Making Sense of Teardown Estimates

You go to the repair shop and they give you an initial estimate. They call and suddenly it’s higher. You might be feeling as though you have to judge whether the repairs are necessary or if the mechanic has put you in the “clueless” category.

You wonder, “Am I getting ripped off?”

Perhaps at disreputable repair shops, it could be true. At quality car repair shops like Quanz, the cause of a higher second estimate is a little more complex and a lot more honest.

When you first bring your vehicle to the shop, you are usually given an initial estimate. To get this initial estimate, a mechanic and/or insurance adjuster only looks at damage that is visible to come up with a price. For small problems, this system works pretty well, and usually the initial estimate is the only one you receive.

However, for complex problems, such as a transmission failure or an auto body repair, we have to take your vehicle apart to give you an accurate estimate. A teardown estimate is used when it is necessary to disassemble a vehicle component to find the problem and then prepare a more complete written estimate. A teardown estimate usually contains:

  • The cost of the teardown. This includes the cost of items such as gaskets, seals and O-rings destroyed in disassembly.
  • The cost of labor. This is the time it takes to reassemble the vehicle.

The teardown is likely to increase the repair estimate, but there are advantages to doing it this way. For one thing, you will know if your car’s chassis was damaged, or if the car frame was compromised. Then there’s the all-important safety factor: without looking underneath, it’s hard to tell whether the structural integrity of the vehicle has been compromised.

A reputable repair shop will never do a teardown without your consent. At Quanz, we won’t tear your car down and act on a new estimate without calling you for the go-ahead. You can also always schedule a time to see your car while we work on it. That’s customer service you should expect from your auto repair shop!