Was I charged too much for inspection?

Messages
792
Location
MD
Here is the deal, in MD anyone can charge anything they want for inspection, but it typically runs about 70-80. Well, I drop my 98 Impreza off at a repair shop for inspection. When I pick it up a day later, they tell me the total is $150. I ask to see the summary. The inspection was $75 and the other 75 was replacing 2 tail light bulbs and windshield wipers, they gave me $35 parts and $35 labor. If they had told me it would run me 75 bucks to replace windshield wipers and a tail light bulb, I would have never consented, it's about 2 minutes of work, if that. Price gouging or business as usual? But once I was presented this evidence, post facto, I had no leverage to negotiate and I think they knew it. So I just paid it and it became a learning experience, to notify them in advance to not do any work before letting me know what it takes. Then I found out that in MD they are supposed to notify in writing the repair estimate if any repair is over $50.
 
Messages
682
Location
ontario canada
Price gouging, u need to find urself a regular mechanic that works for cash. For instance i just had my mechanic do: clutch replace, with machining of flywheel, replace and service front brakes, pads and rotors, replace rad, replace antifreeze, install block heater, heater hose heater and battery warmer, adjust valve clearances, repair trunk latch, replace fluid in manual tranny. price (cash) equivalent to 900$ US. If u go to a mechanic u don't know, then they just charge whatever they want, because they don't care if u come back or not.
 
Messages
9,923
Location
Birmingham, AL
If you authorized the work before they did it, there isn't anything you can do now. It is price gouging, but not really unusual. Many places charge a lot for lights and wipers. Lights (other than headlights) were usually about $10 each when I worked at Jiffy Lube, and wipers were about $15 each. The prices varied, but it was always a lot more than you would pay to get the stuff at a parts store. That's odd that the state lets shops set their own prices for inspections. In NC the state sets a cap on the labor fee. An inspection can't cost more than $30 unless you have aftermarket tint, which has an additional $10 fee.
 
Messages
1,565
Location
Elkridge, MD
The inspection process here in Maryland is a pointless scam. Like you said, shops can charge whatever they want, and then screw most unknowing customers by telling them they can't pass inspection without $1000 worth of work. Frankly, I think you're lucky to get out at just $150, BUT, they should have asked before doing any additional work beyond the inspection itself. I've had two inspections done in Maryland, and both times I was failed on it and quoted an outrageous price for repair, after which I promptly fixed the problem myself and brought the car back, and they passed it. Why is it a pointless scam? Because they only require an inspection when you register the car, and then never again. I could let the car go into a total state of disrepair and they're really not going to bother you. I miss Oklahoma, no [censored] emissions or safety inspections. I hate the whole process so much.
 
Messages
5,452
Location
Da Swamp
In dear ole Loozyana the "brake tag," as they call it, is $20. If you live in Jefferson Parish (we have parishes here instead of counties, as I'm sure you know), you can go to a mechanic, gas station, or even a car wash which displays the official sign. In Orleans Parish, where I live, there are certain designated stations or inspection points. One or two are operated by the city; the others are tire stores or gas stations. And -- at least at the one near me -- they actually do check your turn signals, brake lights, horn, etc., and the legal level of your tint. (I suspect a lot of the clowns around here either blow off their safety inspection completely, or remove their super-dark tint, get the tag, then have the super-dark stuff put back on so they can drive for another year.) No emissions check, unless you live up near Baton Rouge, for some reason. I had two bulbs, one tail light and one third brake light, out during my inspection last month. The station passed me and didn't try to grab another $20 out of me for fresh bulbs.
 
Messages
1,007
Location
Dallas, TX
Basically, they saw you coming. That's an exorbitant price for some blades and bulbs. Next time around, do your own walk-around and find anything that needs to be fixed BEFORE you take it in for inspection. Or..make sure to mention that you'd like to be consulted, with pricing, before any repairs are made.
 
Messages
39,806
Location
Pottstown, PA
It costs about $80 to get both IM and safety inspection in an enhanced emissions region in PA. $35-40 for each. Lightbulbs and wipers are the normal things done when nothing else is wrong. You should have seen it when it was every 6months through the early- mid 70's. PA limits the cost of emissions compliance. While the numbers may have changed, it was (something like) $175 for before a certain year and $250 max after a certain year. Beyond that, you got an EXEMPT sticker.
 
Messages
8,371
Location
Texas
 Originally Posted By: mstrjon32
The inspection process here in Maryland is a pointless scam. Like you said, shops can charge whatever they want, and then screw most unknowing customers by telling them they can't pass inspection without $1000 worth of work. Frankly, I think you're lucky to get out at just $150, BUT, they should have asked before doing any additional work beyond the inspection itself. I've had two inspections done in Maryland, and both times I was failed on it and quoted an outrageous price for repair, after which I promptly fixed the problem myself and brought the car back, and they passed it. Why is it a pointless scam? Because they only require an inspection when you register the car, and then never again. I could let the car go into a total state of disrepair and they're really not going to bother you. I miss Oklahoma, no [censored] emissions or safety inspections. I hate the whole process so much.
I'm originally from MD and always liked the idea that you only had to get an inspection when transfering a car. It was the darn emmisions tests I hated every year. And the gun laws and O'Mally and - well I'm glad to be a Texan now.
 
Messages
1,714
Location
CA.
 Originally Posted By: pacem
Here is the deal, in MD anyone can charge anything they want for inspection, but it typically runs about 70-80. Well, I drop my 98 Impreza off at a repair shop for inspection. When I pick it up a day later, they tell me the total is $150. I ask to see the summary. The inspection was $75 and the other 75 was replacing 2 tail light bulbs and windshield wipers, they gave me $35 parts and $35 labor. If they had told me it would run me 75 bucks to replace windshield wipers and a tail light bulb, I would have never consented, it's about 2 minutes of work, if that. Price gouging or business as usual? But once I was presented this evidence, post facto, I had no leverage to negotiate and I think they knew it. So I just paid it and it became a learning experience, to notify them in advance to not do any work before letting me know what it takes. Then I found out that in MD they are supposed to notify in writing the repair estimate if any repair is over $50.
Although what happened sux, they could have charged you, $75 for the inspection, failed the car, then charged you another $75 to re-check, after you did the work yourself. So in the long run you saved the cost of the 2 bulbs and wiper blades, had you done it yourself, after being told what you needed. When I lived in NY, Nassau county, the state inspection was a license to rip people off for a lot of shops. Best you find a good mechanic you can trust and do business with him. Or check the car over for things like a bad horn, bulbs that are out, bad wipers, etc. Then if you lived in Nassau they could still screw you over on the smog check if your car is older than a 96. AD
 
Messages
1,565
Location
Elkridge, MD
 Originally Posted By: ADFD1
Although what happened sux, they could have charged you, $75 for the inspection, failed the car, then charged you another $75 to re-check, after you did the work yourself.
It's against the law to re-charge for the inspection. If they fail you and you bring the car back with proof that it was repaired (either a receipt showing the work done, or the car itself), then they need to give you the certificate without charge. Unless they're running a real scam, in which case I'd report them to the MVA.
 
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Messages
826
Location
ON, Canada
 Originally Posted By: oilyriser
C$125 for smog and safety check in Ontario.
Not for us folks in northern Ontario - no smog checks for us, but then again we don't have smog days. We only pay $37.50 a year for val tags. The emission checks are just a cash grab in Ontario. Only the dirtiest cars seem to fail. We still do have "random roadside" inspections by the MOE in marked quasi-police style cruisers on the rare occasion. They just do visual inspections to ensure no smog equipment has been removed or been tampered with. Ontario also only requires a saftey inspection when transferring ownership of the car. This cost seems to vary slightly between shops, but it generally around $70-90 around here.
 
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