Cost Discrepancies and Additional Repairs for Oil Leak – Am I Being Overcharged?

QuestionsCategory: Ask An ExpertCost Discrepancies and Additional Repairs for Oil Leak – Am I Being Overcharged?
Samuel Hill asked 7 months ago
I recently sent my 2004 Acura RL (137,000 miles) to a mechanic for an engine oil leak. Initially, he quoted $1,000, which included a $90 diagnosis fee and $760 for 6 hours of labor to replace rear camshaft plugs and valve cover gaskets. However, the next day he informed me that the car was still leaking oil. He now suggests removing the transmission to find and fix the new leak, estimating an additional $1,500 for this service. I'm concerned about the escalating costs and whether these repairs and their durations are justifiable. I'm also unsure about my obligations to pay if the initial repair did not resolve the issue. I'd appreciate advice on how to proceed and whether these charges seem reasonable.
1 Answers
Zack Norman Staff answered 7 months ago
Hi there, Samuel! It sounds like you're in a tricky situation with your car. Let's break down the issues you're facing, and I'll also try to explain more about whether or not you're being overcharged:
  1. Initial Repair Costs: The initial repair involving the replacement of camshaft plugs and valve cover gaskets for $1,000 seems within a reasonable range. The labor cost for such a job can vary, but 6 hours doesn't seem excessive, at least from my own experience doing similar work.
  2. Additional Repairs: The proposal to remove the transmission for an additional $1,500 is significant. It's possible that your car had multiple oil leaks, and the mechanic missed one initially. Removing the transmission is a labor-intensive task, and 8 hours for this is not unreasonable. However, you should confirm whether this is necessary.
  3. Costs and Obligations: If you feel the cost is unreasonable, discuss it with your mechanic. You're not obligated to proceed with additional repairs if you're uncomfortable with the cost. However, for the work already done, payment is typically expected.
  4. Seeking a Second Opinion: It's always wise to seek a second opinion, especially for major repairs. Another mechanic might identify a different solution or confirm the need for the proposed repair.
  5. Comparing to Medical Treatment: The analogy with medical treatment isn't entirely parallel, but the principle of paying for services rendered (even if they don't fully resolve the issue) generally applies in both contexts.
In conclusion, while the costs you've mentioned are within the realm of possibility for the work described, it's crucial to ensure that these repairs are necessary. Discuss your concerns with your mechanic, and don't hesitate to seek a second opinion, or even considering asking around a different mechanic. Zack - Motor Verso Mechanics Team