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My water pump started to make a grinding noise so i took it in and was advised to replace pump, belt and idler pulley.

None of those items were cheap but i was more shocked by the labour rate. 

The rate was £65/hour plus vat. Is that normal outside of a Lexus garage?

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Well, with Lexus charging about £138 + VAT/hour it could still be considered cheap, but I'd say it's on the pricey side and I know that the guy I go to doesn't charge anywhere near that.

However, given that prices for everything are going up faster than an Elon Musk Starlink SpaceX rocket, this could well be the new norm.

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Any garage will do it, for a lot less.

Make sure they use OEM parts and would mention that 2 of the bolts have an opposite thread.

 DIY job too.

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8 hours ago, markeyszoo said:

The rate was £65/hour plus vat. Is that normal outside of a Lexus garage?

there's nothing " normal " about garage charges, or much else these days

I would say that £65 + vat ain't that bad right now ..... Lexus Main dealer's charge double + that as do other marque Main Dealers ....  my indy had to " give up " his garage premises over covid and lockdowns due to virtually ALL his business just " staying at home " and servicing, repairs etc just evaporating

He still uses one of his old regular MOT garages for MOTs and happily is able to rent workshop space from them when he's servicing my cars and the very few other clients he has decided to hang on to .....  and we're very happy for that too

There's a big catch-up happening right now and finding a good garage, with competent trustworthy mechanics is going to be harder than ever, let alone finding one that's happy to only charge £65+ vat  .......... notwithstanding the above comment, of course there are plenty around happy to charge very little per hour BUT if you find the right mechanic that you want to trust, well, I would say stick with him and be happy to pay his going rate 

Malc

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Luckily, I do my own repairs and did my water pump last year. It's not difficult and there are numerous videos on Youtube showing the steps needed. I bought a Blue Print branded pump which turned out to be a genuine one with the Toyota name ground off the casting. Came with the special metal layered gasket and new O rings. It cost just over £80 from a reputable on line seller.

Together with some Toyota spec Comma pink antifreeze coolant, the job took a couple of hours or so and cost probably less than an hours labour at Lexus rates.

I do wince at the money Lexus dealers charge, or any garage actually.

 

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Water pump change should be ‘bread & butter’ job for any garage calling itself a ‘workshop’!!

It is also not an impossible job to do ‘at home’ with a basic toolkit.

see here and assess if it is within your skill set and equipment ability.

 

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+1 Malc…

Costs on running any small business have just soared in the last 24 months.

If you own your premises then it’s a completely different ball game.

If your GL area expect even higher.

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On 3/19/2022 at 12:19 AM, markeyszoo said:

The rate was £65/hour plus vat. Is that normal outside of a Lexus garage?

In my experience £40-50 is about normal for low-end garages. Good independent garages £60-80 would be about right. And dealerships are usually around £100-150 range. That is with VAT. Now the only problem is that it is very difficult to find "good independent" and most that I have experienced just charges more, without actually being any better than the cheapest garages.

So I would say if they did good job and you paid £65+VAT, it is about normal. This puts water pump I guess somewhere ~ 1-2h range and at the cost of ~£100-150 for labour is actually normal price. I generally ask ahead of the time how much it is going to cost to make sure that not only rate makes sense, but time estimate makes sense. In the end of the day I don't care what is labour rate if they say that they will replace water pump for £120, it could be £60 and they consider it 2 hour job, or it could be £120 and they consider it 1 hours job or it maybe even be £240, but they are so good that they will do it in 30min. However, if I come to the place and ask them how much it will be to replace water pump and they say "we don't know we just charge on hourly rate" then it just shows they have no clue what they doing, because water pump is pretty standard job.

Now fair enough - sometimes you could get a call few hours later and they may say - "look we took water pump off, but we noticed that something else is broken and it is going to takes us extra time to fix and it will be extra £80 for part and £60" and this is fine, as long as what they saying makes sense. But I would never leave my car to be repaired on "hourly rate".

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47 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

because water pump is pretty standard job.

only if they're experienced with that particular model+++ on my old Saab it was an hour or so .... easy peasy

The Ls400 will be up to an all day job however

Malc

 

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9 minutes ago, Malc said:

only if they're experienced with that particular model+++ on my old Saab it was an hour or so .... easy peasy

The Ls400 will be up to an all day job however

Yes, agreed - most mechanics will ask "what car" before giving the estimate. As well on LS400, it takes "a day" (I would argue more like ~4 hours) because of timing belt, but then we need to understand this is not like-for-like comparison - it takes "a day" to do two jobs on LS400, water pump and timing belt, not just water pump.

And this is probably yet another reason to ask for estimate and agree on the price before the job - if mechanic can't estimate the price just by looking at the car, then they don't know enough about it to work on it.

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Just now, Linas.P said:

Yes, agreed - most mechanics will ask "what car" before giving the estimate. As well on LS400, it only takes "a day" if you do timing belt, but it is kind of right thing to do if you replacing water pump, but then we need to understand this is not like-for-like comparison - it takes a day to do two jobs on LS400, water pump and timing belt, not just water pump.

if you were changing just the waterpump the job time would be only a relatively tiny bit less than changing the cambelt too however ...  that's why one would change both, check pulleys whatever ... it's the getting to it all and getting-back that's the challenge with the Lsa400, Ls430 and Ls460 probably too

Malc

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1 minute ago, Malc said:

if you were changing just the waterpump the job time would be only a relatively tiny bit less than changing the cambelt too however ...  that's why one would change both, check pulleys whatever ... it's the getting to it all and getting-back that's the challenge with the Lsa400, Ls430 and Ls460 probably too

Agreed. I am just saying this is UZ series specific (LS400/430, not 460 as that is already UR and has a chain), you can't replace water pump without replacing timing belt and that means double the effort and double the time, because it is two jobs not one.

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14 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

and that means double the effort and double the time, because it is two jobs not one.

methinks you're sadly totally barking up the wrong tree ......  the add-on time for changing either is comparatively tiny when doing the " one " alone

as I say, it's the getting-to and getting-back thats the time consuming effort 

However, I'm sure you're thinking is best so I'm happy to leave this issue in your tender care and wisdom going forward

Malc

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This is not a contentions topic at all and I agree that on different cars it can take longer to change water pump. I am pretty sure there will be some sort of Audi or BMW where entire engine needs to be removed before it could be done, but good mechanic should know that before starting the job, not figure out one the job (that is my key point). 

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On 3/19/2022 at 12:19 AM, markeyszoo said:

My water pump started to make a grinding noise so i took it in and was advised to replace pump, belt and idler pulley.

None of those items were cheap but i was more shocked by the labour rate. 

The rate was £65/hour plus vat. Is that normal outside of a Lexus garage?

That labour rate for an Independent is probably on the slightly expensive side of normal but within the ball park. 

If they know what they're doing I'd say its acceptable.  

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I had the same grinding noise for about 2 months, gradually getting worse, asked my local garage who service the car to take a look when MOT was done, was told it was fine, so had the lexus dealer take a look (cambridge) and they confirmed it was the water pump. They offered to change for £320. The water inlet also needed changing but they didn't charge any extra (although it meant they had the car another day while waiting for parts). Happy its sorted. Owned the car for 9 years and its had one water pump, two batteries, an alternator, set of spark plugs, brakes every so often (callipers, pads, discs etc). never broken down other then the alternator, but that was a case of not starting at home. Fantastic ownership experience so far. Also had the wheels refurbed but other then that its as i bought it.

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Two doors away from me lives a time served mechanic, now working from home for friends. He's retired and in his mind seventies.

My daughter needed her 2010 Avensis servicing. He went through the whole car, front to back. Changed oil and filter, air and pollen filters, front and rear pads (discs were ok), refitted some missing screws from the undertray, and a new number plate bulb. Topped up all fluids.

Total cost, £242.73 inclusive of parts and labour.

Proper old school chap.

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