How much does it cost to change a starter?

Cookielane 2009/03/14 20:46:33
You definitely got ripped off!
No, that sounds fair to me!
Add Photos & Videos
I took my car to a local mechanic for a new starter. I told him on the phone I needed a starter and asked how much it would cost. He wouldn't give me a clear answer, which should have been my cue to run. But stupidity prevailed and at the end of the day I owed him $445.00. Included was 1 1/4 hours labor to diagnose the problem. My boyfriend hit the roof and went in there and told the guy off, accusing him of ripping me off. The guy took off $50.00, and told my friend that he had given me a 20% discount in the first place. On the receipt, the original price was over $500.00! I drive a 2000 Windstar. Did I get ripped off?
Add a comment above

Top Opinion

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest

  • AidenRenolds 2015/02/02 14:09:30
    You definitely got ripped off!
    That is seriously frustrating. Yes, it sounds like you got ripped off. In the future you might want to look at finding another place to get the part you need. There are also places that buy used parts from totaled cars. They are really cheap and are still in great working condition. Hopefully this will help you out.

  • Mike 2012/10/30 02:41:57
    You definitely got ripped off!
    The cost should have been 1 hour of diagnonistics, 2 hours of labor, and part ($100-$295). The 1 hour of diagonistics is a rip off as the mechanic must remove the starter in the first place. I brought my own part and the mechanic still performed the diagnostic and charged me for 2 hours of labor. The full hour of diagnostics should be included in the cost. 1/2 - 3/4 of the hours should be included in the cost. standard labor rates should have been between 85 - 95 per hour if not at dealership.
  • Cookielane Mike 2012/10/30 11:28:06
    I should have been a mechanic!
  • William... Mike 2013/08/10 16:55:15
    William Baskin
    Rule Of Thumb.Call shops ask what's their labor cost.Most shops, hourly labor $80-$125 .Also, ask what's the labor hours on stater replacement, get a quote. All shops, and Dealers go by same hourly chart.So, you can call any repair facilities and get that, information and take it to best deal for your buck.If someone charge you more than hours specified. .you ca n take them to court.Something, like a Starter going out, diagnosis should be a flat rate free to $110 depending on repair facility. Also, they normally doesn't charge you full diagnostic charge , if they doing repairs.Also, ask how much is Parts, or can you purchase your own part.But, keep in mine if you purchase your own part, Repair Facilities may not, give warranty due to parr failure.But, they have over head, so they increase price on their purchase part.They can charge up to 50% additional on parts they purchase.But, fair price range parts/labor on your Vehicle should been $300-$425.If a shade tree mechanic done it, $175-$225 parts/labor.
  • mfox1 2011/01/25 22:25:26
    I have a 2001 ES 300 Lexus that will not start. I do not hear a clicking sound while trying to start it. The light, horn etc seem to be working find. one mechanic said it is the starter and another mechanic it is the neutral safety switch. What do you think?
  • Cookielane mfox1 2011/01/26 00:27:51
    Not sure - I never heard of a neutral safety switch! I called AAA for a jump, and the driver told me it was my starter. There's a quick test that every backyard mechanic knows to tell if your starter's bad; unfortunately, I'm no mechanic!
  • Kumo.th... Cookielane 2015/01/31 16:29:37
    The neutral safety switch makes the car unable to start if it is not on park or neutral.
  • onegun15 2009/07/22 22:57:12
    You definitely got ripped off!
    ripped off
  • Jerry 2009/04/24 02:36:59
    You definitely got ripped off!
    The starter for a 2000 windstar costs no more then 100 to 120 bucks tops, and you can probably find it for cheaper. So if the mechanic payed top dollar for your starter (which i doubt) he charged you 300 to 350 bucks for labor.
    and if he worked on it for 1 hour and 15 minutes then he charged you 300 bucks an hour for his labor.

    This is totally un heard of considering on average a mechanic charges about 60 to 100 dollars and hour.

    Im sorry you got ripped off :(

    He should have charged you something like 200 to 250 bucks, maybe 300 if he was a top noch mechanic (which i doubt).

    You can actually take your starter that doesn't work to an auto parts store and exchange it, they will give you credit of about 30 to 40 buck so your new starter would only cost 50 to 75 bucks.
    I believe they call that a core exchange.
  • Cookielane Jerry 2009/04/24 02:51:02
    Wow! Well, that's one lesson I won't soon forget! Thanks Jerry!
  • Jerry Cookielane 2009/04/24 02:57:07
    No problem, if anything ever break on your car as far as parts go look up the price on the internet first, that way it gives you a starting point for cost. And since now you know how much mechanics cost an hour you can make an educated guess as to how much it will cost.

    at least you now know that that mechanic is not a nice person and a call to the BBB would probably be in order. What he did is called price gouging.
  • Ace~Mr.Giantess~ 2009/03/19 22:36:26
    None of the above
    They told us it would cost about 400 dollars to. My dad's car has this stupid feature that locks the steering wheel in place and they say it's in the starter and we need a new starter. I hate these stupid features on cars I don't care if they're about safety or not.
  • Kumo.th... Ace~Mr.... 2015/01/31 16:32:43
    Unless it's different on your dad's car, that feature is on the ignition switch (where you turn the key).
  • Eddie 2009/03/14 21:22:40
    You should call your local auto parts store and ask for a price on a new starter. I'm glad I know how to do the work myself because they usually get you on the labor, that's the most expensive part.
  • Cookielane Eddie 2009/03/14 21:36:12
    I'll say! The labor was 3/4 of the bill! My boyfriend asked the guy - why did it take you 1 2/4 hrs to diagnose a starter? I guess that's what the law allows them to charge, even if they don't actually need that long. The tow truck driver figured it out in 5 minutes!
  • Brettst... Cookielane 2009/03/14 22:27:18
    What exactly did he need to diagnose? You had the tow truck driver and yourself to tell the guy, it's the starter! I just did a quick search for an aerostar starter and they are about $25. Now I know that mechanics use a "flag rate" for jobs....it's kinda like an average time it should take to do the job, and many will charge that rate regardless of how long it actually takes. I would certainly write a letter to the company, or parent company of the place you took it to and report them to the BBB. Depending on the state you live in, you may have other agencies they could be reported to as well. You might want to send the letter to them with your intentions first..and see if they'll respond favorably.
  • Cookielane Brettst... 2009/03/15 07:12:48
    Believe it or not, that was the owner! My boyfriend told him he'd be calling the BBB! I think he worried the guy a bit, because he tried to call me at work later in the day!
  • Brettst... Cookielane 2009/03/15 10:36:44
    sorry to hear that....did he give you an estimate before he did the work?
  • Cookielane Brettst... 2009/03/15 13:40:17
    he did - the kicker was the amount he charged just to tell me how much the rest would be!
  • Mike Cookielane 2012/10/30 02:48:54
    1 hour for diagnostics is standard practice. 2 hours is standard for estimates for changing a starter. If it takes longer, the mechanic gets paid the same. If it takes longer, the mechanic gets paid the same. If the mechanic attempts to increase the price of the service beyond the estimate provided, challenge and tell them you can not pay anymore. They are subject matter experts and if they misdiagnost the vechicle, that is their mistake and legally responsible to fulfill the work by law. it works both ways.

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.


2015/02/27 01:35:29

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals