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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanted to share with the forum the cost I incurred to have the coolant leak at my water pump repaired, and see if anyone has had a similar experience. I have a 2018 Abarth that was leaking at the water pump due to faulty application of the RTV sealant. Since the warranty period expired, and the nearest Fiat service center is over an hour away, I brought it to a local European specialist car shop in Hendersonville, NC. The repair included replacement of the pump, timing belt, tensioner, and coolant. Parts and labor came to $1440. I thought that was outrageous! Can anyone who has had their water pump replaced chime in on what they paid?
 

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I'm not disagreeing (does seem high), but:
  • there are a few special FCA tools required (1.4 L timing belt positioner, scanner, etc)
  • Mopar charges $1800 / year for access to FCA vehicle service manuals
  • Mopar charges a lot for parts
  • the hourly rate is probably close to $150, and I bet it took him about 3 hours (it's not an easy job)
so independent shops can't offer economy, but if the mechanic is conscientious, at least you'll get the job done properly.
 

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2018 124 Spider Abarth Custom
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@ameridan's points are valid but at the same time it does seem a bit high. The Timing Belt/Pump/Tensioner is a kit from FCA and is around $115. Coolant is $50 a gallon if FCA FL-22 was used, cheaper if any other FL-22 was used. Book labor is probably 4 hours. The Fiat 500s run $8-900 ($550-600ish labor $250ish parts/fluids/shop fee/disposal fee/environmental fee/no reach around) for belt changes and the Spider to me seems much easier overall although the vac pump on the 500 is easier to get to, the "front" is not as easy.
 

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Did you know going in what to expect, get an estimate of charges before having the shop proceed with the repairs? Did you get an itemized billing statement on the repairs made when the job was finished? What did you pay for each part involved, required for this repair? What was the shop's hourly rate? How many hours did they bill you and was this inline with their estimate (if you indeed got one)? Does this shop warranty their work and if so for how long of a period? Which shop had the better reputation, the better service reviews? Did you contact the Fiat service center to inquire what they charge for this same repair? If you factor in travel costs and your time and possibly having to pay for a rental for a couple of days while your Abarth is in for repairs then how does what you paid the local shop compare with what it might have cost if you had traveled for the same repair?
You hopefully made your decision to have the repair work done locally based on whatever criteria you felt best served your needs, your situation. Not saying you did or did not pay too much, but for me there's more that needs to be looked at other than just the end dollar amount and asking for a comparison after the fact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Did you know going in what to expect, get an estimate of charges before having the shop proceed with the repairs? Did you get an itemized billing statement on the repairs made when the job was finished? What did you pay for each part involved, required for this repair? What was the shop's hourly rate? How many hours did they bill you and was this inline with their estimate (if you indeed got one)? Does this shop warranty their work and if so for how long of a period? Which shop had the better reputation, the better service reviews? Did you contact the Fiat service center to inquire what they charge for this same repair? If you factor in travel costs and your time and possibly having to pay for a rental for a couple of days while your Abarth is in for repairs then how does what you paid the local shop compare with what it might have cost if you had traveled for the same repair?
You hopefully made your decision to have the repair work done locally based on whatever criteria you felt best served your needs, your situation. Not saying you did or did not pay too much, but for me there's more that needs to be looked at other than just the end dollar amount and asking for a comparison after the fact.
You are correct, I did take into account many of the factors you listed. Not to mention that I have a long-standing distrust of dealership service centers. I think the estimate called for 5 hrs labor, but I'll bet it took longer because they ran into difficulties reinstalling the brake vacuum pump that they had to remove in order to get to the water pump. Like all shops they overcharge on the parts as another source of profit. It all boils down to cost of ownership of a part Italian, part Japanese car. The shop does give a 5-year warranty of parts and labor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not disagreeing (does seem high), but:
  • there are a few special FCA tools required (1.4 L timing belt positioner, scanner, etc)
  • Mopar charges $1800 / year for access to FCA vehicle service manuals
  • Mopar charges a lot for parts
  • the hourly rate is probably close to $150, and I bet it took him about 3 hours (it's not an easy job)
so independent shops can't offer economy, but if the mechanic is conscientious, at least you'll get the job done properly.
Right, not an easy job even for an experienced mechanic due to the not-so-easy access to the pump. I used to do 90% of the maintenance on my American cars. For me to attempt to do the same repairs on this Spider would be a bridge too far.
 
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