significant progress in things like powertrain technology and rust prevention. That means today's vehicles are meant to last longer. One study in a major consumer magazine shows that if you can keep your vehicle on the road for 200,000 miles/320,000 km, an average of 15 years, some vehicles can save you up to $30,000 or more. Investing in repairs can make a lot of sense.
March 7, 2021
Let's say you live in a cold climate where the snowy, icy weather challenges you to clear the salt and debris tossed up on your windshield. You push your windshield washer switch expecting a good stream of fluid so the blades can wipe the glass clean. Yet nothing comes out. Nada, zip. What's g... More
February 28, 2021
If you notice that your headlights are flickering at night, that's something to pay attention to. While there could be many different things that could cause that problem, one possibility is your vehicle's alternator. The alternator takes mechanical energy from the engine and turns it into electr... More
February 21, 2021
There's nothing like that sinking feeling when you turn the key and nothing happens in your vehicle. A lot of us are quick to blame the battery. But it may instead be your alternator that's failing. Your battery supplies power to start your vehicle, but the alternator is what sends power when y... More