How the Cheapest Vehicle Repair Turns into the Most Expensive

You, as with many people, are on a budget. When you’re looking for an auto repair shop, you call around and get quotes to see what the cheapest option is. However, what you may not know is that the cheapest option often turns out to be the most expensive!

How is that possible?

Let’s say you talk to two shops and get two quotes. The first shop tells you to expect about $500. The second shop tells you to expect $800. Why the big difference? 

Likely, the first shop is using cheaper parts. Most of the time, cheaper parts means lower quality. Lower quality means they won’t last as long. But you’re on a budget so you go with this cheaper option. The repair lasts 3 years, and now you have to pay to have your vehicle repaired again. Now you’re $1,000 in the hole.

The second shop, however, only uses original equipment (OE) parts or an equivalent. These are parts that were specifically manufactured for your vehicle. This $800 repair lasts 10 years.

Think about this–let’s say you learn your lesson for going after the cheaper repair the first time and now you want the higher quality repair. Now you’ve spent $1,300 when you could have spent only $800 to begin with.

More than quality parts, let’s also talk about quality workmanship. Some shops have higher standards than others. It’s likely that a shop that springs for the lower quality parts also has the mindset of getting as many vehicles in and out as quickly as possible. The mechanics are rushing and are often pressured to cut corners, lending to the likelihood of having to repeat the job prematurely.

As you may have guessed, we’re of the persuasion that higher quality parts and workmanship is the better choice. We do not want premature failures for our clients and the future costs that come with them.

One example of our commitment to excellence is a recent situation with a client’s 2002 Nissan Frontier. The client came to us experiencing an intermittent crank no-start condition. Detailed testing and evaluation led us to a failed ignition coil, built into the distributor assembly. When we proceeded to order what we thought was a factory Nissan part, much to our surprise we received a no-name generic part(Identifiable by a green and brown wire as opposed to a Blue and Black wire) in a Nissan box. While some shops might have just gone with that part, we were not satisfied. In order to please our client, we knew that we needed to find an OE or equivalent part.

Through extensive research and much time, we found an OE Remanufactured option! We estimate this part was one of the last Genuine Nissan parts we could offer our customer for a good long term result. Now our customer is once again enjoying the carefree driving experience we endeavor to give every one of our valued clients, no matter the age of their vehicle!

Before you go price shopping, I offer this advice. Instead of letting your first question be, “How much will it cost to ____?,” ask, “What is your policy on diagnostic testing and evaluation?” or “How do you assure quality in your repairs?” Saving money in auto repairs comes from finding quality options rather than the cheapest price. Value is represented by cost over time, not price on the day of service.

Marinelli Auto Service is an auto repair shop in Winter Park, Florida. We’ve been serving Central Florida since 2015. We provide maintenance and repairs for a variety of makes and models.

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