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Why Is San Diego Auto Repair So Expensive?

No one can say that they really look forward to taking their vehicle into the repair shop. When you take your car in, it means something is wrong with it. Maybe there is a strange noise or vibration, or perhaps the check engine light came on. Needless to say, any issue with your car can be stress you do not need. To make matters worse, you probably have no idea what it will cost to be repaired. Why is auto repair in San Diego so expensive? Some people just believe that mechanics are out to profit off of others’ misfortune because they know that you have no other choice than to have your car fixed. 

However, that is far from reality. The high cost of vehicle repair is largely because, in the past, nearly everyone was able to work on their own cars. It just took a few basic tools and parts. Your mom or dad could easily just rebuild a carburetor in about thirty minutes, replace spark plugs, and the fuel filter in around thirty minutes. 

Fast forward to the present day, and modern vehicles are entirely different. 

Auto Repair Mechanic Training

When you look under the hood of your car, you will see an array of wiring harnesses, electronic sensors, and actuators, all of which are designed to maximize performance, fuel economy, and comfort. Monitoring and controlling all of these components are the powertrain control modules, and we will not go into the nearly dozen computers controlling the rest of the vehicle. This is just not a machine the average person should be messing with. 

The amount of training that most modern car repair technicians need can be staggering. Technical programs can cost thousands of dollars, comprising of thousands of hours in theory and practical application. This way, mechanics really get to know cars, inside and out. Once they enter the field, the training does not end. Any reputable mechanic understands this, which is why mechanics undergo ongoing training in the vehicle systems they use. 

Some may not quite understand why mechanics need this training, assuming that the computers will tell them everything they need to now. However, the truth is a bit more complex. The kind of knowledge required to properly diagnose and repair a vehicle takes years of intense training and experience. 

Auto Repair Tools & Equipment

Why Is San Diego Auto Repair So Expensive?Running an auto repair shop means you need to have the right tools and equipment. The majority of mechanics are responsible for their own tools, meaning that it comes out of their paycheck at the end of the day. Technician toolboxes and tools can range from anywhere from $5,000 to over $50,000. Some may try to refute this by arguing that a “professional mechanic’s” toolset goes for just $500 on Amazon. However, this is not an accurate figure for professional tools. 

Unless someone has experience repairing cars on a daily basis, they may not realize how valuable it can be to have eight different 10-millimeter sockets, six different ⅜” drive ratchets, and five different 14 mm wrenches. This is not out of vanity but productivity. If a tool can speed up the job and save some effort, the repair shop will need it in their toolbox. 

Vehicle repair shops also maintain tens of thousands of dollars in tools and equipment. Diagnosing a check engine light may just cost you around $100, but if it is being done with a sophisticated tool, it may be worth up to $5,000. A computerized wheel alignment may only cost you around $100, but the specialized lift can be valued up to $40,000 and the optical alignment computer up to $20,000. If your vehicle has been involved in a collision, adjusting the frame may run you $5,000, but the frame machine could cost nearly $45,000. Even mounting and balancing the tires, which usually cost about $50 apiece, requires equipment valued from $3,000 $15,000. 

Perfect Parts for the Perfect Auto Repair

Lastly, there are the parts. Each car has about 30,000 components, which can range greatly in both price and quality depending on the brand and where you are getting them from. For many parts, like sensors and controllers, genuine or OEM parts may be your only option in order to get the job done. Brand name parts are usually a bit more costly, but they are often of better quality, fit and finish, and function that aftermarket components. However, there are certain aftermarket parts that have been designed and proven to work as well if not better than genuine or OEM parts. It just takes the care of a qualified auto repair technician and management to recognize their value. 

Making sure that your car is diagnosed by professionals who use the right tools and the best parts for the job is all you really need. Clearly, there is a lot that goes into your final bill. 

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego Is Here to Help

At your local Automobile Repair Shop San Diego, we only employ trained and ASE-Certified auto repair mechanics. Each and every technician is a professional with a passion for working on cars. If you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle, even if you are worried about how much it may cost to fix your car, let us have a look. We can help you establish priorities and keep your car on the road. 

San Diego Automobile Repair Shops

Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated business that has been providing the best repair experiences. We will offer you hassle-free auto repairs starting with a precise damage assessment or estimate. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize for a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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