A reporter from KTRK-TV Channel 13 in Houston, TX, randomly called four repair shops to get an estimate of having the fuel pump replaced on a 2004 Toyota Camry. The estimates she received ranged in price from $409.82 up to $734.54. In addition, she had one master technician tell her that according to government studies, 73 percent of cars are misdiagnosed the first time.
Below is the article as it appeared on the KTRK-TV Channel 13 website.
Can you cut your car repair bill by hundreds?
January 18, 2012
By Patricia Lopez
HOUSTON (KTRK) — Americans are keeping their cars longer and that means we’re spending more on maintenance and car repairs. But how can you be sure you are getting the best deal?
We know it pays to shop around for a great deal, but when you are talking about an auto repair, we found prices vary big time. So if you have a big ticket repair, you may have to work the phones for about 30 minutes. But it will probably save you money.
"We see it all the time," said Shakil Sheikh, owner of Upland Automotive on the southwest side.
Sheikh says estimates from auto repair shops vary greatly.
"The biggest problem that people are taken advantage of is that 73 percent of cars are misdiagnosed the first time and that is according to government studies," master mechanic Jay Wilson said.
Other reasons why estimates vary may depend on the parts each repair shop uses. Sheikh says some estimates may vary because certain auto repair shops may use the original equipment manufacturer part, or OEM parts.
To read the entire article on the KTRK-TV Channel 13 website, visit http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/consumer&id=8510133.