5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003)Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.
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Okay so I kept hearing these loud noises underneath my car and it sounded horrible so I quickly took it to a garage ( bad mistake). They look at my car and told me its the wheel bearing and then they charge 40 dollars for test driving it. Afterwards they quote me a price of $270 to fix the thing...does that sound reasonable to you?
Alot of people will say $40 is nuts, but being on the other side here's my point of view.
The tech is flat rate. If he diagnoses your car for free, then he's NOT getting paid even though he is at work. Let me put it to you this way. Let's say a tech is at work 40 hours and "flags" 25 hours. That tech gets paid 25 hours for that week even though he's there for 40. Same goes if he "flags" 60 hours and he's only there for 40.
The $40 charge to me seems more than fair. I'm willing to guess the tech charged you 1/2 hour to diagnosis your concern. He probably spent AT LEAST that much time test driving the vehicle, putting it on the hoist to verify the wheel bearing, go to the parts counter to find out the price and availability of the wheel bearing, look up the flat rate time in chiltons, give all of this to the service writer and await your approval (or denail) all while his rack is tied up.
Also $270 sounds really cheap. Alldata, albeit it isn't chiltons, has book time listed at 2.8 hours for one side and $82 for the parts.
We would charge you $82 plus $280 to do it. Plus the .5 ($50) diagnosis time.
Also we would recommend that they be replaced (or repacked) in pairs, but that would be your decision.
2.8hrs seem overkill just for one side...i personally never done a wheel bearing install...but i've seen whats involved through the FSM....and let me tell ya, any real mechanic with a hoist...can do that job in like 1hr per side...
From my experience from the dealership with bearings replaced, it didn't take them more than an hour to replace one side. I had bearings + tie rods replaced and the mechanic only took 1.5 hrs with alignment included.
Do you still have any 5 yr power train warranty left? If so it's covered. If not $270 sounds a little steep, but not outrageous, get another quote somewhere else, just phone them and tell them what you need. Good luck.
yea 2.8 seems steep, but that's what alldata has listed. That's why I put it. We usually bid them out at 1.2 for one side or 2 for both. Thing is warranty on a wheel bearing for Mitsubishi's is about .6 per side. Alldata CLAIMS warranty pays 3.3 for both sides or 2.0 for one on a Maxima. Typically warranty pay is pretty close to actual time, so either alldata doesn't know what their talking about or there is something I'm missing.
Intresting... I just looked up book time on the hub and bearing and it's also listed at 2.8 for one side and 2.0 warranty pay. Alldata must have listed wheel bearing rate the same as hub and wheel bearing. Anyhow, on a wheel hub and bearing we would charge $280 labor + $150 for parts. (assumming alldata is accurate) That is probably still on the high side. Most shops with a lower hourly rate would probably charge just under $300 and would use quality aftermarket parts.
2.8 hours may look steep, but sometime you will get some unpleasant surprise removing it. I had the same problem and it end up being the wheel bearing + the wheel hub. It end up costing me a 1000$ to fix everything ( both front side ) it was a pain in the arss to replace since the wheel hub where stuck and the bearing where all a part, we broke the first puller to add to our luck. In my case the 2.8 hours ended up being a full day.
Don't feel bad, my dealer kept telling me it was my axle nut that was loose, tightened it up charged me $40 and sent me on my way, 2nd time said it was my tires wearing uneven, (Failry new NT555's have been wearing evenly though in my opinion, only use em in summer months, and only had for 2 summers) charged me $40 again and sent me on my way! Finally took it in to a local shop by my work for 2nd opinion. Turned out to be what I thougt it was, wheel bearing. Not just one though, 2 front wheel bearings and passenger side wheel hub, $600. I just went ahead with the repairs to get done at this local shop rather than waiting weeks to get an appt at the stealership and probably have them rip offs tell me the same thing about an axle nut or uneven tire wear. Car is quiet and runs like new again after wheel bearings/ wheel hub replacement. This should have been covered under my extended warranty per Joe Woodson at Nissan Consumer affairs. Now he is helping me in getting this situation resolved by reimbursing me the repair cost that the dealer should have done! He asked me why I did not bring it to the dealer to fix, I said first off the dealer can't even diagnose the problem right, they charge me $40 everytime for incorrect diagnostics and I have to wait weeks before I get an appt, and the one time I did have an appt at 7am right when they open, they did not even look at my car till 5:15 that evening! Service department sucks at Nissan at least Kelly Nissan in Oak Lawn, IL does!
I just had to replace 3 bearings and a wheel hub on the left and one bearing on the right. I am now told that I need a new wheel hub on the right. He said that the bearings are no-interference bearings and need a new wheel hub with any new bearing install. Wheel hub did fix the left, will find out soon enough about the right. All in all I have about $600 and two weeks invested so far, including two failed bearings on the left.
If you have any doubt about the prices and parts they are suggesting that need to be replaced, see this thread in which I had the same issues and they were taken care of under my warranty. But at least you can see that their pricing isn't out of line.