Woman talking(l+r), Toyota(c)

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‘It’s an $80 product’: Toyota driver can’t believe how much she was charged when she took car to dealership for routine service

‘Have you ever been charged $800 for this?’

 

Brooke Sjoberg

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Maintenance can become one of the more expensive aspects of owning a vehicle, especially if a car owner’s main point of service—whether it is a small auto shop, service center at a dealership or trusted friend who knows what they are doing—has decided to take advantage of them.

From November 2013 to November 2023, the price of most car repairs increased by about 4%, compared to a 2.8% increase to the consumer price index, the measure of change in price for broad goods and services paid for by the average consumer. What once may have been a relatively inexpensive bit of work on a vehicle in days past may now be a pricey job for some folks, pushing it out of their budget.

One Toyota customer is calling out her local dealership’s service center for the price of a repair. In the video posted to TikTok by user Ellie (@elliefeauxfellie), she says the part they are replacing on her car costs $80, but the replacement has been quoted around $800.

“Can someone please explain to me—because I’m just a silly little woman that decided to come to a car dealership service center on my own, not to name names—but apparently I need coolant pipe replaced in my Rav 4. $787,” she says.

But Ellie decided to look into it herself.

“OK, I got curious. I’m like, how much is a coolant pipe? Because it sounds like a pretty serious thing if it’s going to be that expensive. Also, is it safe to leave without getting that done? I look it up, and if I am looking this up correctly, this is an $80 product,” she says. “$800 they’re charging me for. I understand needing to charge for the labor, but any men in the chat, have you ever been charged $800 for this?”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Ellie via comment on the video as well as to Toyota via email regarding the video.

Car repairs can be a tricky service to measure a good price for, as each service station will have its own costs for labor and typically includes a small markup on the part itself to not only cover the cost of purchasing it but also the acquisition of it. Additional testing may be necessary to complete the repair to ensure there are no leaks in the system. The average cost of this repair is somewhere around $440, based on parts and labor required per Repair Pal.

Several viewers of the video commented that in their own experiences working as mechanics, there could be a variety of reasons why the service center would quote her that high a price.

“As a tech, I’ve replaced .50 cent seal that took me 7 hours!” one commenter wrote. “Sometimes it’s how difficult the jobs is and diagnosis time is in that I’m sure.”

“Radiator plumbing can leak. Part could be $80,” another said. “Have to also drain and refill coolant, and purge air. May also leak test prior to refill. $800 is expensive, but not crazy if you’re unskilled.”

“Yeah but you have to remove the intake and replace the plenum gasket,” a further user commented. “There’s probably a lot of labor in that. There’s also other hoses, clamps, gaskets, and fluids. Typical mark up on parts is 40%.”

@elliefeauxfellie hi! do you take apple pay for me to breath air ? #girlboss #womenempowerment #cardealershiptiktok #ohhowilovebeingawoman #fyppppppppppppppppppppppp ♬ original sound – Ellie

On the other side of the matter, other viewers shared that they had been provided high quotes for repairs that they were able to complete themselves, or have done for much less elsewhere.

“I was quoted $2400 for four shocks/struts by same company,” one commented. “I got them for $400 total online. Mechanic was $200. So ya. Don’t do it girl.”

“I needed an air filter and cabin air filter,” another commenter said. “Honda was like $150. I said I can do myself thanks ($21 on Amazon for both and maybe 5 minutes of my time).”

“Wanted over 700$ to change a battery in my Highlander….I said no thank you ,,,I managed it in 20 minutes…,” a further user wrote.

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