1. I see the term "Quick Strut" for the front end. I do not like to replace the OE springs on most cars as there are a LOT of find tuning of springs on most cars. As long as the springs are not broken or drooping, I reuse the spring.
2. There is some double dipping on the Labor for the front end repair. They are billing the control arm replacement and the strut replacement as 2 separate and independent operations. For the most part when you have the front end over 1/2 way apart when doing either the struts or the control arms, so theses operations SHOULD NOT be billed out as separate and independent operations. BUT this is how shops/techs make as much as Plumbers and Lawyers. Well as much as Lawyers!
3. $190 labor for front brake pad replacement. Most shops charge around $90-$120 per axle depending on the car. Again, if all this work is to be performed at the same time, the car is already in the garage, on the lift and wheels off. This is double dipping.
The shops always use the excuse "we did not know what repairs you would want to do, so we quoted them all seperately/al a carte." I call BS on this ALL THE TIME. If you were to do ALL 3 repairs at the same time, I would expect at least a 2 hour credit.
Good review because they seem to suck up to the customer. They likely do decent work, this is not so hard if you have techs with half a brain. Also this shop likely specializes in specific models, so again they should know what they are doing. The work they are doing for you does not involve any exceptional level of skill or trouble shooting.
Again, the problem you have here is pretty typical, the labor operations really overlap if you were to do everything at once and I would expect at least 2 hours labor credit because part of every labor operation for these repairs entails getting the car in the ship, up in the air and tires off the car.
Classic case of shops not understanding the labor time guides or abusing the labor time guide for their financial gain.
The problem is I know how the labor times are derived. I used to work for a auto manufacturer and we had a service garage group that actually performed the work in the NEW cars and determined the repair steps and the time it took to perform the work.
So for example the labor times are obtained without using air tools or taking specific short cuts. But there is also time factored in from the time the car pulls into the bay, is raised in the air and even include even removing the wheels. Every repair you had a quote for is listed out seperatly as in individual operation, so you are paying for overlapping labor operations. This is how the mechanics are billing 16-20 hours for a 8 hour day. I thought only Lawyers could pull this crap off.
If you can get a mechanic to come to your house and you can purchase all the parts, this is good. Just be careful that you make sure you actually purchase everything that is required AND you inventory what you have purchased to make sure you have all parts on hand otherwise you may have a car down for a longer period of time.
Just to give you another perspective, I would recommend a spring replacement with the shocks/struts. I've done several MK4s and all had worn springs, the new springs restore the ride height.
As far as the cost, it seems a bit excessive, but probably not far off what most shops charge. Look at this website and compare the cost vs your estimate. You can get a complete spring/shock/strut/mount kit for less than $500 and a new steering rack (with tie rods) for less than they are charging for the tie rod replacement. Are the LCA's damaged or just need bushings? No need to change them if they only need bushings. $75 to balance 4 tires that you are buying there seems a bit much to me, but I do my own so no idea really what it goes for these days.
If you could get the car to Jacksonville I could get it sorted in a day for much less.
Some of that seems high, especially the tire mounting. Around here it's about $11 to mount and balance if you bring tires in, a little more if they're low profile. So I would think with their tires it wouldn't be so much. Either way, $75 seems high.
Yes. I used to get mouning and balancing for free when buying tires. Anyway i got a mechanic from yourmechanic to check my car today and here is all he found: much more reasonable: Labor
Control Arm Assembly Replacement (Driver Side Front,Passenger Side Front)
Control Arm - Front Lower Left $92.38
Control Arm - Front Lower Right $92.38
Sway Bar Link (2x) $38.60
Inspection Credit - $70.0
Labor Cost: 182.00
Parts Cost: 223.36
Parts Tax: 15.64
Total Cost: 351.00