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Did I get owned? Car related question.

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,670
433
NC
So, my car started quitting in the middle of driving - it'd be driving fine, then all of a sudden I'd lose all accelleration and the revs would begin to drop. At about 3000rpm, the engine would stall, and I'd restart - when I restarted it, everything ran fine.

I brought it in to get it looked at, in a shop that I have no experience with since I'm new to the area, but was recommended by one of the local businesses. The guy diagnosed it and told me it was the mass airflow sensor, which would need to be replaced. He informed me it was a $371 part, and a $65 installation.

I did a little research on Google immediately, since $500 (including diagnosis) is not exactly chump change, and found others with the same problem, where replacing the MAS fixed the problem, so I told him to go ahead. Mass airflow sensors seem to run a between $250 and $300 for a new one online, so, $371 was expensive but not totally out of the ballpark for OEM.

I have the car back and it runs great, but when I popped the hood, I noticed that the MAS they put in the vehicle has "Remanufactured" in big letters on the top of it.

My question is, did I get screwed in this deal? $371 seemed high for even a brand new, retail OEM part. I've got a remanufactured part in there, shouldn't it have been substantially cheaper? It's for a 1998 Subaru Forester.

I was going to call the Subaru place back in NH to get a couple price quotes, but we've got no local phone and are hitting the edge on minutes for the cell phone due to all the calling we've had to do for the move in. Any car guys that can give me some help?
 

hooples3

Fuggetaboutit!
Mar 14, 2005
5,247
0
Brooklyn
its does sound fishy... use the minutes to call subaru. also see if they replaced any other relating parts with it
 

Echo

crooked smile
Jul 10, 2002
11,818
1
Slacking at work
I don't know about that particular part, but many car parts are "remanufactured". They are as good as new. They just use core returns for whatever they can without sacrificing durability. It's called "recycling" :p
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,670
433
NC
I'm not really looking for comments about the situation, I'm really wondering if someone who works in the car biz can get me actual price quotes on a new or re-manufactured MAS.

stinky: It was over the phone, he simply said, "It will be $371 for a new mass airflow sensor" - "new" could have meant "new" or "new to you", but I will be going in there and ripping the guy a new one if I find he charged me for a new one and gave me a re-manufactured one. I'm not looking for lawsuit material, really, just to see if I can get some money back, and if I can't, to tell everyone I meet down here that he's a crook.

hooples: yeah, I will be doing that if I can't get real confirmation here first.

Echo: I'm not concerned about the parts durability, simply the price I paid and to see if it was normal or not. I know most re-manufactured parts are as good as new ones.
 
Its a dirty lil secret in the car world to quote a customer for new parts and then
undercut that price (and keep the difference) by substituting a "remanufactured" part or a knock off part from mexico which was designed the same but never made as good.

It's one of those deals where you needed to be savy enough about cars and parts to be upfront and question the part before he put it on.

Yes,the onus should have been him to volunteer that part but thats why its a dirty secret.

If you're peaved enough then basically go back to the shop(don't even call) and be matter of fact that you know what an OEM subaro MAF costs and since his price was more and he used a remanufactured part you want some money back or an oil change etc comped.
If you do it right it will work.

EDIT: okay so i read the above posts and a remanufactured part will work but if you work on cars long enough or deal with mechanics you will learn that they have more problems with remanufactured parts than lets say OEM parts though OEM parts do cost more.
For example knock off or remanufactured brake parts are routinely not straight or don't seat right or squeal like crazy but may cost half as much as the same part from the dealer.
Try going to a website of an autopart retailer and cross check to see the going rate for the part in question.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,670
433
NC
LOOnatic said:
If you're peaved enough then basically go back to the shop(don't even call) and be matter of fact that you know what an OEM subaro MAF costs and since his price was more and he used a remanufactured part you want some money back or an oil change etc comped.
If you do it right it will work.
:thumb: That's the idea, but I'd like to know what one costs first, and I figured someone around here might have access to pricing.
 

Echo

crooked smile
Jul 10, 2002
11,818
1
Slacking at work
It's not like we're talking about a laptop here... it's a friggin' sensor. Remanufacturing a sensor consists of removing the bad sensor from the casing that makes it fit your engine, then putting in a new one. So you got $4 worth of used plastic instead of $6 worth of new plastic. I doubt the reman is much cheaper than new.

But I could be wrong. If you can verify that there's a big difference in price, definitely go back and see if you can score a refund.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,670
433
NC
Echo said:
It's not like we're talking about a laptop here... it's a friggin' sensor. Remanufacturing a sensor consists of removing the bad sensor from the casing that makes it fit your engine, then putting in a new one. So you got $4 worth of used plastic instead of $6 worth of new plastic. I doubt the reman is much cheaper than new.
Very true... I don't want to stomp in there and get pissy only to find out that what you're saying is the case. That's why I'm trying to get a couple price quotes first.

I just found a place online that will do price quotes and availability through email, so I sent them a request, we'll see if they even get back to me.
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,453
2,023
MTB New England
binary visions said:
I'm not really looking for comments about the situation, I'm really wondering if someone who works in the car biz can get me actual price quotes on a new or re-manufactured MAS.
You must be new around here. :p
 

Ian F

Turbo Monkey
Sep 8, 2001
1,016
0
Philadelphia area
www.carparts.com

Remanufactured MAF Sensor: MSRP $372.70; online price: $287.99.

So it sounds like you paid MSRP, which is usually what shops charge customers for parts. They obviously pay less. This is normal. Most of the shop's profits comes from parts mark-up.

I used to be the guy selling those parts to the shops.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
49,305
3,228
In a van.... down by the river
Ian F said:
www.carparts.com

Remanufactured MAF Sensor: MSRP $372.70; online price: $287.99.

So it sounds like you paid MSRP, which is usually what shops charge customers for parts. They obviously pay less. This is normal. Most of the shop's profits comes from parts mark-up.

I used to be the guy selling those parts to the shops.
In other words, it might pay to find a shop that will install parts that you bring in?
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
My MAS for my VW was over $300 at the dealer plus install. I found it online for about $100. It took 5 min to install including disconnecting the battery to clear the code.
 

Ian F

Turbo Monkey
Sep 8, 2001
1,016
0
Philadelphia area
SkaredShtles said:
In other words, it might pay to find a shop that will install parts that you bring in?
It depends... remember when you do that, you are taking money out of their hands. If it's a shop you've been going to for a long time, you can ask - especially if they know you are hurting for cash.

Often, shops won't touch a part they didn't supply because if the part is faulty (which does happen) then they are the ones left holding the bag. They have spent time installing it. Now either you rush to get a new part or they get one. Either way, you probably won't believe the part you supplied is bad and will be a PO'd customer.

Also, sometimes you'll get half-assed service. Many years ago when I worked at the parts supplier, I needed a new clutch in my truck. Naturally, I could get the parts stupid-cheap (less than wholesale) so I bought them. I took it to a trans shop down the street. They installed the clutch for a couple hundred bucks. They also found out why the clutch went bad - rear main seal leaked oil onto the disc.

If they had done the whole job, they probably would have called and told me I needed a rear main seal and replaced it while they had it all apart. Instead, all I got was a clutch replacement.

Lesson learned. If I buy the parts, I install them. Otherwise, the shop gets the whole job.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,670
433
NC
Ian F said:
www.carparts.com

Remanufactured MAF Sensor: MSRP $372.70; online price: $287.99.

So it sounds like you paid MSRP, which is usually what shops charge customers for parts. They obviously pay less. This is normal. Most of the shop's profits comes from parts mark-up.
Perfect, Ian. Thanks for your help. Sounds like the guy charged me exactly what he should have charged me, I was just concerned when I saw "Re-Manufactured" branded on the top of it.