Quantcast
Jump to content


5 Star Auto Spa

Heater Core Replacement for a 96 Ford E350

Recommended Posts

We just performed a heater core replacement for a 96 Ford E350. All Data book time for the job is 7.3 hours. The job took a considerable amount of time LONGER to complete the service. This job ended up taking 12 man hours to complete. Just wanted to get input from some other shops that have performed heater core replacements and if they all take longer than the estimated book time. Also, do you typically charge X hours over book time for a job like this for the estimate?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


We always mark up book time 20%, except maintenance items. We also do our best to make sure we build an accurate quote before presenting to the customer. On big jobs like that, I usually ask the guys if the time I'm getting ready to sell sounds accurate and if we can think of anything else we should charge for. I've toyed around with marking up stuff more once they reach a certain age, but nothing in writing yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree, book time is accurate...if your working on new cars! We always mark it up a touch and if it's a problem (corrosion, tough job, etc) we explain to the customer were increasing the labor for these reasons over what we typically would charge. We've recently done a job one a lifted vehicle (custom 15"+ lift) - that customer was charger almost double the labor. I explained to him we weren't actually interested in doing the job - but if I was going to do it that it was going to be how much it was. Obviously he didn't like it, but we did the job!

 

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should have added, I never ever tell a customer how many hours the job calls for, or how much I've marked it up. I only speak in dollars to fix the car. I might indicate that the job is very labor intensive, but that's it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You failed to give exact info for the vehicle but when I checked Mitchell, Motor and Chilton with various engine, transmission and sub-model configurations for a 1996 Ford Econoline I fail to see any time estimates anywhere near your stated 7.3 hours. In fact they are all much less which confuses me. Is it possible that the vehicle was mis-identified on your post?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You failed to give exact info for the vehicle but when I checked Mitchell, Motor and Chilton with various engine, transmission and sub-model configurations for a 1996 Ford Econoline I fail to see any time estimates anywhere near your stated 7.3 hours. In fact they are all much less which confuses me. Is it possible that the vehicle was mis-identified on your post?

 

That is my conclusion! How could this job take 12 hours?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a 1998 5.4 Expedition Mitchell allows 7.0 for the core + 1.4 for evac/recharge of A/C = 8.4 hrs.

Was anything else required such as hoses, coolant flush, initial review/diagnosis?

Either way this is a long, tedious job that I would normally recommend go to the dealer. I happen to be busy enough to have that luxury. If I had to do the job I would go in at 9-10 hours PLUS the unknowns which I noted above. Sorry you wound up short but your tech possibly learned something during that job and you definitely did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

book time (Mitchell) is 7.0 or 4.3 warranty time. That means it takes an experienced tech 4 hours to do the job when the truck is fairly new, 7 hours for everyone else with a service manual. If it took your guy 12 hours he is either slow or inexperienced or didn't review the proper R&R procedure before starting the job.

 

That being said we rarely do heater cores that call for more than 3 hours because we don't do them every day, old cars have plastic parts that break easily, and it just ties up too much time. I can do 10 control arms or brake jobs in the time it takes to do one nasty Jeep or S10 heater core.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I go by Chilton labor guide times as long as it's a stock vehicle. Certain things will extend the time, rust, aftermarket add-ons, etc..those have to be added on. My inexperience cannot be a factor, though...

 

If it is stock, and I have never performed the job....it may take longer...just the way it is. Other jobs I can beat time on....it all evens out and makes it honest.

 

Next time that job comes around I may know a shortcut and will do the job quicker, thus gaining my time back from the previous job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just noticed i had a similar situation involving heater core. What i tend to do is add .2 per year of vehicle for most of my repairs. in the case of a 1996 it would add approx 4 hrs to labour guide. gives room for rust,siezed componants etc.. seems to work well. I try to monitor repairs like that closely so if i am in it at 5 hrs and know i will be over,i consult the customer. most people understand as long as they are kept in the loop so to say as what is going on..

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love Chucky112233 idea. Just did a heater core on an Audi, multiplied time by 1.5 and still lost our butt. Took over 20 man hours to get the dumb thing out. Never again. I agre with JimO and will send to dealer next time....

Richard

Edited by Truett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote it high always. If your tech blows the time out of the water then comp the next oil change to make up for the increase of price with th customer. Never told them you quoted high or they will think you quote everything high, just coupon a oil change and everybody is happy

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

book time (Mitchell) is 7.0 or 4.3 warranty time. That means it takes an experienced tech 4 hours to do the job when the truck is fairly new, 7 hours for everyone else with a service manual. If it took your guy 12 hours he is either slow or inexperienced or didn't review the proper R&R procedure before starting the job.

 

That being said we rarely do heater cores that call for more than 3 hours because we don't do them every day, old cars have plastic parts that break easily, and it just ties up too much time. I can do 10 control arms or brake jobs in the time it takes to do one nasty Jeep or S10 heater core.

Swag Master, I know what you mean. We installed both lower control arms yesterday on a Nissan Quest, performed the alignment, and took less than two hours. Client was happy and we were happy!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can personally have had heater cores I have done in and out in a single day. I know techs I have had working for me sometimes will take 12 hours. If you have your guys do a few of them then they get the experience and the time to do it starts to drop, just like with any job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally would be happiest if we never did another heater core ever. With the exception of oil leaks which we shy away from cooling system problems cause the most headaches. The heater core failed because of an acidic cooling system. Caused by neglect. Every other gasket/seal/part has been affected. We provide a service our regular customers that's the only reason we do these garbage jobs.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have access to all the book times but we always go with Chilton severe time- they are the highest and never let me down.

Once I quote a customer, unless there is a really good reason, I stick to it. Last time we did a heater core, customer had aftermarket radio he installed himself and there were wires EVERYWHERE. Lost our butt on it but kept the price the same. SHould've charged more but didn't- we ended up cleaning up the wires for him as well. Our shop is rated 4.9 out of 5 with over 130 reviews and that's how we keep it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...