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Mein Gott!
 
Panzer909's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
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This is why 944 maintenance costs get a bad rap.......

The "S" was up for its annual PA state inspection this month, so I dropped it off at the local shop. To do list was and inspection/emissions, and a four-wheel alignment. I'm thinking about $130-150 give or take, right? Well, sure enough, I get a call a few hours later. It went something like this:


Service manager: "Hi John, we went to align the car and it looks like both inner tie rods are worn to the point that we can't align it. You're gonna need to get them replaced. It also cannot pass inspection without it."

Me: (softly saying "damn" under my breath) "Well, okay, can you guys do that while you've still got the car? How much will it cost?"

Service manager: "Uh, hold on. (sounds of papers being shuffled for a few seconds) I have it. This brings your total to $610.10."





(an uncomfortable pause with nobody talking on either end)






Me: "How much are the complete tie rods alone?"

Service manager: "Ummmm..........$180 a piece."

Me: "Get the car off the alignment machine; I'm coming to get pick it up right now."

One phone call later, I had both complete tie rods shipped to my door for $75 a piece. Did the job myself (and i'm in NO WAY mechanically inclined) and saved several hundred dollars.

Anyways, the costs to maintain these cars can get downright obscene if you don't watch it like a hawk, IMHO. I'm not trying to bad-mouth my shop - they're actually a bunch of straight shooters. It's just that so many folks make the Porsche name synonymous with "we can jack the parts way up on this guy".

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1987 944S
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1972 Triumph TR6 - 100% trouble free between breakdowns
2003 BMW 325xi

Last edited by Panzer909; 10-13-2004 at 08:04 AM..
Old 10-13-2004, 08:02 AM
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Too True!! I always like to get the parts myself and supply them to the garage.

I've saved bucketloads, but beware, some garages will not guarantee the work they do if they do not source the parts.

This is understandable since there are companies in the middle east who make replica parts with cheap alloys and dodgy workmanship - thing is they don't sell them as replicas they sell them as original!!
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:18 AM
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Yo, Johhny

If you still need the alignment, I have the coupon I won at the PVGP just collecting dust--it is for MMC--but it is yours if you want. Let me know--I will be out-of town untill Friday.

Is the clutch still working alright?
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:32 AM
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Mein Gott!
 
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Hey there Eric,

Doh! Just got it aligned. Thanks anyways, though. How about this: If there is no expiration date on that coupon and you've still got it by the time PVGP '05 rolls around, I'll get buy you that t-shirt you wanted for it.

Yeah, the clutch we bled is great. I think we thought it was "mushy" because it was really THAT smooth. Thanks again, by the way



How 'bout them Steelers!
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Johnny
1987 944S
1984 944 (R.I.P.)
1972 Triumph TR6 - 100% trouble free between breakdowns
2003 BMW 325xi
Old 10-13-2004, 08:44 AM
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Oh well--missed it by that much. Glad the clutch is working okay.

Steelers rule!--Dallas is going down...
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:56 AM
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Hey Eric and Panzer, where in Pittsburgh are you guys located? I go to Carnegie Mellon Univeristy and am building a 1985.5 944 to auto-x with :-)
Old 10-13-2004, 09:10 AM
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Mt. Washington.
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Johnny
1987 944S
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1972 Triumph TR6 - 100% trouble free between breakdowns
2003 BMW 325xi
Old 10-13-2004, 09:30 AM
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Standard shop mark-up is 100-150% in my area....no ripping you off, just fact.

To me that is the part that sucks. I think everyone should be able to make a buck, especially mechanics but that markup is really high.



Case in point - rear wheel bearings and seals cost about $80 (with grease) per side. In the shop that would have been at least $160 plus labor.


Whatever happened to the shop getting a discount from the supplier and keeping THAT as their markup. I know shops get about 30% or so from NAPA.
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:19 AM
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Something you guys are not considering. I'll use your shop as an example, even though it may not be exactly the case.

Shop X has normal suppliers for his parts. NAPA, and probably a Jobber Warehouse in your local town. These places do not deal much with Porsche. While they may be able to get a part, it is no where as cheap as what you and I can get them for when we shop places like Pelican, Paragon, etc. Those shops are almost exclusive Porsche parts outlets and can find/obtain the good deals.

I know this because I can buy wholesale from NAPA. But most of the time, on Porsche parts, my wholesale pricing is much higher than paying full retail from Pelican plus shipping.

It is no wonder multi-brand service facilities charge an outrageous price for the parts, they probably paid an outrageous price, then marked them up.
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Old 10-13-2004, 01:29 PM
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Up here in Canada, everybody orders from Worldpak (formerly Metrix), they seem to be really cheap, and most of the parts they can get are OEM. It's rather handy. Usually comparable in price to Pelican, but it's usually same day =)
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Old 10-13-2004, 01:41 PM
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^^You suck eyy.^^^
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83 944 white w/Boxster wheels
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Old 10-13-2004, 02:23 PM
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I always got the feeling my mechanic was cool, this just re-affirms it. Any OEM parts I need he tells me his price, and if I can do better, I'm welcome to bring my own parts. None of that 'we didnt buy it so we cant guarrantee it' BS... As long as its a new part with reciept he stands by his work, and because of all of that, I'm a customer for life and don't mind the 50 mile drive to his shop.
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:17 PM
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Hey Guys,

I was having the same problem getting some work done on my 944S. I had booked my car into a local Porsche specialist for a new clutch, belts service and cam chain/pads.

The guy said he would find out how much for the clutch and to give him a call in a couple of days. So I wait, then decide to give him a call, he says its 500 excluding tax and labour !

I explain to him that I have seen them for 340 including tax at many online porsche parts stockists. Then he says "Oh this part is GENUINE Porsche, I only fit GENUINE Porsche parts as I cannot guarantee the work with non-porsche parts".

After consulting with some guys on the tipec yahoogroup I ring up another Porsche specialist (a few more miles away mind). This place is happy to use my own supplied parts and they seemed alot more friendly and polite. Needless to say I called the other guy and cancelled, he didn't seem to bothered.

Dave K.
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Old 10-14-2004, 09:11 AM
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Never EVER get an inspection where you get work done.

Take it somewhere else and get it inspected.
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Last edited by mambodave; 10-14-2004 at 01:55 PM..
Old 10-14-2004, 01:07 PM
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Mein Gott!
 
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I disagree. It's alright to get a car inspected where you get work done, so long as you are wise if someone is trying to pull a fast one, or you can get parts for much less. This is also not an issue with a shop that you have a great rapport with, generally speaking.

Besides, it might be easy for some people with tons of time on their hands to play "musical cars" (getting it inspected at one place, then taking it across town to another for service, etc.). But for others, I'd imagine that getting a ride from someone and/or taking an hour off of work is a BIG hassle.
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1987 944S
1984 944 (R.I.P.)
1972 Triumph TR6 - 100% trouble free between breakdowns
2003 BMW 325xi
Old 10-14-2004, 01:49 PM
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I just got a complete tie rod and it ran me $80. They aren't hard to replace.
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Old 10-14-2004, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by drfatz
Hey Eric and Panzer, where in Pittsburgh are you guys located? I go to Carnegie Mellon Univeristy and am building a 1985.5 944 to auto-x with :-)
Sorry for the delay--just got back into town. I am in Greentree.

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83 911SC
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Old 10-15-2004, 07:38 AM
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