Inverter Pump replacement - Looking for Local mechanic in Orange County, CA

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Kundanp333, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. Sanchan

    Sanchan Junior Member

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    Last week, I took it to Toyota Prius Repear Shop(aka, Caspian Motor) in Laguna Hills(Lake Forest Drive and Moulton Prky) and had them install a new Inverter pump($461). Very reputable shop based on Google and Yelp.
     
  2. pasadena_commut

    pasadena_commut Active Member

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    That pump was around $120 at Toyota Pasadena when I bought it. Maybe it has gone up because of Covid related supply issues? Otherwise it looks like they reamed you for $340 in labor for a job which could not possibly have taken them more than an hour.
     
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  3. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    If the dealer charges $500 - $600, this shop charging $450 plus tax isn't really shocking.
     
  4. qmanqman

    qmanqman Member

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    Watch a Youtube video on how to do it. Its a 20 minute job. Not sure how $1200/hr is reasonable.
     
  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I watched some youtube videos that were about 20 minutes long with millions of views. Youtube probably paid the video creator thousands of dollars for their 20 minute video making effort. I don't possibly know how they can get paid thousands of dollars for their 20 minutes of work. I mean, everyone can do this right?

    Every business should make some type of money. There are lots going on behind the scenes in making money. Rent, labor costs, taxes, workers comp, utilities, and many other things behind the scenes. So this comment you made is just ignorant.
     
  6. qmanqman

    qmanqman Member

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    Yep
    And yes, nobody should work for free. It is you who are ignorant. Reasonable shop rates are $100-200/hr. Not $400 for 20 minutes.

    Would you be willing to pay $100 for the 3 minutes it can take to change an overhead light bulb?
     
  7. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Shops don't charge for actual time, very few people actually do that. They go by a specific book time for a specific job. So if they allow 2 hours to do a job, that's what they charge. Whether or not that shop time is reasonable is a whole new topic. The 2 hours is a guideline they pay. If an experienced mechanic can knock it out in 1 hour, they still get paid the 2 hours for the job. If an amateur takes 3 hours, they still get paid the 2 hour time. That's just how that industry works. There are many layers of commissions and expenses they have to cover

    You fail to understand some of the work requires special tools and without those tools the length of time required to do the job is significantly increased. Just cause a youtube fan can do it in 20 minutes, doesn't mean an average person without the proper tools can accomplish the same.

    Doctors and Lawyers spend years in college before they can make their $400 per hour. Do you think anybody can make $400 without putting in the 8 years of education before that time? You can't look at the final figure

    You give DIY examples yet want to compare professional rates and results. I'm sure you can bake a cake the same way a professional bakes one. The final result will come out completely different. I mean why go out to a nice Sushi dinner for $150 when you can eat raw fish from the supermarket for $10
     
    #27 JC91006, Apr 21, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
  8. Kundanp333

    Kundanp333 Junior Member

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    @JC91006

    Thank you so much for your help! I couldn't have done this by watching the 20 min video that someone suggested above. For what it's worth, it would have taken me much, much longer should I have attempted, definitely with at least one trip to get some coolant in between starting and finishing. Thanks!
     
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  9. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    You're very welcome, I'm glad I was able to help in this repair. You were doing it from the kindness of your heart to not leave a new buyer hanging from an unexpected repair. I appreciate to see that humanity still has a chance at kindness.

    Just using your car as an example, I've done this repair over 10x and I've never been able to knock it out in under 30 minutes. Your car in particular because we couldn't get the bumper completely off and my hose clamps were shit, took us about 1 hour to complete the job. In the repair manual, the dealers are suppose to drain and replace the coolant, thus the added time for their repair charge. Of course the dealer techs would take a shortcut like using hose clamps to complete this job faster, thus able to make more money by reducing the job time.
     
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  10. qmanqman

    qmanqman Member

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    LOL are you a preacher? Ya I pay the doc and the lawyer but not the cake maker . . . 'cept for that one time. And you're right. My cakes are waaayyy better than the cakemaker. Almost none of them can make a decent cake.

    Don't knock home made sushi. It's awesome if you can get the right fish. We did a sushi night for about 30 people with a couple giant bottles of saki. The spread was massive and everyone got involved. It was awesome. Sushi for 30 people for less than $200. You have to get fish that has been handled correctly. Do not try this at your home. LOLLL

    You should have watched this video. It would have saved you a half hour. That doesn't include the tow hook mod though.

     
    #30 qmanqman, Apr 22, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
  11. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    While I'll never be able to have a rationale conversation with someone who compares the quality of a simple part replacement job on a car to difference between expensive and cheap sushi... I do want to say that what you're saying about book hours is what I'm interested in when it comes to Prius work. The enjoyment of this as a hobby / side hustle is in learning a Prius repair job so well that you get really good at it and can do it quickly and each time you do it you can come up with a new and improved way of doing the details of it. Just like when I used to work in the business as a kid.... The business side of it all on the other hand is where all the trouble is, which is why most auto shops have to charge a lot of money.
     
  12. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    There are many shops out there competing for business. They have to stay in check. It's not a type of business where it's a race to the bottom and they work on volume. Some jobs will be gravy and you can make more money and some jobs will pay you 2 hours and take you an entire day to finish. If all the work mechanics do were changing inverter pumps for $400, they would make a killing. That's not the case, that's just one gravy example. The next job they get a Lexus Rx400h that wants their lower control arms changed. If anyone has done one of those, they can tell you they were not paid enough. At the end of the day, their weekly pay should have a good average to make a decent living. Most mechanics I know have a modest lifestyle. Even charging $400 to do an inverter pump, they don't have the luxury of a boat payment to make. It may seem like a lot to the DIY guy that does it for $100 but when calculating all their business expenses, it comes down to making an honest living.
     
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  13. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Active Member

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    Yep, more like 15 minutes....Takes about 7 minutes to pull it off and another 7 minutes to put back on. My mechanic charges me $30 such a common problem I keep 1 or 2 "on the shelf". One just went out yesterday. It's what I call the good red triangle (so cheap it is close to free to fix). You can get them on amazon for sometimes $30 or it is around $130 at the dealership.

    133733_1.jpg 133734_20171009_141422.jpg 133735_20171009_141435.jpg 133736_20171009_141443.jpg
     
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  14. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Active Member

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    It can be difficult to attempt to explain things to someone who has the viewpoint of a "consumer". Not a customer, or even a "guy/gal with a broken car". But a consumer - someone who only cares about how much money it might cost to fix their problem.

    They "shop around" for the lowest price, not looking for quality - because quality costs. A well equipped shop has hundreds of thousands of dollars in tools and equipment, as well as annual costs for information services, training, insurance, payroll, rent, etc. That's what it takes to be able to handle a broad variety of repairs that come in the door- not just the gravy work.

    I am pretty sure that any place paying $10-20k a month in rent isn't charging $30 labor to do a pump.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  15. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Active Member

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    I have a fleet of priuses that my mechanic works on -- as well as my other vehicles. He basically needs to do nothing but work on my vehicles and is completely overwhelmed with more work than is possible to complete and is backed up for months.

    He's done every possible issue on a prius many times over. By far the worst and most disastrous issue on a gen 2 is that $5 ac part (can't recall name) where you have to strip down the entire dashboard to access it.

    He loves doing the inverter pump on-the-spot cause takes him about 10 minutes and he gets $30 (so $180 hourly rate).

    I understand your point which is this: Shops have high overhead and are like robots that just look up the work and strictly go by the hours the computer says it takes to do the job...Sometimes they get screwed and rip themselves off when it takes more hours than computer says....And sometimes they get lucky: They get to royally rip off a "consumer" on a job that takes 10 minutes but the computer says takes 3 hours.

    Long story short a shop should be considered very grateful if they get to charge an hour for this 10 minute job...So if the rate is $125 or $85 or whatever it is that is what the charge will be. If they get to take advantage of the consumer, completely rip them off, and charge 3-4 hours for the 10 minute job...That's cool...The shop "won" for this particular 10 minute job.

    I know they round up so it should be 1 hour of labor. If they are honest and go by half hours then it should be a half hour job.
     
    #35 MilkyWay, Apr 25, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  16. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Active Member

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    Oh ya, they turn the 1 bolt so luxuriously on the 5 minute job. The quality is so much greater on the 5 minute job when they charge $300 over the mechanic that charges $30 or $100.

    Where "quality" comes in is on diagnosis of complex issues. Why is this noise there. Why is the engine misfiring. What is the reason for the electric problem.

    Once the hard part is over "quality" is out the window.

    My mechanic will rebuild a 5.3L engine (upper half) for $800. Done many times he can do it blindfolded. 80% of shops (probably more) would be too scared and turn the job down or they would say to replace the entire engine (because they are too scared to dig into it).

    Just because the dealership has a 50,000 square foot facility vs. a guy that works by himself doesn't mean their mechanics are better.

    I surely hope with your comment you take all your vehicles to the dealership (Lmao) and overpay 3-4X --- but I bet they turn those bolts so elegantly for that price premium.

    Just had a multi billion dollar oil change shop do an oil change and not put on the oil filter correctly. Within a day the rod went through the block. 2013 Fusion with 100k miles on it. Unfortunately it is not "provable" so I have to absorb the cost.

    Where dealerships are horrible is on diesel engines. They usually have 1 or maybe 2 "experts" that can't do simple diag or simple fixes on a diesel. Had a 6.7L Ford in limp mode all they had to do was follow the instructions and get it to "regen". They couldn't do it and kidnapped the truck for 6 months. Towed it to diesel shop and it was done in 1 hour you simply tap a few buttons on the scanner and it's done.

    On that Fusion the Ford dealership wants $2200 labor to replace engine. Other shops will charge $800 or so. I'm gonna go with the other shops because I'm very confident the "quality" will actually be higher. I'll also get the car back in 4-5 days and the dealership might kidnap the car for weeks before they finally decide to work on it.
     
    #36 MilkyWay, Apr 25, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  17. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Active Member

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    Yes because they are robots that only go by the book.

    If you brought them 5 of these exact jobs a day....and they realize they can do the job in 10-12 minutes....And weeks went by...and months...And they did the same job 100s of times. And you established a relationship with them....Eventually they would become less robotic and start doing the job for 30 minutes labor (5 per day so 2.5 hours labor a day charged for 1 hour of work).

    My mechanic isn't a robot. He knows it takes 10 minutes. I know it takes 10 minutes. He probably feels like he is ripping me off for taking $30 for 10 minutes of work ($180 hourly rate).
     
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  18. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Why don't you DIY?
     
  19. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Which part is this? I'm very curious so I can look out for this one.
     
  20. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I've heard it given as a general rule of thumb that when you're preparing something that you'll be asking an audience to pay their attention to, out of respect for their time you should be aiming for planning/writing/prep/editing etc. to take about 100 times whatever time you'll be asking the audience to spend.

    It seems to be a pretty durable rule across various kinds of media. In a very informal setting like PriusChat, I can't pretend that I always work for an hour and a half on every post that takes a minute to read ... on the other hand, there have been plenty that took at least that long. I definitely have that rule in mind if I'm preparing a presentation, or something to submit for publication. The few times I have made any sort of video, it has worked out pretty close to that ratio.

    So, with that rule in mind, a 20 minute finished video might be around 33½ hours of the video creator's work, so maybe the pay seems a little more reasonable that way.

    I have definitely come across youtube videos where the creators apparently never heard that rule, and you can tell they planned nothing, wrote nothing, edited nothing, and you're watching them fumble their way through something in real time. I usually click away from those, or watch them at the highest possible speed setting. Just like the rule says, those feel disrespectful of the viewer's time.
     
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