Does anyone know if there's a standard maintenance and repair guide VW uses to establish how long it takes to replace a part in a vehicle? How do they determine how many hours to charge someone for labor? Example: Took my VW Tiguan to a VW dealer and I was quoted 12 hours of labor to replace a turbo. Another VW dealer quoted me 8 hours of labor?

  • Was the overall price the same? Did they breakdown the estimate in writing? Or was this over the phone? – CharlieRB Nov 28 '16 at 21:05
  • Overall price was not the same as one shop was charging me for an additional 4 hours of labor; parts were the same at both. Both estimates are in writing but I was just curious as to why one VW shop can quote different labor hours for the same work. I am not questioning $$$ per hour as I know this varies from state to state but I would think the time it takes to replace the same part at two different VWs should be the same. – rb123 Nov 28 '16 at 21:15
  • Lol at 12 hours. – justinm410 Nov 28 '16 at 21:25
  • I understand what you are asking. You did not give hourly rate of the quotes. So, I asked about the total amount because one may have been charging less hourly but for more hours, or some other detail that was left out. – CharlieRB Nov 29 '16 at 2:38

A main dealer would have a online lookup that tells them what time they should allow for each job.

I can only think that the recommended rate is 12 hours but the dealer who quoted 8 may have done loads before so has picked up some better ways or made some custom tools etc.

Why not get some quotes from independent VW or turbo specialists?

  • 1
    If the book hours state "12 hours", they will charge 12 hours labor. They won't even question it. The way the mechanic can make extra money for themselves is by getting the job done in 8 or 10 hours, let's say. The flip side is if it takes them 15 hours to get it done, they are still only going to get paid for the 12 hours. No dealer in their right mind is going to charge below the book hour rate because they want to make the money as well. It's what they can charge, so they'll charge it. The four hour discrepancy here is very perplexing, unless one or the other didn't look at the job right. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Nov 28 '16 at 22:37
  • Then how do you explain for example different Landrover main dealers charging anywhere between 12 and 30 hours for the same turbo or BMW dealers charging between 8 and 20 for the same timing chain? Some Landrover dealers do it by the book and remove the body some don't, some BMW dealers do it by the book and remove the engine, some simply remove the gearbox. If they do it cheaper and quicker than the book rate they get a reputation and return custom – Terry Gould Nov 29 '16 at 8:30

You have been misquoted on this. Labour times for repairs are drawn up by the the manufacturers and their own technicians, then a hourly cost is determined for that repair. ALL main dealers are then to charge the same amount of hours for that job.

It could just be a mistake or as mentioned perhaps the lower hourly rate dealer is happy to charge less as their techs can do the job in half the time etc... Or they're giving you a bit of a discount etc, it does happen. e.g.. When I worked for Nissan many years ago a Micra clutch was charged at 3.2 hours, however I could do in 32 minutes, this admittedly was in competition mode (All the UK dealer techs had a competition challenge going at one time) I believe I was second fastest in the UK :) I would say though that excluding stuck bolts etc that, that clutch job would take any tech with a lift around 1.5 hours at most. So that tech would then make 1.7 hours bonus. All jobs are not like this though as some really would take their hourly allocated time or more if it was particularly difficult due to seized/broken/stripped bolts etc

You could always call the dealer that you think is overcharging over a couple of days asking what the rate is for that job, you could even get a couple of friends to call too to see what answers they get. IF you find that they are adding hours I'd be calling VW head office and finding out what the hourly allowance is for the particular job. Then reporting the dealership that is overcharging for it.

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