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WD-40
Newbie


Joined: 31 Jan 2019
Posts: 15



PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:48 am    Post subject: Estimate v invoice total Reply with quote

Hello 911uk community, this is my first post here after lurking for some time...

I've just had some extensive work done on my 996 at a reputable independent Porsche specialist. The service estimate was of the mid 4 figures (primarily suspension and brakes) which although seeming a little high, I went with due to their good reputation and to get it all done and out of the way in one go.

During the works, it became apparent that due to corrosion, some items were taking longer than estimated to complete - having to cut out, drill, unseize old bolts etc etc - and they provided relevant pictures.

Anyway, the work is now complete and the final bill has been provided, at significantly more than the estimate. Labour has gone from an estimated 22 hours to around 34.

In your experience of using independent Porsche specialists, does this sound reasonable, is an estimate just that? Is it normal to get charged more for labour than the estimate when the work took longer than they thought?

Grateful for any experience you may have of similar scenarios.
 
  
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FZP
Estoril


Joined: 18 Jan 2015
Posts: 3703
Location: Cheshire


PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have thought that when they did the walk around the car they would have allowed for rust in their estimates. Having said that, Rust can be a rather tricky topic as what process works on one bolt may be insufficient on another. To put it into perspective, I swapped the exhaust in my car and what should have taken 3 hrs to do, but it took 1.5 days. But I'm no mechanic, far from it. More capable people most likely would have done it much quicker, but how much is a hypothetical.
If they're a reputable Indy, and they documented the challenges, and kept you updated through the process, then I think you have to accept it and stomach the bill.
It's like building a house really, you can project the cost of everything once the footings are in, but until you dig the holes, you don't know what you're going to find. Could be better, could be worse.
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rabbitstew
Hockenheim


Joined: 21 Aug 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on how they price things. If its for a job, then they should factor in things such as seized bolts etc. They have done hundreds of these, they know typically what they will come across and can give you an all included price for the job. However, if they charge by the hour, then the total will change depending upon how long things take.

In my experience the indies I use are very good at estimating and usually are spot on with their figures. If they spend longer than they expected then usually a compromise is done - I pay for some of the extra hours and they cover the cost of some themselves. That way everyone is happy and they know I will go back to them again in the future.

It was good though that they did keep you informed and show you pictures during the process rather than just present you with a bill at the end. Although they should have told you to expect it due to longer time things are taking etc.
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GMG
Nürburgring


Joined: 07 Jan 2018
Posts: 406
Location: Devon


PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...seems reasonable and transparent...I had my brake lines replaced and one of the 8 nipples was seized and snapped...Indy simply said this can happen and the repair bill belongs to me...

The nuts and bolts on these are notoriously chocolatey Very Happy
 
  
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eabeukes
Monza


Joined: 30 Jan 2018
Posts: 178
Location: Aylesbury

1999 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My previous mechanic gave me 2 estimates: best-case and worst-case. The worst case one was for things like rust, siezed bolts, drilling old crap out if needed etc. Basically all the unforseen things that you could find on a 20 year old car. Normally I planned finance around the worst-case. Mostly I was billed best-case Smile
 
  
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Hooner
Monza


Joined: 03 May 2018
Posts: 155
Location: Co Antrim,NI


PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seized bolts or not it shouldn't take them much longer as they have the best tools for the job and have delt with the problems before. A few hours more maybe but 12 hours extra is ridiculous.
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g911omr
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 299



PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hooner wrote:
Seized bolts or not it shouldn't take them much longer as they have the best tools for the job and have delt with the problems before. A few hours more maybe but 12 hours extra is ridiculous.


I agree.
 
  
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jonttt
Long Beach


Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 6223
Location: Liverpool


PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are out of order on the face of it, by way of example I know Unit 11 would have already factored in the risk of time based on normal age realted factors such as these.

Go on .... which indy is it as I know of one in particular which are famous for just this type of thing yet have a fantastic reputation Rolling Eyes
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Alex
Le Mans
Le Mans


Joined: 06 Mar 2014
Posts: 16781
Location: The Ribble Valley, Lancashire

2000 Porsche 996 Carrera 4

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GMG wrote:

The nuts and bolts on these are notoriously chocolatey Very Happy


As are nuts and bolts on most 18 year old cars.
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GMG
Nürburgring


Joined: 07 Jan 2018
Posts: 406
Location: Devon


PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...very true...
 
  
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GMG
Nürburgring


Joined: 07 Jan 2018
Posts: 406
Location: Devon


PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and watching the tonnes of Salt being applied to our roads at the moment you can appreciate why rust is such an issue for our cars...and is why my 996 will remain in the garage until warmer,drier days arrive...
 
  
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Phil 997
Le Mans
Le Mans


Joined: 05 Dec 2015
Posts: 15340
Location: Bournemouth,Dorset

2009 Porsche 997 Carrera 4S

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bloody annoying when that happens , but they can and do hit unexpected issues, I agree 12 hours seems excessive and a job that big really should have been identified as a potential problem at the time of estimate.

I thought I would post a pic to bring a smile Grin Grin Grin
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Alex
Le Mans
Le Mans


Joined: 06 Mar 2014
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Location: The Ribble Valley, Lancashire

2000 Porsche 996 Carrera 4

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mid 4 figures to me says £5k. Is that what you mean?
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WD-40
Newbie


Joined: 31 Jan 2019
Posts: 15



PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the opinions. I have queried the additional cost but they were pretty much of the opinion that they did all they could to keep costs down...

I guess I shall have to suck it up - they have done very well out of the car as they undertook a full engine rebuild a couple of years ago. Hopefully with the amount of money sunk in to the car it should be pretty sorted now and there can't be much more that could go wrong - famous last words...!
 
  
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MaxA
Albert Park


Joined: 11 Oct 2015
Posts: 1613
Location: Helsinki


PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they didn't keep you posted, and inform you of some unexpected issues during the work, you might be able to have a word and get a reduction, but sometimes these things are just not predictable. And estimates are non-binding. You may need to just pay the bill. If you're happy, you'll go back, if not, you'll go elsewhere.

It can take a while to find a good indy. With my other car, after one unhelpful experience with the dealer (a full price pre-MOT service and 'import inspection' that wasn't worth a penny, given the number of advisories at the MOT...), I went elsewhere. The next shop wasn't impressive, but the one after that was great. Until the service manager left.

I'm now using two different outfits, one for routine stuff, the other for more specialist care.
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Marky911
Magny-Cours


Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 2562



PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eabeukes wrote:
My previous mechanic gave me 2 estimates: best-case and worst-case. The worst case one was for things like rust, siezed bolts, drilling old crap out if needed etc. Basically all the unforseen things that you could find on a 20 year old car. Normally I planned finance around the worst-case. Mostly I was billed best-case Smile



Exactly how mine does things^^

Transparency keeps everyone happy. Threads like this make me so grateful to have a great mechanic.
 
  
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deMort
Dijon


Joined: 21 Mar 2015
Posts: 7267
Location: Brighton


PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very difficult to answer im afraid ..

Ill try to stay neutral ..

Its hard to give a min and max price for a component to be changed .. everything is normally done via the book time for a particular job .. but book times dont take into account things that dont come undone .

You could try and give a min / max price .. but how do you actually work that out .. there isnt a set time to cut out something .

With suspension work then it can be straight forward or an absoulte nightmare .. ive seen both ..

Ie .. Coffin arm .. if the ball joint nut starts spinning it has to be cut off , not that easy , if the bush bolt seizes then its again cutting out and not that easy .. this job can basically be between 1 - 3 hours and thats X1 arm .. to have both on x1 arm then its expensive ..and very difficult to give a price hence garages say an estimate ... a quote and they need to honour the price .

At the end of the day its not our fault that something snaps , doesnt come undone etc but i do feel most garages would not charge every min but charge what they think is fair for a set job .

I know with what i do .. fault finding .. i may take 5 hours but i say charge 3 as thats what i think is fair and thats what we do ..

The service advisors are lead by what the mechanics tell them to a certain extent ..

You also have to bear in mind how busy a garage is .. if snowed under then they are more inclined to charge .. they have after all put off other work to do your car and once again .. if it takes me 3 hours to remove something then why is it my fault ? i cant just undo something thats seized i have to cut and burn im afraid .

Over all though i understand , jobs like this can escalate and a look at the car first then a phone call to say .. its pretty coroded here .. the cost may well go up shall we continue would be in order .. but i can never be sure a bolt will come out untill ive done it so this approach is difficult .

Basically a garage will never win what ever we do , we tend to replace broken items and thats always going to be an unexpected cost .

Just thought it fair to put a mechanics point of view here ... well mine anyways Smile .. i dont represent my garage btw .
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budflicker
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Posts: 322
Location: kent


PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Near Haywards Heath by any chance?
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911munKy
Montreal


Joined: 26 Nov 2014
Posts: 540



PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^
exactly and that’s why I will nearly always try to do the job myself and allocate at least double the time I think I will need to the job. Assume most bolts will be corroded and be pleasantly surprised if they are not. I’m not happy when I have to spend and extra hour per side sawing through a troublesome toe arm bolt etc but I’m very glad that I haven’t had to pay a garage £80 + Vat to do it on top of the expected labour and parts cost.
Most garages seem to go by the book time but then I would be annoyed if it was straight forward job and they did it an hour quicker than expected and charged me the book figure!

Obviously on several jobs I would pay for their superior knowledge and experience and I’d be happy to do that but with most maintenance items I’ll have a go mainly to keep the costs down as these cars can be expensive to maintain if you live down South.
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cheshire911
Estoril


Joined: 10 Jun 2012
Posts: 3846



PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

g911omr wrote:
Hooner wrote:
Seized bolts or not it shouldn't take them much longer as they have the best tools for the job and have delt with the problems before. A few hours more maybe but 12 hours extra is ridiculous.


I agree.



I also agree. I have found OPC Chester to be very reasonable on using book times and on one msjor service, some additional work was agreed in price. The job took longer than book time but they honoured the quoted price. I dont think any indy would do that.
I use both OPC and indy but selectively.
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