Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
We'll see how it works. I was quoted $2500 to replace the gasket and $500 to replace the water pump. If the entire thing is replaced it will be $5900 lump sum to put in a new engine.

What part of the country do you live in, if I may ask? I may be paying more than absolutely necessary because I took it to the dealer. I suppose a less-specialized mechanic might be able to do it for less. But I was concerned when I brought it in that it might be a computer problem and had to be troubleshot by the dealer, not by someone else.

Would you have done differently? Honest question.
I live in Canada, but looking quickly only did make it look like those prices were high. In terms of labor I used to work with a buddy at our own company designing custom auto parts. Since we were just starting out and he was a mechanic we did a bit of mechanic work to pay the bills, and again from that point of view the cost seemed high.

As to the second question, I wouldn't bring it to the dealer since I know a fair number of mechanics who I know won't screw me on it, but that's just me being fortunate in this regard. I always found dealers to be more expensive than a regular shop so I tended to avoid them (unless it was warranty claim obviously) even before I knew people in the independent shops.

Since the place is already taking the engine apart for you to do the diagnosis, an alternate estimate now may be a bit too late. I would suggest getting them to show you an invoice on the breakdown of costs to see why its so expensive though. Maybe there's some aspect of taking the engine out/replacing the head gasket that is more difficult on your make of car or something.