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Billing Customers For Rust Issues

jimmy123456789

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Fellow techs/shop owners out there, how do you decide when and how much to bill to deal with rust issues on vehicles.

For example, if a bolt breaks and you have to drill and tap out new threads, or if a lower strut bolt is seized (Ram 1500’s are terrible about this) and you have to spend 30 mins working it back and forth with the ball joint press to free it up, or if you have to put a rotor puller on and spend 30 mins hammering away at a rotor to get it free, how do you charge for this time? Or do you just eat it ?

I watch several automotive channels on YouTube, and one of them (Flat Rate Master) said that in their shop, if it breaks coming out/apart they bill the customer for it, but if it breaks going back together, they’ll eat it. Lots of shops don’t bill for this extra time at all, and IMO that’s not right. It’s fair to charge customers for work outside of the scope of the normal book time for a job.

So, what’s everyone else’s take on this? Is it legitimate to charge customers for dealing with rust issues? And if your shop does, how do they bill for it?
 

grumpy356

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Fellow techs/shop owners out there, how do you decide when and how much to bill to deal with rust issues on vehicles.

For example, if a bolt breaks and you have to drill and tap out new threads, or if a lower strut bolt is seized (Ram 1500’s are terrible about this) and you have to spend 30 mins working it back and forth with the ball joint press to free it up, or if you have to put a rotor puller on and spend 30 mins hammering away at a rotor to get it free, how do you charge for this time? Or do you just eat it ?

I watch several automotive channels on YouTube, and one of them (Flat Rate Master) said that in their shop, if it breaks coming out/apart they bill the customer for it, but if it breaks going back together, they’ll eat it. Lots of shops don’t bill for this extra time at all, and IMO that’s not right. It’s fair to charge customers for work outside of the scope of the normal book time for a job.

So, what’s everyone else’s take on this? Is it legitimate to charge customers for dealing with rust issues? And if your shop does, how do they bill for it?

Do you have a problem taking money when you do it quicker than book time?

Is the book time 3 hours, you could do it in 1 hour, but it's a rusted pig and it takes you the whole 3 hours, and now you want compensated for 2 extra hours?
 

ExWrench

Random Dude
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I guess its to hard to call the cust and explain the problem and that it will be xx $ more because of xxx

It's almost like . . .

. . . having a written policy that must be acknowledged upon signing to authorize work . . .

. . . along with clear communication to the customer of what needs doing and why . . .

. . . would make this a non-issue for the shop and the customers.

Almost.





Except not almost. :rolleyes:
 

BJS

Member
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Location makes a huge difference in how the customer is going to take it.

I'm in the south. I had an E36 BMW that came from NY about 10 years before I bought it. No body rot, no surface rust on anything underneath. Went to get an alignment and the rear eccentrics were rusted. Shop said we can replace the eccentrics for $$$ or you can do it and bring it back and there will be no extra charge beyond the standard alignment billing. Quick trip to the dealer gave me all of the pieces and the bushings they rested in for fairly cheap. Took me about 45 minutes under the car, once the existing eccentrics were loosened the rest was in good shape.

Either way you have to be upfront with the customer. Brake & caliper job with no problem costs $$ if we encounter rusted and seized parts then we charge $$/hr to break it free. You also need to advertise what you do as part of your regular service to prevent rust seizing of parts. The fee may be waived for "regular" or frequent customers.
 

subybaja

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Hey, why don't you pick a website. If you like the conversation here, quit molesting the corpse of PBB. If you like em cold and limp, stay over there.
 

JunkCJ6

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Jimmyblahblah, do you bill flat rate for complaining about flat rate and rust on the internet or do you bill per post for bitching about flat rate and rust on the internet?
 

jimmy123456789

Jackass
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139
Do you charge less for cars that are extra clean?

Nope because labor times are calculated on brand new cars that are as clean as it gets.

For those saying basically “labor times are padded and you just wanna charge extra” I think is straight up BS. Customer pay times are pretty accurate in representing how long a job should take WITHOUT RUST, even if you can beat them by 25-50%. With rust involved, it doesn’t take long to run over book time. And the customer should pay for that.

I agree with the idea of quoting a “worst case scenario” price and a “everything goes according to plan” price. That way the customer isn’t shocked when they’re charged an extra hour to drill and tap out a bolt, etc.
 

Will Scarlet

The universe is vast...
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Nope because labor times are calculated on brand new cars that are as clean as it gets.

For those saying basically “labor times are padded and you just wanna charge extra” I think is straight up BS. Customer pay times are pretty accurate in representing how long a job should take WITHOUT RUST, even if you can beat them by 25-50%. With rust involved, it doesn’t take long to run over book time. And the customer should pay for that.

I agree with the idea of quoting a “worst case scenario” price and a “everything goes according to plan” price. That way the customer isn’t shocked when they’re charged an extra hour to drill and tap out a bolt, etc.

I'm trying to understand your reasoning for asking your question if you're going to answer it yourself anyway? 🤷
 

Provience

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there is labor time for "broken bolt extraction", call the customer and use it.

also, instead of fucking with a BJ press on a stubborn part for half an hour, bust out the torch and be done in 5 minutes
 

ExWrench

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I'm trying to understand your reasoning for asking your question if you're going to answer it yourself anyway? 🤷

Jimmy8675309 wasn't hugged enough as a child, so he craves the attention of strange men.

You're strange enough - go give OP a hug :flipoff2:

I think he had 2 or 3-10 threads about this on the "P" and already got all the answers possible.

But that powerful "look at me" lust carries on, so he jerks off on the sidewalk to get reactions.
 

Will Scarlet

The universe is vast...
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Jimmy8675309 wasn't hugged enough as a child, so he craves the attention of strange men.

You're strange enough - go give OP a hug :flipoff2:

I think he had 2 or 3-10 threads about this on the "P" and already got all the answers possible.

But that powerful "look at me" lust carries on, so he jerks off on the sidewalk to get reactions.

Don't involve me in your desire to give him a hug... :flipoff2:
 

Will Scarlet

The universe is vast...
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Hey, you're the one who's "trying to understand him" - I wish you two the best :laughing:

Me trying to understand and your desire to give him a hug are two totally different things here. 🤣
 

YotaAtieToo

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It's fair to charge extra, if it takes extra time, but imo should be ok'd by the customer. And really the car should be looked at before the price is agreed on. So the customer should know it might cost more because it's rusty.

I also don't think I should pay for 3 hours when the job got done in 1. Which is why I don't take my shit to huge shops.

​​​​​​
 

jimmy123456789

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there is labor time for "broken bolt extraction", call the customer and use it.

also, instead of fucking with a BJ press on a stubborn part for half an hour, bust out the torch and be done in 5 minutes

What is the exact labor time for "broken bolt extraction" out of curiosity? Never heard of one before.

Can't

If I use a torch on it it'll catch the rubber bushing in the lower control arm on fire and wreck it. Have had to torch a few out and replace the arm, though. If the customer only has money for struts, kinda have to try and save shit.

Probably could purchase a lower strut bushing in the lower control arm on roughly 2008-2018 Dodge/Ram 1500's but I've never actually checked lol.
 

jimmy123456789

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It's fair to charge extra, if it takes extra time, but imo should be ok'd by the customer. And really the car should be looked at before the price is agreed on. So the customer should know it might cost more because it's rusty.

I also don't think I should pay for 3 hours when the job got done in 1. Which is why I don't take my shit to huge shops.

​​​​​​

If you're good and everything goes right, a good tech can get a 3 hour job done in 1 without loss of quality, but an inexperienced tech might take the full 3. It also lets you know that they'll charge you the same labor whether the job actually takes 3 hours, 1 hour or 5 hours. No different than contractor work or getting bids on anything. The quoted price is for serviced rendered regardless of time.

That's why shops need to get better at quoting time and not be afraid to charge extra to deal with rust.
 

Thumping

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Do you have a problem taking money when you do it quicker than book time?

Is the book time 3 hours, you could do it in 1 hour, but it's a rusted pig and it takes you the whole 3 hours, and now you want compensated for 2 extra hours?

Your mom never charged extra....

Don't be a dipstick....jimmy
 

YotaAtieToo

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If you're good and everything goes right, a good tech can get a 3 hour job done in 1 without loss of quality, but an inexperienced tech might take the full 3. It also lets you know that they'll charge you the same labor whether the job actually takes 3 hours, 1 hour or 5 hours. No different than contractor work or getting bids on anything. The quoted price is for serviced rendered regardless of time.

That's why shops need to get better at quoting time and not be afraid to charge extra to deal with rust.

For the $110/hr or whatever it is now, I'd expect an experienced tech.
 

ConwayMuddy

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jimmy123456789 said:
I'm a lousy mechanic.

have you considered looking into a different line of work? toilets always need plunging, roadkill needs to be scraped up, windows need licking. Somewhere the perfect job is just waiting for you, to probably also be terrible at.
 

total newb

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If you're good and everything goes right, a good tech can get a 3 hour job done in 1 without loss of quality, but an inexperienced tech might take the full 3. It also lets you know that they'll charge you the same labor whether the job actually takes 3 hours, 1 hour or 5 hours. No different than contractor work or getting bids on anything. The quoted price is for serviced rendered regardless of time.

That's why shops need to get better at quoting time and not be afraid to charge extra to deal with rust.

Seems to me youre the only one having a problem with it.

Ive only ever had 2 customers clomplain about a bill.
One was a sniveling lil cvnt that was looking for a reason to bitch cause its how he operated.
The other was 2 fold my fault. I wrote his phn # down wrong after 3 days and needing the rack i went ahead and through the extra parts on. So it was good and right. He didnt even have the balls to say anything when i explained the situation and what was done, instead he got on yelp and bitched about it.

So learn how to handle jobs and customers or go back to sewing purses together or what ever the fuck you did before you got into a career of bitching on forum boards about why youre an idiot
 

87manche

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If you're good and everything goes right, a good tech can get a 3 hour job done in 1 without loss of quality, but an inexperienced tech might take the full 3. It also lets you know that they'll charge you the same labor whether the job actually takes 3 hours, 1 hour or 5 hours. No different than contractor work or getting bids on anything. The quoted price is for serviced rendered regardless of time.

That's why shops need to get better at quoting time and not be afraid to charge extra to deal with rust.

maybe you should just go to a shop that charges an hourly rate and doesn't do book time, or better yet, open your own.

You seem to have all the answers to every problem that plagues the auto service industry.
Show us.
 

Provience

Kill!
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What is the exact labor time for "broken bolt extraction" out of curiosity? Never heard of one before.

Can't

If I use a torch on it it'll catch the rubber bushing in the lower control arm on fire and wreck it. Have had to torch a few out and replace the arm, though. If the customer only has money for struts, kinda have to try and save shit.

Probably could purchase a lower strut bushing in the lower control arm on roughly 2008-2018 Dodge/Ram 1500's but I've never actually checked lol.

.5 hours is what we used to use, if it's your shop, you write the book :flipoff2:


edit: get better with a torch :flipoff2:
 

YotaAtieToo

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When I was in hs, all I thought about was trucks, crawlers, ect. I really wanted to be a mechanic. Thank God, my best friends dad owned his own small shop (just him) and told me if I liked wrenching, get any other fucking job but wrenching, because the last thing he wanted to do was work on shit when he got home. I was just smart enough to let his advice sink in. At 32 I don't even like major wrench jobs on my own stuff.

I was also in hs when they were pushing the wyotech type shit pretty hard "computer jobs are going overseas, you can fix a car from India" :rolleyes:

I know a few kids who spent all the time and money to go through uti, came back and ended up still working at a restaurant or whatever.

Oh, and fuck Jimmy123456789101112131415!1:flipoff2:
 
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