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unless your car is under warranty, of course.


Saturn wanted $290 to replace a ECTS (engine coolant temperature sensor). I called the Citgo up the street and they said they would do it for $95. After researching online, I decided to just do the job myself. Should cost me about $17.00.

COOLANT TEMP sensor, Saturn 91-02 $10.65
Electrical - Powertrain control - Coolant temp sensor

13mm DEEP WELL socket (6 point variety)

around $6.00?
 

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Always take it to a dealer...

Is there any more to the story Mid? Did you take the car to the dealer to diagnose the problem or did you call up the dealer and ask "how much to replace my ECTS?" like you did the Citgo station? Now don't get me wrong, there are bad dealers out there.
But there are bad "regular" shops too. You should see some of the "repairs" that are brought into where I work to be fixed correctly after some numbskull with 3 pairs of visegrips and a large hammer had worked on the car...
And then we have the shops that call us to tell them what is wrong with the car, that happens almost daily.
But back to your story Mid. Just how did it go?
Did you take the car to the dealer because the check engine light was on?
Did the dealer test your car (usually with a scanner tool) to determine the problem?
Did the dealer do a visual check to make sure it wasn't something simple, like the wire unplugged?
(Happens...)
After the repair is made by you, are you going to be able to clear the trouble codes so the check engine light goes out? (Only OBDII I think..)
How about a breakdown of what the dealer actually did? It should be on your service ticket.
Now I am not out to start a flame war here..
Is there a rest of the story?
And what is my problem? I am tired of people knocking dealers.
Especially since I work in one. And there are others on this board that do as well.
Does anyone else that works at a dealer want to chime in?
(There... I feel better now...)
Scott
 
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Well, everything we drive - 94 Explorer, 99 F350 V10, 2000 Silverado, 2002 King Ranch F250 goees to our local Ford dealer for service, I trust them to do it right the first time and they give me free loaner cars no matter what I bring in.

This said, I work on the T/A myself or take it to a mechanis that does my brother's cars.... just feel better that way
 

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You bring a newer vehicle to the dealer because they know (usually!!! ) how to diagnose and fix it correctly... the ratio of "hacks" is normally substantially lower at a dealer than a private shop (I was an outside sales rep for an auto parts distributor for years, I've seen this first hand!), because the dealer has access to quality factory training, can pay more $$ for higher quality techs because they're charging YOU more $$ for the repair, and they have access to a wealth of trouble shooting tips and info because they share info with the factory and other dealers, all of whom specialize in those particular vehicles.... and they have more to lose with a bad reputation!
 

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Having worked at a local dealership as a mechanic, I can say that they tend to be high on some things, but generally the automotive repair business, like any business, tends to be very competitive. This depends on the services performed, but the price differences are usually not much different. However, parts bought at dealerships are always higher than elswhere(my experience anyway). Generally the dealership of the manufacturer of your car will know that brand as good as anyone, and will(or should) have all of the "j" tools(special tools) required for many repairs in order to perform them correctly. As for independent shops, there are great ones that will always fix your vehicle right the first time, every time and for a very competitive price and then there are the shops that I have no idea how or why they are still in the business of "fixing" cars. I am currently a city mechanic, and I sometimes repair vehicles of friends and aquaintences in my spare time. I have, more than once, repaired a problem that was caused by joe shadetree down at the local grease pit, in an attempt to fix another problem. Noddaz has a point, does the price Saturn quoted include troubleshooting? That is usually the most difficult and time consuming part of a repair. After you know what the problem is and how to repair it AND the cause of the problem, the rest is just part replacement(as long as the cooling system is properly bled and filled). :wave:
 

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i will have to say that i dont work at a dealership but i am a mechanic,,i dont work for the public at all,,,,,,(what a blessing),,,,,,i feel that the dealers have a total upper hand in ripping or not. when they add 15.00 for shop supplies to the bill,,,thats a rip to me. how can they charge for shop supplies and then,,,charge like anywhere from 65 to 95 an hour for labor when they are only paying the mechanic 25 to 30 an hour (if he is REAL GOOD) just makes me say,,,,,,,,hmmm.
 

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dammitman said:
,,,charge like anywhere from 65 to 95 an hour for labor when they are only paying the mechanic 25 to 30 an hour (if he is REAL GOOD) just makes me say,,,,,,,,hmmm.
Around here it is more like $65 to $75 per hour labor rate while paying the techs $15 to $25 per hour. That is why I don't work at a dealership anymore(among many other reasons). I too am blessed to work as a government(fleet) mechanic and don't have to deal with the extreme pressures that come with dealing with the public. :thumbsup:
 

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The dealer has me by the short hairs. Nobody near my home wants to work on a Daewoo. The few that would mend my car buy their parts from the one Daewoo dealer remaining in Georgia.
I am paying $98/hr labor for diagnosis & repairs at Daewoo of Lithia Springs.

[more to this tale - i'm not up for it today]
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
noddaz, I called Saturn Of Danvers and asked. They said they had a flat rate of $250.00 for any sensors. Plus $40.00 for the part. I ended up ordering the same Saturn OEM part from saturnparts.net for 10.65. With the $ I saved I treated myself to a new antenna mast (that some punk stole).

There is no check engine light flashing. It is the temp/add coolant lights. The car is running a little cold and the gas milage is off. it's a very common problem for Saturns. 99% of the time its the sensor.

If anything MAJOR goes wrong with my car I usually take it to a dealer. But i'd be crazy to pay $290.00 for 10 minutes of work.
 

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midtown said:
noddaz, I called Saturn Of Danvers and asked. They said they had a flat rate of $250.00 for any sensors. Plus $40.00 for the part. I ended up ordering the same Saturn OEM part from saturnparts.net for 10.65.

There is no check engine light flashing. It is the temp/add coolant lights. The car is running a little cold and the gas milage is off. it's a very common problem for Saturns. 99% of the time its the sensor.
you must have meant 250 for any diagnostics and then 40 for the sensor,,,,,,that would make more sense than anything. and i am with you midtown,,,,,,,,dealers overall in the repair dept are generally a ripoff,,,,,,,,not all mind you but i have yet to find one that actually isnt,,,,but i have only been alive 41 years,,,,give me time.

i have to add,,,,they are not a rip off if you just dont go there. go someplace else!!!,,,,,,,,they tell you right up front what they charge and you know dang well you are gonna pay full boat for the parts they say you need. so just dont go there if you dont want that.
 

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HMMWV said:
The dealer has me by the short hairs. Nobody near my home wants to work on a Daewoo. The few that would mend my car buy their parts from the one Daewoo dealer remaining in Georgia.
I am paying $98/hr labor for diagnosis & repairs at Daewoo of Lithia Springs.

[more to this tale - i'm not up for it today]
hahaha,,:lol: shouldnt have bought a daewoo!!!!! or at least did a bit of reasearch on repair of them before you did,,,,,,,,
 

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ive traded my 10 minute repair for 2 hours of sex,,,,,pretty good deal for me i thought,,,,,,,,,,,so did she and i think i might have been taken advantage of too!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
with the dealer?



dammitman said:
ive traded my 10 minute repair for 2 hours of sex,,,,,pretty good deal for me i thought,,,,,,,,,,,so did she and i think i might have been taken advantage of too!!!!!!!
 

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midtown said:
with the dealer?
naw,,,she brought her little problem to me and viola,,,,,,,instant fix and everybody goes home happy,,,,,,EXCELLENT!!!!!!
 

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noddaz, I called Saturn Of Danvers and asked. They said they had a flat rate of $250.00 for any sensors. Plus $40.00 for the part. I ended up ordering the same Saturn OEM part from saturnparts.net for 10.65. With the $ I saved I treated myself to a new antenna mast (that some punk stole).
**********************************************
I offer my apologies (did I spell that right?)..
Even working at a dealer I find that high. I think that the dealer I work at "only" charges one hour ($84.00) for diagnostics like that with the scanner...
The scanner itself is crazy in price. Something like $5000... And no. A dealer does not have a choice about buying it or the updates. If a dealer wants to keep it's franchise it is required to buy all the new special tools, all the tech training and even the building has to look a specific way...
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No need to apologize! I'm sorry for knocking your profession. To be honest I've always had decent luck at Chevy, Dodge and Ford (gasp!) dealerships. Saturn is the first one thats really tried to rip me off. I should of been more specific when I titled this thread.
 
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