Top 5 Overcharged Repair Jobs

Mechanics are basically always willing to work with you to get your vehicle back on the road as quickly as possible. It’s no secret they’re doing their job to make money, but don’t think everything they charge you for is a rip off. That doesn’t mean some services don’t cost more than they probably should. What are they? Borrow has worked up a list of the top 5 overcharged repair jobs in no particular order. Let’s get you educated.



It’s very easy to allow the importance and complexity of your car's brakes to overwhelm you. But the truth is that most systems are made to be very simple to work on, and are expected to be replaced at regular intervals. For most vehicles, parts for a typical brake job shouldn’t cost more than $100; a good shop will be able to do the work in two hours, one for the front and one for the back. That’s definitely a generous estimate but the job varies from car to car. Most shops list their labor price per the hour so make sure to look out for that!

Windshield Wipers

In states that require an annual or bi-annual inspection, this one is special. I don’t think anyone actually remembers the last time they changed their windshield wipers. Dropping new parts of a vehicle is painfully simple and usually required no more than a screw driver. Again, it varies from car to car, but usually parts shouldn’t cost more than $40 at most for both sides. Since it takes just a few minutes to pop new parts on, if your bill is more than $60 then you’ve probably got a problem. Most auto parts stores like Autozone, Advanced or Pep Boys will usually install your wipers free of charge too, so there is no reason to spend any more money that necessary. 


Batteries are honestly just expensive. For most vehicles, expect to pay $100 or more for the battery itself. The good news is that they take very little time to replace, so the cost of labor should basically be nonexistent. Just like for your windshield wipers, auto parts stores like the ones listed above will gladly install your battery for you if you buy it from their stores.What most people don’t know is that scrap metal recyclers usually pay around $10 for old batteries; so if your shop is charging you a disposal fee, odds are you’re getting overcharged. 

Headlight Bulbs

Here is another part that’s deceptively easy to replace and fairly inexpensive for most vehicles. Expect to pay around $20 for headlight bulbs, and labor shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. Some shops may try to sell you on expensive replacements, but they don’t offer much in the way of improved visibility. Don’t fall for the upselling, be wary if your bill comes out above $50.


It definitely depends on the vehicle, but most modern cars and trucks have one single belt that runs all of the car's accessories. Certains cars may have two. Belts are generally easy to replace and usually cost around $30 per belt. If your bill comes out to over $100 for the service, you have a real problem. Don’t confuse your vehicle’s accessory belts with your timing belt, though. Those are much more labor intensive. 

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Olly SholotanComment