acura dealer repair costs too high??

I recently had some repairs done on my '01 Acura Integra at the Acura dealer where I bought it. It took 1.5 hours and the labor cost was $294.50. They replaced the intermediate pipe for the exhaust system, two
front rotors and pads, and the top and bottom heat shields for the catalytic converter. The cost per hour is about $166/hour.
I thought the labor cost was excessive and when I inquired politely, they said that the cost is based on the job not on the time it takes.
I assume that Acura puts out a service manual which gives an estimate of the amount of time each job will take with extra time added for any problems that may develop and the dealer just multiplies their hourly rate by the time estimate.
Well, my question is: Was the labor cost too high?
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Ed Gelb wrote:

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The amount of labor is reasonable. The shop rate seems rather high, but that would depend on where you live. If you live in New York City, you'll pay a lot. If you live in Des Plaines IA, you'll pay less.
In my area, the shop rate is about $100 per hour.
All garages everywhere follow the same standardized book of labor times. The times given are often a bit long, and a good mechanic can easily beat them, making a few extra bucks in the process. However, if he has problems -- such a frozen bolt -- that causes him to go over the standardized time, they can't charge you for that extra time, which is to your benefit. You win some, you lose some.
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TeGGeR

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wrote:

Honest Competent Cheap
choose two.
J.
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Ed Gelb wrote:

$166 per hour sets a new high water mark in my book. Our local dealers are in the $110-$120 range, and No. California is a notoriously expensive market.
You might check around for a competent independent Honda/Acura specialist in your area to potentially save a little money. However, don't use a "generalist" shop as they are unlikely to be familiar with any subtle issues on your vehicle and can easily waste your time and money while they learn.
John
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Ed Gelb wrote:

I found out that the dealer charges $60/hr. for regular maintenance and $80/hr. for repairs. Since the labor cost was $249, the shop rate (aka book rate and flat rate) for my repairs must be around 3 hours. That is twice the time that the mechanic actually took!
I wonder what percent of the time the mechanic can beat the shop rate.
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I am told that a decent mechanic can beat the estimate every time. Me? If I can do it in three times the quoted time I feel proud.
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

time we are overpaying. That doesn't seem fair. Ed
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wrote in message

No it doesn't. And that dichotomy has been a bone of contention for a long time.
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On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 23:18:17 +0000 (UTC), "TeGGeR"

But let's not factor in the dealer's cost of acquiring, operating and equipping his premises, and advertising, and...
Oh hell. What am I going on about? DEALERS ARE ALL THIEVES!!
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Dan.

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I certainly have never said that. I am also certainly correct in my opinion that most people find the flat-rate system unfair when the mechanic can usually beat it. Not that it IS unfair, but that it is universally regarded that way.
It's ALL garages, not just dealers, that use the flat-rate system.
I believe the flat-rate system came about as a way of allowing garages to give quotes that they didn't end up losing money on. Many jurisdictions have strict regulations regarding quotes and any deviation from them.
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Ed Gelb wrote:

Please note correction : the price was $249.50 not 294.50
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