: 1995 new starter $1000 plus?...



paisola
09-05-06, 09:06 PM
Please help! I don't know the first thing about fixing cars. I had my 1995 Cadillac Deville Concours towed today because it wouldn't start. The garage said it would be over $1000 to fix the starter and solinoid. They said it would be about 5 hours of work because the starter is burried. This sounds really pricey to me, however, I am not certain of the going rate for such a repair. I am in SLC, Utah...if anyone out there can do it for less, let me know! PLEASE TELL ME IF I AM GETTING SCREWED!

chevelle
09-05-06, 09:45 PM
I would say that they are certainly preying on your lack of knowlege and grossly overcharging you.

The Northstar starter is indeed "buried" under the intake manifold but there is ample testimony on this forum and others as to how easy it is to access. An experienced mechanic should be able to change it in an hour. I know I can.

The Northstar starter is changed over the fender with no need to go under the car or work with frozen or rusty bolts or disconnect exhaust pipes or anything....common occurances with conventionally mounted starters.

The intake manifold on your 95 removes with 10 bolts that are very simple to access and remove. The manifold can be tilted up and held with a block of wood to remove the two bolts in the starter to replace it. There is no coolant or other fluids in the intake to have to drain or remove and the intake seals are reuseable so there are no gaskets to buy.

Check with the Cadillac parts counter or an auto supply for the cost of a new or reman starter. That would be the variable in your area that I cannot predict but even on the high side a starter shouldn't be more than $250 or so. Allow two hours of shop labor @ 100 per hour brings the total to 450 at the outside which I would still consider to be outlandish. They are charging you more than double that.

Find another shop or ask them to explain how much the starter costs and how many hours they are billing your for. Possibly someone can chime in with the flat rate hours for changing the Northstar starter. It can't take very long if I can do it in an hour or less.

Use the search feature and search on "starter" and read of others experiences in changing starters.

Ranger
09-05-06, 10:09 PM
Please help! I don't know the first thing about fixing cars. I had my 1995 Cadillac Deville Concours towed today because it wouldn't start. The garage said it would be over $1000 to fix the starter and solinoid. They said it would be about 5 hours of work because the starter is burried. This sounds really pricey to me, however, I am not certain of the going rate for such a repair. I am in SLC, Utah...if anyone out there can do it for less, let me know! PLEASE TELL ME IF I AM GETTING SCREWED!
Your getting screwed.

zonie77
09-06-06, 12:59 AM
Yeah, you're getting screwed good.

Find another shop or do it yourself. This might be the place to start learning about fixing cars.

Did anyone check the battery and cables? That is a very common cause for no starting.

paisola
09-06-06, 01:25 AM
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! I have been stressing about this all day. Before I bought my Caddy, which I love, I was told by all my family and friends that I would pay dearly for service and repairs. I don't mind paying a little more, however, this starter thing just sounded outrageous.
Thanks for all your input and time. This forum is great! I have a lot to learn from all of you.

davesdeville
09-06-06, 04:35 AM
$1k? I would drive from Albuquerque up there and do it myself for less than that, damn!

STS-in-Nottingham
09-06-06, 05:13 AM
Send me $1000 and I will fly from the UK and do the job for you!

dp102288
09-06-06, 12:17 PM
Try the online parts stores, and then bring the parts to a shop. That way you know you didn't overpay for parts, and they know they can't overcharge for labor.

dkozloski
09-06-06, 01:07 PM
Try the online parts stores, and then bring the parts to a shop. That way you know you didn't overpay for parts, and they know they can't overcharge for labor.

Bad idea! You don't take your own eggs to the restaurant. Around here you'd wind up with a bruised tail bone.

Ranger
09-06-06, 01:42 PM
Koz is right. All shops mark up parts. That is part of the way they make a profit, and that is fine. However, it would not hurt to go in well informed. Then you can either negotiate the price or walk. In this case, I'd walk. This guy is a ripoff artist preying on the uninformed.

chevelle
09-06-06, 02:17 PM
The other problem when you bring in your own parts is that the shop is then just obligated to install the part you provided....not fix the problem. Contract with the shop to fix the problem....that is what you want done. If they replace the starter with the one you provided and it still doesn't start then they are off the hook for futher repairs unless you pay more. You took away their responsibility for correctly diagnosing the problem when you brought in the part and asked them to install it. It certainly helps to check on parts prices to make sure they are not marking up too much but expect some markup. At least ask what the starter is and where they are getting it and what it costs. Online parts sources are great for saving money if you can do the repair yourself but don't expect much cooperation from a shop if you bring in your own parts like that.

I would also question their diagnosis of a starter. Are you sure the battery cables are tight and in good condition? Have they checked the connections and the ground connections. Starters can fail but unless you were having difficutly starting it for some time it is somewhat suspect that a starter just failed out of the blue. Usually they give some warning with grinding, slow cranking, intermittant no cranks, etc.... Even a bad battery can cause the problem you describe.

zonie77
09-06-06, 07:35 PM
There are reasons for the parts markup.

1) time and effort to get part (many parts stores deliver but that was originally a reason).

2) control of source ( getting a quality part).

3) a fund for warranty time (granted some shops charge back the mechanic).

I don't recommend taking your own parts to the mechanic.

As Chevelle explained, it is not worth the money saved to supply the part to the mechanic.

dkozloski
09-06-06, 11:36 PM
Around here the normal markup for auto parts is 40%. Just about anybody can work some kind of angle however, like a military discount, senior citizen discount, car club discount, repeat customer discount, buyers club discount, through your employer, or cute girlfriend running the errand. My nephew is the general manager of the second most profitable NAPA store in the universe and knows all the angles. His neighborhood parts store turns $44,000+ business a day and he doesn't have to screw anybody to do it..

JimLucky
09-07-06, 12:03 AM
When it gets towed in they think they can stick it to ya because you cant drive off.I would call for some other quotes (other shops) and have the car towed out of there to the closest reasonable shop.Dont trust a crook, because the price can go up after they start working on it.Oh ya we also found somthing else line.

dkozloski
09-07-06, 11:11 AM
A look from the other end of the telescope: I've seen a proud owner bring in his baby that is in fact a rolling junkpile. Every mainteance event was done the cheapest possible way by the lowest bidder. Every corner was cut and every shortcut taken. Now he has to pay the piper if he wants to drive it away. Fixing these things is like wiping your butt with a hoop, there's no end to it.

El Dobro
09-07-06, 01:16 PM
Just curious, paisola didn't mention what engine is in his Concours. Did all of them come with a Northstar, or does he have a 4.9? They're both listed.

quantum
09-08-06, 12:39 AM
My starter, 2 weeks ago, 94 Concours N* was $525.00.

2.5 hrs labor + new intake gaskets + NEW starter + FREE rat removal. Not too bad...

I would imagine his car has the N*, if it were a 4.9, it would be less.

chevelle
09-08-06, 09:31 AM
Just curious, paisola didn't mention what engine is in his Concours. Did all of them come with a Northstar, or does he have a 4.9? They're both listed.


I believe all the concours came with the Northstar. The deville series still had the 4.9 but the concour was the northstar.

chevelle
09-08-06, 09:31 AM
My starter, 2 weeks ago, 94 Concours N* was $525.00.

2.5 hrs labor + new intake gaskets + NEW starter + FREE rat removal. Not too bad...

I would imagine his car has the N*, if it were a 4.9, it would be less.


Pretty close to my guess......LOL.....

paisola
09-12-06, 07:41 PM
Thanks again to everyone for your advise! I ended up towing the car to another shop and was only charged $437. I found another Cadillac owner here in SLC and he also advised me who to trust. I know that all mechanics are NOT crooks.
I am grateful to all of you to clue me in on which questions to ask and what concerns I should have for this situation. You have saved me hundreds of dollars and I thank all of you for taking the time to care about my situation!
I still love my Caddy!

Ranger
09-12-06, 07:55 PM
Thanks again to everyone for your advise! I ended up towing the car to another shop and was only charged $437. I found another Cadillac owner here in SLC and he also advised me who to trust. I know that all mechanics are NOT crooks.
I am grateful to all of you to clue me in on which questions to ask and what concerns I should have for this situation. You have saved me hundreds of dollars and I thank all of you for taking the time to care about my situation!
I still love my Caddy!
That makes it all worth while and is the reason we do it. :thumbsup:

chevelle
09-12-06, 09:19 PM
Thanks again to everyone for your advise! I ended up towing the car to another shop and was only charged $437. I found another Cadillac owner here in SLC and he also advised me who to trust. I know that all mechanics are NOT crooks.
I am grateful to all of you to clue me in on which questions to ask and what concerns I should have for this situation. You have saved me hundreds of dollars and I thank all of you for taking the time to care about my situation!
I still love my Caddy!

Thanks for the feedback. I wondered how this was working out. Sounds like you found a pretty honest shop there. While not cheap, the repair sounds much more in line with reality.

boricuacaddy
09-13-06, 07:11 AM
Wow! That was a very big price difference. I can only imagine how many people that shop has over charged for work on their cars. Shops like that give a bad name to honest hard working shops! I am glad you came across this forum and got the advice you needed.

David

mumblypeg
09-14-06, 11:40 PM
I have a ticking lifter in my '97 Eldorado. I took it by a GM specialist for them to have a look. Well, the manager told that the engine was ready to blow any minute and that I should shut the off and not drive it anymore. Then he offered to sell me a Jasper motor for "only" twelve thousand, installed. I bought a bottle of BG products MOA oil additive, and the noise went away, that was several months ago.

codewize
09-15-06, 12:24 AM
Just chiming in once again to agree. That's waaayyy to much. I think I've heard people say $300 for a starter which seems high to me and about an hrs worth of labor.

I too would think a reasonable mechanic would charge no more than $400 'ish to do the job