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Old 09-09-2007, 10:16 AM   #1
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Is this a reasonable hydraboost replacement price?

Last Thursday afternoon I dropped our 310 Motorhome off at a local truck repair shop to have them check the tires to see if any were out-of-round. While there we decided to have them replace the brake master cylinder because it had started leaking on our return trip from PA in July.

This shop runs a night shift that ends at 11 pm and the shop foreman told me if I brought it down by 5pm Thursday that night shift would do the work and I could drive it home that night. Well after the mechanic looked at the brakes he decided the hydroboost was bad, not the master cylinder. At the time I didn't think much of it, I just assumed the mechanic would be right. Due to difficulties in getting the hydroboost removed the job didn't get done on Thursday night. I told the mechanic not to rush it and that we would just come by Friday around noon to pick it up. I also told him to go ahead and replace the brake master cylinder while he was in there doing the work.

Keep in mind the original reason we took the Motorhome to them was to get the tires checked for out-of-round. Well we got a call from them early afternoon on Friday and they informed us that they had installed the wrong master cylinder and could we pick it up Saturday afternoon instead.

Oh yeah, each time I talked to these people I asked how the work on checking the tires was going and each time I got the response that checking tires was "day shift work".

Well I went out to pick it up Saturday afternoon and found that the bill for replacing the Hydroboost and the master cylinder totalled $988.

When I asked how much of that was for checking the tires he informed me they didn't do that, it was "day shift work" and apparently the Saturday crew couldn't do it. Needless to say I was extremely

The parts cost totalled $375 for the hydroboost and the master cylinder. I'm assuming those prices are in a reasonable price range. However we were billed for 9 hours labor because they had a hard time getting the hydroboost removed. It seems to me that 9 hours labor is somewhat excessive for replacing these two components, especially since you have to remove the master cylinder to get to the hydroboost anyway.

Needless to say, I refused to pay the bill and told them I would be contacting the service manager about the price and the fact they didn't even bother checking the tires (which was the main reason for taking the motorhome to them anyway). When I complained to the clerk that they didn't even look at the tires the clerk politely pointed out that they didn't bill me for checking the tires

As far as the mechanic deciding the hydroboost was bad I'm not so sure about that one. When the brakes started to fade during our return trip I checked the fluid in the brake master cylidner and found it low and also checked the power steering (hydroboost) fluid and the level was just fine. To me that sounds like the brake master cylinder was leaking, NOT the hydroboost. Braking action was very good as long as the master cylinder had sufficient fluid in it.

So, is 9 hours labor reasonable for the work done? And should they have even replaced the hydroboost?

Oh yeah, during the time that the motorhome was in their shop I mentioned to no less than 3 different people (including the service manager) that we really needed to find out which if any tires were out of round.

Brad
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:36 AM   #2
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Oh man, Brad! Iím sorry. That certainly sounds like a lot of time to me. I believe Iíll avoid those guys like the plague.
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Old 09-09-2007, 12:36 PM   #3
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Brad,

Steven Webster has a great thread about this topic in the Mechanics Corner area. It should give you some idea of how long it should take to do this job.

I had the same symptoms with my MoHo and all I did was replace the mc and all was well.

Did the shop save the hydroboost they took out and show it to you?

Steve
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:52 PM   #4
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Sounds like someone got "boosted".
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Old 09-09-2007, 03:18 PM   #5
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Steve,

I read through Steven Websters posts a while back. Definitely not an easy task, but for a service shop I would think it would be a "little" easier.

For some reason I thought I saw a reply from Overlander63 (Terry) here a little while ago but it seems to be gone now.

He commented about whether it was more than $50 over the estimate. Unfortunately I didn't get an estimate on the repair job. My biggest problem is I'm too trusting when it comes to this sort of thing

I plan on having a long conversation with the service manager about the whole affair.

I'll update this thread tomorrow.

Brad
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Old 09-09-2007, 04:45 PM   #6
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I doesn't help now, but

FWIW, in the future ask about the "flat rate" on labor for future service items. There are companies whose only business is to determine this stuff & publish it.

9 hours labor is a half-day's work for two technicians. Terry will have a better response (if he sees this post) than I will, but if the business does not make a habit of working on motorhomes, they will have a learning curve with each job.

Tom
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Old 09-09-2007, 04:55 PM   #7
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Yeah, we were pretty astounded when we got the final bill. The only thing I could think of was in all of the confusion between day- and night-shifts that we got charged for the time they spent putting on and taking off the wrong master cylinder. Hopefully Brad will get it all straightened out tomorrow.

We were also surprised to hear them say the hydroboost needed replacing, and they did not give Brad a reason why. We went ahead with it since we figured it was best to have two totally new parts that we knew the history of in there.

There's always something, isn't there. Sigh.

Susan
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Old 09-09-2007, 05:13 PM   #8
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Hey there Brad ,
The first thing that should always happen is to get an estimate in writing
or a verbal estimate ,noting the time and date of the verbal authorization.
Im an automotive mechanic /technician by trade ,and I give both types .
If the price for any reason should change or more parts are needed ,which
happens often ,you the customer need to know how much .The written initial
estimate is most critical ,the BAR can come down hard on any shop for
failing to do just that .did the shop not give you any idea of how much the repairs would cost? The shop can go off a" flat rate "or "book time"for your vehical so as to give you a proper cost of the repair .In any event ,if the
estimate will exceed your authorization initially ,no work can go forward
without your futher authorization of how much more it will cost ,written or verbal .If you signed the work order for the price you are being charged however ,your stuck with it .Always check your copy that you sign to ensure
that it clearly matches their copy and no charges were written in to make it appear you signed .

Ok ,then good luck

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:14 PM   #9
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Stop !

Heres where and how the Hydra Boost looks.
Would be easy to tell which was leaking...Master or Hydra by the smell, color and feel of fluid.
Hydra would be power steering fluid, red, oily and sweet smelling
Master would be clear to carmel, dry feeling and sharp salty smelling.

This is how a simple Master replacement turned out.
All parts were found in stock at Advance and NAPA...I was shocked.
Total was $240 +/- that was for,
Master Cyl
Pads
Calipers
Flex Hoses (the sorce of all evil)







Try to slip something past the Inspector...


Heres the Booster...not so tough to get to




This hose is what caused all my problems.
It would let fluid go to calipers when you hit the pedal, just would not release pressure when you let off.
That caused brake pads to constantly push in on rotor, until failure.
I did not find out until starting to bleed system...would not drool when left open.












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Old 09-10-2007, 07:51 PM   #10
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I did post a reply earlier, but it wasn't very nice toward the repair shop, and I couldn't make it nice, so I deleted it. A master cylinder and Hydroboost unit should take about 3 hours to replace. If they charge flat rate, there should be a set amount to perform this repair, and the mechanic is on his own as far as learning curve. If more materials were required (torches, screw extractors, etc) that should be listed separate. What it SOUNDS like happened, is the guy working on it buggered up the hydro unit trying to replace the master, and they replaced it, and charged you for it. He could have, for example, snapped off a rusted master cylinder mounting bolt, rendering the unit useless.
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klattu
Heres where and how the Hydra Boost looks.
Would be easy to tell which was leaking...Master or Hydra by the smell, color and feel of fluid.
Hydra would be power steering fluid, red, oily and sweet smelling
Master would be clear to carmel, dry feeling and sharp salty smelling.

This is how a simple Master replacement turned out.
All parts were found in stock at Advance and NAPA...I was shocked.
Total was $240 +/- that was for,
Master Cyl
Pads
Calipers
Flex Hoses (the sorce of all evil)
Wow, your prices are almost unbelievable (I said almost ).

I don't know that I've ever seen brakes that looked that bad before. I bet towards the end you heard some squealing.

Thanks for the pics.

Brad
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:12 PM   #12
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Have the prices, part #'s and which store somewhere...
Calipers $75 each
Pads $35
Master $35
Hose...this I can't remember, either $11 or $30, did Eldorado about same time.
Returned all my cores, and did lots of web site price checking.
Is very important to get correct P30 brake system, and will have to go dig this # up...caliper is what gave correct system number by matching part to part, this took two trips of course.

All parts were rebuilt too, (except pads and hose) get new and price triples.
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
I did post a reply earlier, but it wasn't very nice toward the repair shop, and I couldn't make it nice, so I deleted it. A master cylinder and Hydroboost unit should take about 3 hours to replace. If they charge flat rate, there should be a set amount to perform this repair, and the mechanic is on his own as far as learning curve. If more materials were required (torches, screw extractors, etc) that should be listed separate. What it SOUNDS like happened, is the guy working on it buggered up the hydro unit trying to replace the master, and they replaced it, and charged you for it. He could have, for example, snapped off a rusted master cylinder mounting bolt, rendering the unit useless.
I knew you had replied because I still had the browser window open that had your reply. When I used another window to check on the thread again your post was gone so I went back and looked at the still open browser window and there it was.

I talked with the service manager today and things are a little better. He apologized for the labor charge and said they are a flat rate shop and while I was on the phone with him he tried to find the rate for the brake/hydroboost repair. He couldn't find it and had to make a few calls. He then called me back and said the flat rate charge was 4 hours. Much better than the 9 hours the Saturday clerk tried to hit me for. The shop rate for motorhomes is $84/hr so the labor should to be $336. I say "should" because we haven't seen the bill yet.

Remember the real reason we took the motorhome to them, to check the tires for out-of-round.........well guess what, they still hadn't done that when I talked to the service manager this morning. However he said they would take care of it today. So when he called me back this afternoon (which is when he informed me of the 4 hour flat rate) he said they checked the front tires and they were slightly out-of-round but couldn't really check the tires on the rear because they couldn't spin them fast enough (highway speeds). I got kind of irate at this and suggested that maybe he could move the rear ones to the front to CHECK them He decided they could do that and would get back to me tomorrow with the results.

I can't believe its been this hard to get it through their heads that we really do want all of the tires checked

Oh well, maybe tomorrow we really will know about our tires

Brad
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klattu
Have the prices, part #'s and which store somewhere...
Calipers $75 each
Pads $35
Master $35
Hose...this I can't remember, either $11 or $30, did Eldorado about same time.
Returned all my cores, and did lots of web site price checking.
Is very important to get correct P30 brake system, and will have to go dig this # up...caliper is what gave correct system number by matching part to part, this took two trips of course.

All parts were rebuilt too, (except pads and hose) get new and price triples.
Definitely good prices. Was this a front brake only repair or did you replace the rear calipers as well?

So far on our coach we've replaced all of the rubber lines, hydroboost and master cylinder. I've looked the pads and rotors over and they "appear" to be in good condition. I will be checking them closer in the next few weeks, definitely before our trip to Branson in October.

Thanks for the info!

Brad
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