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OnMyWay

Sanity Check - Labor Cost

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A few of you have mechanical backgrounds and/or many years of experience dealing with mechanics here or at home.  So I pose a question to you about labor costs for some services.

I know the owner of this shop very well (from kids school) and he comes very highly recommended by neighbors, both expats and Filipinos.  I have had a few minor things done at the shop and I think he only charged me one time.  The other times have been free.  So this time is my first real paying service.  I ordered the parts, so this is just labor.  Vehicle is a 2014 Trailblazer 4 X 4 with 76,000 km on it.

Press in/out both front wheel bearings   750 X 2 = 1500  (they go to a machine shop for this)

Install new front wheel bearings and seals  850 X 2 = 1700

Install new front shock mounts 1200 X 2 = 2400

Camber Alignment = 1400

Total is 7000 labor for this work.  My wife thinks it is too high but when I look at the individual breakdown, it doesn't seem bad.  What do you think?

Another thing I will probably do is air con service.  Air con is almost not working and I probably have a leak.  He quoted me p8500 for a complete air con service.  Is this in the ballpark?

 

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Seems like normal prices to me.  I know the alignment number matches what we paid, and the aircon is in line with what we paid....mind you, the aircon did not stay fixed for long.  

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I live in the province so it sounds a bit high to me, but in Freeport I would say it seems a reasonable price.  Also a trusted mechanic who does good work can be difficult to find.   You would not want to risk the relationship by shopping it around.  Just my opinion of course.

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7000 sounds fair, when you go to a bonafide shop there is an element of overhead to stay in business, plus parts aren't cheap in PH.   

On the AIRCON... if you are still pushing some cold air, you might just need to top off the refrigerant (R-134 probably).... not uncommon after 5 years... thats pretty easy to do... not sure how much the R-134 goes for but not hat much.  Wondering what more he does for 8500 without knowing if parts are required?

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58 minutes ago, Joey G said:

On the AIRCON... if you are still pushing some cold air, you might just need to top off the refrigerant (R-134 probably).... not uncommon after 5 years... thats pretty easy to do... not sure how much the R-134 goes for but not hat much.  Wondering what more he does for 8500 without knowing if parts are required?

With the air con, he said 8500 is what they charge for their normal air con servicing, but the way he said it, it was ballpark.  The other service was in writing and the AC was just verbal.  He mentioned what they do in the servicing but honestly I can't recall it now.

What happened with the AC was this.  We went to Sta Rosa the week after the Taal event and we drove in a lot of volcanic dust.  During the trip I noticed for the first time the AC was not getting very cold.  Still ok but not real cold.  At the time, I thought maybe the cabin filter was clogged with dust but never checked it.  Ordered a new one since it was due anyway.  That was Jan. 15th so a month has gone by, and it seems to have slowly gotten worse.  Then on Wednesday I was waiting for my wife with engine idling for quite a while, and it was not really pushing any cold air.  However, when actually moving, it does start to get a bit cool.

So since it slowly got worse over a month, maybe a leak?  He will check the filter first.  If I am lucky, maybe replacing the filter fixes the problem, but as you said, 5 years is a long time and the AC might need servicing.

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When you get low on refrigerant, it will slowly not work well... and you will reach a point (low pressure in system) where it will just stop making cold air period.  Yeah it could be a leak.... but it could be 5 year leak... any significant leak would go fast, not weeks.  OBTW... running on low refrigerant can cause the compressor to fail... which is $$$. So I'd stop running it at this point... if you have even an inkling of cold air after a while the compressor is likely still good.

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42 minutes ago, Joey G said:

When you get low on refrigerant, it will slowly not work well... and you will reach a point (low pressure in system) where it will just stop making cold air period.  Yeah it could be a leak.... but it could be 5 year leak... any significant leak would go fast, not weeks.  OBTW... running on low refrigerant can cause the compressor to fail... which is $$$. So I'd stop running it at this point... if you have even an inkling of cold air after a while the compressor is likely still good.

It is in the shop today so hopefully it will be resolved.  Thanks for the input!

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Hope it all goes well and under budget.

 

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I had a problem with my air con, changed the filter problem gone.

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18 minutes ago, OnMyWay said:

It is in the shop today so hopefully it will be resolved.  Thanks for the input!

Several of us contributed to a car aircon issue topic back in August. Perhaps if you reviewed that it might help you to understand the components of your system and all the possible things that could be wrong?

https://www.philippines-expats.com/topic/30817-car-aircon-service/?tab=comments#comment-262922

1 hour ago, OnMyWay said:

With the air con, he said 8500 is what they charge for their normal air con servicing, but the way he said it, it was ballpark.  The other service was in writing and the AC was just verbal.  He mentioned what they do in the servicing but honestly I can't recall it now.

What happened with the AC was this.  We went to Sta Rosa the week after the Taal event and we drove in a lot of volcanic dust.  During the trip I noticed for the first time the AC was not getting very cold.  Still ok but not real cold.  At the time, I thought maybe the cabin filter was clogged with dust but never checked it.  Ordered a new one since it was due anyway.  That was Jan. 15th so a month has gone by, and it seems to have slowly gotten worse.  Then on Wednesday I was waiting for my wife with engine idling for quite a while, and it was not really pushing any cold air.  However, when actually moving, it does start to get a bit cool.

So since it slowly got worse over a month, maybe a leak?  He will check the filter first.  If I am lucky, maybe replacing the filter fixes the problem, but as you said, 5 years is a long time and the AC might need servicing.

After reading this post, it could be a number of things. Possibly the radiator got plugged up with ash and is reducing air flow? That would be my guess if it is related to your visit to Taal. Is your engine temperature looking a bit too high also? If so, then that might point to the issue. That may not be the whole problem, but possibly a contributing factor?

Regardless, I would suggest your mechanic examine your radiator(s) anyway to see if those small air passages might be clogged up and carefully clean them out if that is even a remote possibility. If done carefully and properly, it won't hurt anything and will only enhance the efficiency...

 

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