Excessive Charge to Repair/Replace Chewed Wire?

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by HappyPaul, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. HappyPaul

    HappyPaul Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    26
    15
    0
    Location:
    Minden, Ontario
    Vehicle:
    2019 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    I have a 2019 Prius C. When I started it up on Sunday, it started shuddering something awful. I could tell that the problem was in the gas engine, as the shuddering stopped once the engine cut out

    I took it to the dealer, left it overnight, and waited for the call today. The problem was due to the fact that an animal had chewed through an injector wire, causing cylinder #3 to misfire. The wire was "repaired" and apparently the car is fine. Simple Problem, Simple Fix, right?

    Here's where I have an issue: They want to charge me $325.00 for Labour. How can this be reasonable? How long could the diagnostic have taken? They would have plugged in their little electronic Gizmo, and figured out pretty quickly that one cylinder was misfiring. With that established, how long would it have taken them to discover that that was due to the fact that an animal had chewed through the injector cable? That having been discovered, how long would it take to repair said cable? How can $325.00 be justified?

    What Do You Think?
     
  2. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    8,486
    5,003
    0
    Location:
    Undisclosed Location
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I think you are both right...and also totally out of luck.
    Plus there probably was potentially more to the labor than you might think. Who know's how much time it may of taken to reach the wire, remove it in totality and replace in entirety. That could take some time.

    Unfortunately sometimes the simplicity of a problem, doesn't factor into the labor it may take to resolve that same problem.
     
    mikey_t likes this.
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Obtuse Angler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    35,128
    24,018
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    I don't think $325 is too much. Rodents chewing wiring can sometimes be a nightmare, pretty much total the car.
     
    mikey_t likes this.
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    82,237
    35,720
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    some dealerships will only replace the entire wiring harness to the tune of $7,000.
     
  5. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    2,919
    1,055
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    $325 to patch a wire isn't fair... But we don't call them Car dealerships, we call them stealerships and examples like this is a huge reason why Tesla didn't incorporate the stealership distribution model in to their business, even to the point of not being able to sell Teslas in certain states...

    But perhaps if you ask to see the damaged wire and they don't show it you could raise a stink and get them to lower price after you escalate to a manager, then supervisor, then owner/Better Business Bureau complaint and government complaint... But there's a fine art to doing this effectively, depending on how much you personally make an hour it may or may not be worth your time.

    In the future, you HAVE to find a mechanic with a small shop and lots of skills, as well as lots of loyal customers... They're the ones who wouldn't even pull it into a repair bay, they'd diagnose, splice the wire together and say, it took less then 10 minutes, so don't worry about the cost. Of course that only happens if you're a loyal customer and they know you're always gonna bring your car to them as well as recommend their business. Also if your say yes to their upsell often. :) People often refer to such mechanics as their friend, rather than a stealership. :)
     
    HappyPaul likes this.
  6. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    8,486
    5,003
    0
    Location:
    Undisclosed Location
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    That's the thing however, I'm pretty sure they aren't by necessity patching the wire. They probably have to identify it, and remove it in totality, and replace in totality.
    I think as Bisco said, probably lucky the dealership isn't insisting on entire wire harness replacement.

    Any way you want to chew on it,- damaged wires by rodents are a bad thing.

    Unfortunately we can't bill the rodents.
     
  7. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    2,919
    1,055
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Well, yeah... Stealerships are warranty maintenance & repair specialists... They replace whole systems in the exact way that Toyota's warranty coverage pays them the most for. Car owners who have run out of warranty should never venture into such realms...
     
    HappyPaul likes this.
  8. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    8,486
    5,003
    0
    Location:
    Undisclosed Location
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I would also suspect or speculate that there are legal and safety issues involved.
    If a dealership "patches" or splices a wire, and it fails causing an accident? The repercussions could be huge. They are forced sometimes to replace in entirety to protect themselves from liability.

    I sympathize with the OP...but I think there are reasons $325 can be understood if not exactly justified. And further reason to be happy that is all it is costing.
     
  9. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    4,188
    3,210
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    I don't know the norm in your country or region. But $325 repair sound fairly normal at a dealership. If they worked on the car for three hours, it easily exceeds that amount at my dealer. Labor cost is something like $120/hour.
     
  10. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    2,919
    1,055
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Oh yeah, fixing a broken wire is going to create a deadly fatality accident. Give me a break! There's thieves all around us who use the same lies to rob us every day "for our safety." And then there are people who use facts and knowledge and who are honest and respectful and only charge for legitimate work rather then using fear to make poor people as flat broke as possible.
     
    ydpplqbd and HappyPaul like this.
  11. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    1,292
    1,813
    9
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Three Touring
    The charge seems reasonable to me; quite so if it’s $325 CAD, or a bit less than $250 USD at this writing.

    Even if the repair was just to splice one wire, there may have been several steps between reading diagnostic trouble code P0303, Cylinder 3 Misfire Detected, and determining that the wire was faulty, especially if the damage wasn’t visible, so the technician wouldn’t have known that the problem was an electrical one. The Repair Manual (more info) procedure for P0303 says to check the PCV hose connections, inspect the spark plug, do a spark test, check the compression pressure, and only then to check the fuel injector circuit.

    Consider, too, that the dealer’s (or any shop’s) labor rate must cover not only the wages, employment taxes, and other direct costs for the technicians, but also overhead costs. The dealer was ready with the skills, information, facilities, equipment, tools, and materials to diagnose and repair your car, and none of those is free.
     
    HappyPaul likes this.
  12. HappyPaul

    HappyPaul Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    26
    15
    0
    Location:
    Minden, Ontario
    Vehicle:
    2019 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    You are so correct, PriusCamper. I made a serious mistake earlier this year, trading in my perfectly good 2014 Prius C (which I had serviced at a small shop like you described) for this 2019. Now I am at the mercy of a "Stealership" again.
     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    82,237
    35,720
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    more importantly, tackle the rodent problem before it tackles you
     
    HappyPaul likes this.
  14. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    2,273
    2,141
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    Look, I can splice a couple wires together and charge you $5 for it and pocket a useful profit.

    But now you want the right wires spliced?

    Next you’ll be wanting splices that last all day...
     
  15. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    8,486
    5,003
    0
    Location:
    Undisclosed Location
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    First of all I'm not saying FIXING the wire is going to create a fatal accident. I'm saying for legal and liability reasons, dealerships repair centers are sometimes forced to replace complete systems. It seems undeniably obvious that a spliced wire, or reconnected damaged wire is more susceptible to future failure.
    Why would you think that failure couldn't be very damaging or possibly cause a fatal accident?
    The space shuttle exploded because of the failure of a simple O-Ring.

    That scenario...sounds potentially pretty dangerous if it happened in heavy traffic or on the freeway. And it was caused by the problem we are discussing.
    The complexity of a problem, or lack of complexity has no connection directly with how possibly dangerous a situation it's failure could cause.

    The OP was asking for reasons why the repair was so costly. I was giving him one. You can debate whether it's a fair or reasonable reason separately. And I think it just is true, due to potential liability reasons, dealerships are sometimes forced to replace complete components, complete systems, to divorce themselves from the liability that could ensue, by doing a more back-yard, bib overall mechanic repair. That's the reason you get entire wiring harnesses replaced because a single wire was chewed.

    This isn't a new reality, It's the way it's always been.
    My mother once had a Ford Escort station wagon that had seemingly really cool seat belts that had the shoulder belts on automatic tracks that would automatically belt you in when you started the car. "Really Cool" until that motor burned out.
    Of course at the Ford Dealership, that single motor couldn't be replaced. You had to buy the whole assembly, motor, track, etc.....
    Which made the repair very, very expensive.

    I suppose people always have the option of applying different options. I'm not debating whether the it's fair, or reasonable. The OP asked " How can $325.00 be justified?"...I gave him a valid reason why at a dealership it can and often will be justified.
    Whether you think it's Fair, reasonable, or justified, is a separate debate.
     
  16. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    2,919
    1,055
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Main point you're missing is you need to fit the repair job to the best service option for doing the job. If you have a brand new car under warranty, for a problem like your mother's seatbelt, you'd be insane to not go to a dealer and get it done for free. But if your mom's car was nearing the end of it's lifespan and long past warranty you'd be insane to take it to a dealer and would be better off taking it to a neighborhood mechanic who can get a used replacement part from the local wrecker. As for liability, it's too often an excuse for getting overcharged rather than an essential requirement.
     
    HappyPaul likes this.
  17. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    8,486
    5,003
    0
    Location:
    Undisclosed Location
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I'm not missing that point. I agree. But it's NOT the point I was making.
    Again I was answering the question from the OP..." How can $325 be justified? " and the OP was talking about that charge from a dealership.

    I agree, and I say, " I suppose people always have the option of applying different options. ". You can always repair a vehicle yourself, or take it to a personal mechanic....I've never said that wasn't an option, it simply wasn't part of my point.

    My bottom line, when I'm posting anonymously on the internet and talking repair, restoration or replacement? I'm going to say, whatever avenue of repair you accept or pursue, what you want is a reliable, safe automobile after repair.

    No cheap repair is a bargain if those parameters aren't met.
    No expensive repair is worth it, if those parameters aren't met.
     
    HappyPaul likes this.
  18. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    2,919
    1,055
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Yea... But there's a certain level of trial and error and trust involved... Many Prius people have awesome mechanics who've they've been loyal to for years and then the hybrid battery starts going a little wacky and their mechanic is like "High Voltage?" Not me, I'm not gonna figure all that sketchy stuff out, I'll stick to what I know. So then you get on PriusChat and there's certainly no shortage of divergent points of view and trial and error and trust to work through.
     
    HappyPaul likes this.
  19. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    8,486
    5,003
    0
    Location:
    Undisclosed Location
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Again not arguing or debating that.
    But again...I have no way of knowing how "awesome" or "unawesome" the OP's mechanic may or not be....but he WAS talking about the results and price of taking it to his local dealership.

    If he wants to find a independent mechanic for future repair? That again...is a totally separate decision and discussion.
     
    PriusCamper likes this.
  20. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    2,919
    1,055
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Yes, none of us are surprised by the charge, which likely included inspection of all the wiring on a car and when some dealerships charge $135 an hour...
     
    HappyPaul likes this.
Loading...