Originally posted by 71gtx
Sorry but these auto repair shops charge WAY too much, they rip everyone off. That's why i do all my own work. I mean come on, $99 for front brake pads that takes them 15 minutes or less, thats $400 an hour. These shops need to tone it down.
I don't know who you are talking about charging $99 for just brake pads. I see that you are a student. Let me give you a lesson. If they ARE actually just installing pads for $99.00, part of that is most likely for the pads. Also unless the customer is pulling the car inside, raising the car, removing the wheels, getting the parts, reinstalling the wheels and pulling the car back outside, it is extremely unlikely that someone is doing 4 sets of pads in an hour. Sure, if someone had no overhead, and could do 4 of them in an hour, that would be good money. When you consider that there are utilities, taxes, license fees, supplies, rent for commercial space, insurance, and usually payroll for someone that isn't turning wrenches, the money doesn't go far.
I had a general repair shop with 2 other employees, about 10 years ago. My insurance cost me $2000 a month. The rent was $1800 a month, the electric was $200-$400 a month. My phone cost me about $800 a month with the add in the yellow pages. Those costs don't include what I had to pay in taxes for having the business, payroll taxes, social security taxes, and EPA taxes. I also had the city on me constantly wanting me to spend money to landscape the place so it didn't look like an auto repair shop. Most of those costs were from people that would complain in a second, how much they are charged for auto repairs. Those costs also don't include the cost to maintain the equipment that I had to have, and the books/ reference material so we had the correct information for servicing the vehicles properly. They also don't include the payroll for the guys that do the work, and have to supply and maintain their own tools to work with. Your $200-$300 Chraftsman tool set may be fine for at home, but they don't make it when you have to make a living out of your tool box. Consider that most mechanics spend 10%+ of their pay on purchasing/ maintaining their tools. How many occupations have that going for them?
Since this post was about painting and body work, I will point out that bodymen and painters don't have to have some of the tools that a mechanic has. They do have to buy/maintain some expensive tools themselves. Grinders, sanders, body hammers, drills, and such are not free. They don't last for ever either. Though you may be able to buy your stuff from Harbor Freight, they won't usually hold up under the constant use in a professional body shop. A Stud welder from Harbor Freight may only cost $100. A quality one for professional use, that will do the job and last, is about $400.
Think about that.