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What is the general rule out there when it comes to alignments and dealing with shims. I notice that it DOES take more time than the standard alignment rate I charge. My mechanic and I kind of butt heads regarding extra charges. I understand that some vehicles require less time with shims than others. So, what say you out there. Give me some feedback. Thanks

 

P.S. When am I not a "newbie" any longer??

Edited by Southards
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I personally charge the same amount whether I use shims or not. I also charge the same amount if I am doing a 2 wheel or a 4 wheel alignment. 95% of the alignments "set the toe and let it go" so for the few that require a little more work, I just "eat" My alignment machine has made me a lot of money for what I invested in the Hunter machine. I have less than $200 in my machine :)

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I personally charge the same amount whether I use shims or not. I also charge the same amount if I am doing a 2 wheel or a 4 wheel alignment. 95% of the alignments "set the toe and let it go" so for the few that require a little more work, I just "eat" My alignment machine has made me a lot of money for what I invested in the Hunter machine. I have less than $200 in my machine :)

Good point regarding the quick ones, didn't consider that. Any one else out there with more thoughts!!

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Good point regarding the quick ones, didn't consider that. Any one else out there with more thoughts!!

 

I charge more for any alignment that requires more labor. For example, if I need to install a ball joint shim on a Ford truck, I will charge accordingly. If I need to drill out the rivets on an upper strut mount plate under the hood on a Ford, I will charge more.

 

I also have different prices for 2 wheel, 4 wheel, light truck and Hi-end cars such as Mercedes, Jaguar, BMW. ETC

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What is the general rule out there when it comes to alignments and dealing with shims. I notice that it DOES take more time than the standard alignment rate I charge. My mechanic and I kind of butt heads regarding extra charges. I understand that some vehicles require less time with shims than others. So, what say you out there. Give me some feedback. Thanks

 

P.S. When am I not a "newbie" any longer??

 

We always charge more money when additional labor is required. We use Specialty Products (Oriellys carries them in our area) and their catalog has a fairly accurate labor guideline for every product the sell. When asked to cost for alignment our answer is always " Our base alignment is XX.XX which allows us to make corrections to all alignment angles that were made adjustable from the factory. If your vehicle requires kits,cams or shims to fine tune the alignment, those will be extra".

This usually opens new dialogue about what a kit, cam or shim does and allows myself or my adviser to put on our educator cap and explain why these items are needed and what benefit the client can expect for his or her money.

I then close with "tires are getting more expensive these days, spending a few extra dollars today, if needed, to extend tire life just makes good sense to me, wouldn't you agree"?

Its their car. Don't decide the repair for them. You didn't buy it, build it or break it. Offer the client the option to repair it correctly and watch how many agree with you. Can you do that? Sure, Is it easy? Not always but we seem to be pretty successful at it anyway. Give it a try, you might surprise yourself.

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We always charge more money when additional labor is required. We use Specialty Products (Oriellys carries them in our area) and their catalog has a fairly accurate labor guideline for every product the sell. When asked to cost for alignment our answer is always " Our base alignment is XX.XX which allows us to make corrections to all alignment angles that were made adjustable from the factory. If your vehicle requires kits,cams or shims to fine tune the alignment, those will be extra".

This usually opens new dialogue about what a kit, cam or shim does and allows myself or my adviser to put on our educator cap and explain why these items are needed and what benefit the client can expect for his or her money.

I then close with "tires are getting more expensive these days, spending a few extra dollars today, if needed, to extend tire life just makes good sense to me, wouldn't you agree"?

Its their car. Don't decide the repair for them. You didn't buy it, build it or break it. Offer the client the option to repair it correctly and watch how many agree with you. Can you do that? Sure, Is it easy? Not always but we seem to be pretty successful at it anyway. Give it a try, you might surprise yourself.

 

I agree. Always give options, but guide your customer to make the right choice. I don't give my alignments away. Why? Because I won't just set the toe and let it go.

 

By the way: I also use the phrase; I didn't buy it, build it ot break it....the three "B's" of the auto repair business.

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