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trinacriabob

Bringing your own parts to a mechanic

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First, I usually don't do this.  I used to bring Castrol or Valvoline to gas stations to have my oil changed not expecting much of a credit back.  I have a friend who does often and I think it's tacky if the part is easily sourced.

I'm in a situation where some parts are available on line, they are becoming less available in retail channels, AND, a few months back, one mechanic said. 'Why don't you bring in the parts?'  It's a small shop.  They don't even have an alignment rack.

This small mechanic's shop gets real good reviews.  What are the pros and cons of this?  What would happen if there was a warranty issue in terms of fixing the problem (the part was a dud but the installation was correctly done)? 

Any help with pros and cons, and an assessment of situations where someone would want you to bring in your own parts, would be appreciated!

 

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I would assume all warranties would be done on your own through the company you bought it from. The shop likely would only warranty the work and maybe none at all if you're bringing the part in. It all depends what you're replacing and what the savings are if you bring in the part yourself if I would do it.

You could also ask them to match the price of the part if you ordered it(so it's warrantied)? 

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Usually if I use a mechanic I bring my own parts because usually I buy either OEM parts or high quality aftermarket parts.   Most small shops use cheap aftermarket parts because most people just want problem to get fixed as cheaply as possibly. 

You can ask your mechanic what parts he will be using for the fix, if it is a good quality parts than might as well get them through the mechanic, otherwise you better buying them online.

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I do it for my Toronado all the time because parts are hard to source.  I did it for the Honda on occasion and I would just say "I bought this and tried to put it in, but can't get to it... can you do it?"

It helps that I have a regular mechanic who I've spent many kilo-dollars with over the years. 

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I did this only once with a situation that I realized I did not have the tool for, worked out OK.

I do one thing all the time. When I have an issue, I check the OEM websites for pricing on the parts. This way I keep the dealership honest in charging me a fair price.

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On 3/5/2019 at 4:29 PM, Drew Dowdell said:

I do it for my Toronado all the time because parts are hard to source.  I did it for the Honda on occasion and I would just say "I bought this and tried to put it in, but can't get to it... can you do it?"

It helps that I have a regular mechanic who I've spent many kilo-dollars with over the years. 

This all makes sense, especially in the case of the Toro.  I'm sure it's a relief that you'll do the scavenger hunt, so to speak.

On 3/5/2019 at 5:25 PM, dfelt said:

I did this only once with a situation that I realized I did not have the tool for, worked out OK.

I do one thing all the time. When I have an issue, I check the OEM websites for pricing on the parts. This way I keep the dealership honest in charging me a fair price.

This is something I plan to do soon.  I've already gotten the price the retail parts store will charge me.  I will ask him up front if he has an account with them.  If he marks up more than 30%, then it won't work.  I've given him work repeatedly before.  I just haven't had to do much to it lately (keeping my fingers crossed).  If it doesn't work, I'll just return to the mechanic with the small shop who suggested bringing in the parts to get the brand and specific items I wanted.  I'll gladly give my regular mechanic, in addition to a dealership I use, the first crack at it.  I'm hoping it comes together.

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Posted (edited)

I didn't know where to put this ... here or in the thread about struts I once started. 

I let the struts go through another winter and I will be using the all-in-one quick strut assemblies (cartridge, coil spring, rubber parts, and hardware).  You are supposed to get a trade-off.  They cost more but you pay less in labor.  I've read people's reviews on these and the DIY-ers love them.  They have 3 bolts at the top and 2 bolts at the bottom.  They cite very short time periods in which to replace them ... at home.

So, today around lunch, I go into a shop that I haven't used but gets good reviews.  I met one of the two mechanics last time and he is very laid back but doesn't work up quotes.  I can see why.  Today, I met the older mechanic who works up the quotes.  I know he has to go with book rates and such but, for the quick struts, he quoted me $ 485 in labor.  I don't think so.  That's what you'd pay in labor when you'd have to compress the springs because you would just be replacing the strut cartridges.

I have found some great prices on-line for Gabriel's all-in-one product.  I can deal with a fair parts markup if the labor cost is closer to what it should be.

Not only that, this mechanic that gets good reviews is in the middle of nowhere, doesn't have a waiting room, and would be keeping the car all day.  Why not give me a window of time during which I can stick around and wait for it?  For routine stuff, I wait for my car.  I have a feeling that finding the right mechanic to replace the struts with the brand I want and at a fair price is going to be a little challenging.

Edited by trinacriabob

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