A recent Consumer Reports survey asked 168,000 vehicle owners how satisfied they were with their auto repair shop. The survey found that most owners prefer taking their cars to independent shops rather than dealerships for repair work.
5,400 owners were re-contacted and asked about their responses. Almost one-third of those re-contacted were unhappy with their auto repair shop.
Approximately 40% of the unhappy owners felt the auto repair shop's price was too high and 28% indicated that the shops did not fix the problem. To round out the top 5, reasons to fire your mechanic include: “...took longer than expected to complete work, had to take the car back because the repair didn't hold up, and the price was more than originally estimated.”
A whopping 30% of the female respondents who were unhappy with their auto repair shop indicated that they felt taken advantage of because of their gender.
If you're concerned that the price is too high at your shop, get a second opinion. Keep in mind that every shop's labour rate is different and there are many options available in terms of parts. These parts differ in price and quality. Canadian Tire's website alone lists 5-6 different brake pads to choose from. So even though you have two brake repair quotes, they may not be comparing the same quality of parts and labour. Make sure you receive quotes from similar quality auto repair shops.
A technician will always be able to get you a more accurate quote if they see the car. They'll be able to account for any rust issues or potential for seized bolts, etc, that may drive the labour cost up. The last thing you want is to have a shop quote over the phone, only to be surprised with a higher estimate when you bring the car in for repair.