Unless our certified mechanic (“Mek”) has performed a diagnostic, we often give you a quote based on your description of the problem and before the Mek has seen the vehicle. Therefore your quote may change based on a vehicle’s condition.
If you request a parts replacement, a Mek must inspect your car to confirm that the part needs replacing. If the part doesn’t need replacing, our professional mechanic will inform you, and with your consent, not do the job. We will bill a 1-hour minimum service charge in this case.
We will still do a 35 point inspection on the vehicle and inform you if anything else needs replacing. After the inspection, if the job is much bigger than expected, our Mek will tell you and us of the situation. You will receive a new quote, and we will only proceed with your approval. Otherwise, we will only perform the primary job if possible.
At instaMek, we set our prices using standard industry practices. This way we can ensure all quotes are fair and comparable to quotes given by any other shop. instaMek, not the Meks, set the quote for each job. This ensures you are always given a fair price and never taken advantage of because of your situation.
Our quotes are broken down into labour and parts. To calculate the price of labour, we use an industry standard handbook which provides us with an estimate of how long each job should take based on thousands of data points. This is information gathered from real life work and manufacturers on how long a particular car repair job should take for the average mechanic to do using standard tools on a typical car with predictable wear.
For example, a customer has a 2005 Ford Mustang GT and wants to get his water pump changed, his coolant flushed, and a new drive belt. We would look at a labour guide for this particular model and come up with the following numbers: water pump: 1.1 hours coolant flush: 0.5 hours drive belt: 0.4 hours total: 1.1 + 0.5 + 0.4 = 2.0 hours x $112 = $224 labor. Please note that the hourly rate varies per region.
So based on our handbook, an average mechanic with average tools will take 2 hours to complete this job. Some jobs take longer, and some jobs shorter, but the customer only pays for the time an average mechanic can do that job.
If we paid our auto mechanics by the hour, then they would be incentivized to take as long as possible for each job which isn’t fair to the customer. This is why we think the flat rate system is the best system for both the customer and the Meks.
These labour guide numbers are for cars with predictable wear and tear for the age of the vehicle. Since we do our quotes sight unseen, if our professional mechanic gets to the job site and notices that the car is in worse condition than expected (i.e., excessive rust, seized bolts, etc.) then we would have to give you another quote.
Yes. Just like every other shop, we will bill you accordingly for a diagnostic inspection. At instaMek, we aim to have transparent pricing.
Our minimum charge is 1 hour for each job. If our certified mechanic foresees that the job will take longer than initially expected, we will give you another quote.
You have an option to accept or decline this new quote. We will only charge you any additional amount (at a prorated hourly rate) with your approval. Every shop charges for a diagnosis, but some shops add a hidden markup on that charge at the end of your bill. We do not have any hidden markups or fees.
You are more than welcome to diagnose the problem yourself or through another shop and have us do the work. In that case, according to our terms and conditions, we can’t guarantee that doing the job will solve your problem. We can only guarantee our own diagnostic.
We always recommend having our experts perform a diagnostic inspection, instead of getting it done at a shop or trying to self-diagnose the problem. We can guarantee our diagnostic results but not that of another shop.
There is a 1-hour minimum charge for a diagnostic inspection, and most issues (80%) can be diagnosed within 1 hour. Occasionally, it may require more time to diagnose the car repair problem accurately, but we will only continue after giving you a new quote and getting your approval.
There are three scenarios during a diagnosis:
- Best case: The diagnosed issue can be fixed without parts and can be done within the 1-hour diagnostic period. For example, a bad connection or wiring issue that is easily repaired. In this case, our Mek will go ahead and fix the problem.
- Most common case: Parts need to be replaced to solve the problem or sometimes there needs to be a further diagnosis of other problems. In this case, our certified auto mechanic will complete a diagnostic report that the instaMek head office will use to provide a detailed quote on parts and labour. Once you approve our quote, we will return at a time based on your availability to complete the work.
- Worst case: Our professional mechanic diagnoses a significant auto repair issue that we are not able to repair as a mobile mechanic service such as a major engine problem or transmission work. In this case, we will provide a diagnostic report with recommendations and make a referral to a shop if possible.
Once again, if a Mek needs additional time to fix the problem, he will get your permission first.