What are the margins of a general auto repair shop?
Sure, this local auto repair shop seems to be doing well, but have you ever wondered how many? Take a closer look at several auto repair invoices and you may notice significant labor charges on most of them. Not to mention that a quick glance often reveals that various online stores offer lower prices for most of the parts in question.
At this point, most car owners would conclude that the repair shop was ripping them off and start thinking about alternatives. Some of them might even decide to get a car service manual and take care of the maintenance. But is it that simple? To find out, let’s explore what the profit margins are for most auto repair shops and whether DIY makes sense or not.
How Do Auto Repair Shops Make Money?
Imagine a customer who had his car repaired for a service that paid a total of $ 1,000. And for the sake of argument, let’s say the labor costs are $ 400, while the rest is parts. As obvious as it may sound, not all of the money here is profit, because every business has certain expenses.
When it comes to labor costs, most auto repair shops have profit margins which vary between 40 and 60 percent. This means that the repair shop will spend about half of that work-related $ 400 on paychecks and other related expenses like electric bills, insurance, etc.
As many know, parts replaced during a repair are another staple of every invoice, and of course, repair shops make some profit. However, the large number of parts they buy gives them some discounts from their suppliers, which will not always pass through to you. These discounts typically vary between 15 and 40 percent, depending on the supplier and the size of the repair shop itself.
Ways to Save Money on Car Maintenance
With all of this in mind, it’s no surprise that so many owners sometimes think about fixing their cars on their own. This would certainly offer several advantages, the potential for considerable savings being the most obvious.
The owner would obviously avoid paying the labor costs by fixing his own car, which is usually a considerable amount. And with all the tutorials and repair manuals for cars like those sold by eManualOnline, even complicated tasks seem much simpler. That alone may be reason enough, although it is also possible to save money on parts. A quick search of online auto parts stores can reveal prices that are relatively lower than those offered by repair shops.
The money savings that come with DIY car repairs may be the biggest benefit, but not the only one. Owners who repair cars in their garages will avoid trips to the repair shop, which will save them a lot of time in the end. Do not forget that master new skills is always a good thing and can be useful at any time of life. The next time you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, you’ll be more than happy you learned how to fit a replacement part.
At this point, the concept of repairing the car on your own probably seems to be taking shape. But before embarking on this path, it’s important to keep in mind that there are a couple of downsides to consider.
DIY Repairs – Are They Worth It?
For starters, it is essential to remember that professional mechanics are trained experts with a lot of experience. Not only does this allow them to work quickly and efficiently, it also makes it easy for them to overcome unforeseen obstacles.
During this time, DIY enthusiast mechanics will usually work slower and might find themselves in trouble when something goes wrong. The essential complexity of modern cars is another potential hurdle, as many repairs involve various special tools and equipment. While rental of these tools is possible, many will not realize they need them until the repair is complete. Also, doing anything under the car without an elevator can be a bit tricky depending on the task at hand.
There is, however, an easy way to overcome all of these obstacles and perform almost any repair like a professional. As obvious as it may sound, the key factor here is preparation and planning. The potential mechanic will know what to do and have everything they need by gathering information about the repair beforehand.
Of course, one way to make sure you’re prepared for anything that may happen is to check out how-to guides, tutorials, and forums. But while these places can be valuable sources of information, their scope and accuracy can sometimes be limited. If you want to be sure that the instructions you are following are reliable, a service and repair manual for your specific car is a much better alternative for any DIY mechanic. They will provide detailed troubleshooting and repair procedures, clear and easy-to-follow electrical schematics, and reliable data on fluid capacities and torque specifications.
Maintaining a car can be quite expensive, especially when there is a lot of work involved. To save money, DIY repairs can be a good way to avoid the expense of labor. However, keep in mind that a lack of skills and inadequate equipment can cause significant problems. Either way, having access to all the necessary information and preparing for the repair will help overcome these obstacles – and this is where the repair manuals will come in handy.