BMW E60 5-Series Forum | 5Post.com  
BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read  

Go Back   BMW E60 5-Series Forum | 5Post.com > BIMMERPOST Universal Forums > General Automotive (non-BMW) Talk + Photos/Videos

Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      08-30-2020, 09:52 AM   #1
BravoJohny33
Major
278
Rep
1,016
Posts

Drives: BMW 2010
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: GA

iTrader: (0)

When I was younger, I felt that it was a modest industry to get into. But it seems to be far more lucrative today. Do you agree?
Appreciate 0
      08-30-2020, 01:08 PM   #2
tdott
Colonel
1410
Rep
2,615
Posts

Drives: M3
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: South FL / 6ix

iTrader: (3)

The number of cars on the road has increased greatly since those times, the cost and complexity of cars have also gone up a lot.
Appreciate 1
yco2522.00

      08-30-2020, 01:14 PM   #3
mffarrell
Captain
589
Rep
797
Posts

Drives: 2020 M550i Porsche 911 turbo
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Vancouver, WA

iTrader: (0)

The independent shops in the 60’s and 70’s used the Mitchell manual for estimating labor hours, which a good mechanic could do the job in less time.
Appreciate 1
      08-30-2020, 01:22 PM   #4
G35POPPEDMYCHERRY
Colonel
G35POPPEDMYCHERRY's Avatar
No_Country
2808
Rep
2,981
Posts

Drives: Totaled Toyota Celica :((
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Trenton, NJ

iTrader: (1)

theres always someone out there charging honest rates.

i had an indy diagnose lost compression. ended up cracked piston. two pistons replaced for 5k. would have been like 15k at the dealer. was he the cheapest probably not but fair.

someone just got a mphaus installed for 200 bucks.

what it comes down to is. what someone is willing to pay for something. always
Appreciate 3
NickyC7058.00
Soul_Glo6503.00

      08-30-2020, 02:47 PM   #5
zx10guy
Colonel
2968
Rep
2,699
Posts

Drives: 2013 135i
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: DC

iTrader: (0)

I hung around a good friend that was a ASE Master Tech and started his own shop. I got to see all the behind the scenes details. Your post is missing a ton of other variables a shop owner has to deal with. You've missed the hazmat fees he has to pay the county for running his shop and all the fees he has to pay to properly dispose of said hazmats. You missed the liability insurance which was eating up my friend's profits alive every month. You've missed the expensive software updates he had to pay every year for things such as his Snap On Shop Key electronic shop manuals and his Snap On Modus scanner. When he took on a second mechanic, to attract good talent, he had to provide some level of benefits. Then there are the come backs that some times was due to defective parts or just bad luck. He had to absorb those costs. His lifts required periodic maintenance along with his alignment rack. He also had to periodically go back to school to learn all the newer stuff to stay current with what is out there on the market. He took in jobs from the local Ford dealership that they didn't want to do as it involved electrical troubleshooting. He was good at it and could knock it out in a reasonable amount of time. Mechanics that can't get the job done in what is stated as book time will lose money. This is why I have a lot of latitude with what shops charge as I know what goes into that estimate. Of course I will try to get the best deal I can but I won't expect them to do it for free either.

Everyone gripes about what these guys charge yet I don't see many of these complainers doing it themselves.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lups View Post
We might not be in an agreement on Trump, but I'll be the first penis chaser here to say I'll rather take it up in the ass than to argue with you on this.
Appreciate 2
      08-30-2020, 08:40 PM   #6
SunnyD
Major
SunnyD's Avatar
United_States
382
Rep
1,218
Posts

Drives: M4 GTS
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Beach, CA

iTrader: (0)

So what did your profession pay back then and that's how much you should be making now. That sound reasonable?
__________________
'16 ///M4 GTS
'11.5 ///M3 ZCP | DCT - Gone
'06 ///M5 | SMG - Gone
'98 ///M3 | 5MT - Gone
'07 ///M Coupe | 6MT - Gone
Appreciate 0
      08-31-2020, 09:37 AM   #7
chassis
Captain
chassis's Avatar
United_States
564
Rep
743
Posts

Drives: BMW G01 X3, M-B GLE350W4
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Indiana

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
BravoJohny33 Spend some time digging through the US Federal govt data sources (BLS, Census, BEA) and see if auto technician is a growing or above-average paying occupation. I don’t think it is.

For a specialist Porsche or Ferrari shop, they charge what the market bears. If they print money, good for them. For higher volume brands like BMW, MB and others, there is more competition and less profit, although a consumer may believe they “charge too much”. MB dealers charge about $200/hr in labor. It is what it is.

If you think shops charge too much, go into the business yourself, or invest in tools and know-how so you won’t need their services.
Appreciate 0
      08-31-2020, 09:58 AM   #8
SteveinArizona
Colonel
United_States
1663
Rep
2,491
Posts

Drives: BMW 530e
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Greater Phoenix

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
I hung around a good friend that was a ASE Master Tech and started his own shop. I got to see all the behind the scenes details. Your post is missing a ton of other variables a shop owner has to deal with. You've missed the hazmat fees he has to pay the county for running his shop and all the fees he has to pay to properly dispose of said hazmats. You missed the liability insurance which was eating up my friend's profits alive every month. You've missed the expensive software updates he had to pay every year for things such as his Snap On Shop Key electronic shop manuals and his Snap On Modus scanner. When he took on a second mechanic, to attract good talent, he had to provide some level of benefits. Then there are the come backs that some times was due to defective parts or just bad luck. He had to absorb those costs. His lifts required periodic maintenance along with his alignment rack. He also had to periodically go back to school to learn all the newer stuff to stay current with what is out there on the market. He took in jobs from the local Ford dealership that they didn't want to do as it involved electrical troubleshooting. He was good at it and could knock it out in a reasonable amount of time. Mechanics that can't get the job done in what is stated as book time will lose money. This is why I have a lot of latitude with what shops charge as I know what goes into that estimate. Of course I will try to get the best deal I can but I won't expect them to do it for free either.

Everyone gripes about what these guys charge yet I don't see many of these complainers doing it themselves.
If one could do it well cheaply we would see a lot more independent shops. This is an excellent post.
Appreciate 0
      08-31-2020, 10:54 AM   #9
Cyberdemon
Colonel
Cyberdemon's Avatar
668
Rep
2,379
Posts

Drives: 2020 X5 40i, 2011 E90 M3
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Long Island NY

iTrader: (0)

Not a field I would ever want to get into to get rich. I had a friend in college who started a performance/mechanics shop and wound up shutting it down a few years later.

Like mentioned, usually the guys who are successful:
-Have a niche for a few manufacturers and thats it. As mentioned the tooling, training, and computer requirements are increasingly complex for new cars and that requires a LOT of up front capital. Smaller shops which do everything can usually do it if they stay very lean, which minimizes how many cars they can move through the doors. I know owners of really successful VW tuning shops who only do VAG cars and small German stuff from time to time.
-To run a big shop often means doing the shit we hate dealerships for doing. I watched a great mechanic friend of mine leave his business because the shop grew to ~10-15 bays and in order to keep the money coming in to keep the operation running they needed to get as many nitrogen refills, air filters, and other potentially un-needed services run through as possible. It changed the dynamic of the business in order to keep it alive, and the guy who was just a good, honest hard working mechanic left to go back and start his own rural 1 man shop.
-Customers are also sometimes just assholes. The customer service portion of this job isn't something that I envy, especially with car enthusiasts (myself included) who will show up and tell you they read something on the internet, so that must be whats wrong. Sometimes they're right, but often times they just don't know what they're talking about and thats a human to human job, not a human to machine job which is what mechanics are good at fixing.
__________________
Current: '20 X5, '11 E90 M3 Comp
Previous: '16 VW GTI, '15 M235i, '13 335i, '08 TL-S, '00 Corvette
Appreciate 2
      08-31-2020, 11:12 AM   #10
Humdizzle
Major
1547
Rep
1,459
Posts

Drives: 2010 ferrari 458
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Missouri

iTrader: (0)

lots of shops making crazy money on crankhubs and rod bearing type stuff for M3s.

Find a popular guy on IG with an f80, give them a free crankhub replacement, have them make up story about how the car was about to explode without the CH/Rod bearing fix... And watch the masses pile in to have work done.
__________________

2015 Silverstone F80 6MT
2009 Honda Civic
Previous: Ferrari 458 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | R35 GTR | FR-S | F30 335i
Appreciate 6
9M71850.00
MJ6211.50
smyles695.00
c0nrad68.50

      08-31-2020, 11:17 AM   #11
9M71
Captain
850
Rep
888
Posts

Drives: 2018 F80 M3 | 6MT
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: NYC

iTrader: (2)

Its lucrative because of the amount of c a $ h business it brings in and dodging uncle sam.

Auto body shops especially, with the amount of outrageous insurance claims some make just to milk it.

Not justifying these practices, it hurts us all indirectly in the long run. But this is why some shop owners are buying lamborghini's while other more honest ones are rolling around in a 20 year old accord.
Appreciate 1
      08-31-2020, 02:04 PM   #12
XutvJet
Brigadier General
3125
Rep
3,922
Posts

Drives: 2016 M235 6MT
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kansas City

iTrader: (-1)

I have a neighborhood friend in the Kansas City area that owns that is a co-owner of a general auto repair shop his dad started 30 years ago. They employee six techs and work on most anything other than European cars. They can do most work, but really don't engine tears downs beyond replacing a head or doing a crate/used motor swap. They are definitely not making huge bucks. My friend's income is around $80-90K/year. His dad's around $120K. It's hard work running your own shop plus employees.

I also know a renowned Miata tuner that's a one man shop and that shop is on his rural property. He makes very good money based on the home and shop he works in. He doesn't charge crazy rates either and has plenty of business.

Lastly, I have a friend that is a paintless dent removal (PDR) wizard. He's a one man shop and is bought into a PDR franchise. He has a work van where he travels to local dealers (most of his business). He then does work out of his newly built home with an eight car garage that has a used Honda Pilot, a supercharged 500whp S2000, a 1,000whp C5 Z06, and a 2017 Viper ACR. He's 35 and single.

Based on what I'm seeing, if you want to make bank, you need to be specialized and be a one man shop.
__________________
The forest was shrinking, but the Trees kept voting for the Axe, for the Axe was clever and convinced the Trees that because his handle was made of wood, he was one of them.
Appreciate 1
      08-31-2020, 02:39 PM   #13
BravoJohny33
Major
278
Rep
1,016
Posts

Drives: BMW 2010
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: GA

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by chassis View Post
BravoJohny33 Spend some time digging through the US Federal govt data sources (BLS, Census, BEA) and see if auto technician is a growing or above-average paying occupation. I don’t think it is.

For a specialist Porsche or Ferrari shop, they charge what the market bears. If they print money, good for them. For higher volume brands like BMW, MB and others, there is more competition and less profit, although a consumer may believe they “charge too much”. MB dealers charge about $200/hr in labor. It is what it is.

If you think shops charge too much, go into the business yourself, or invest in tools and know-how so you won’t need their services.
Just to be clear I do not think being an auto technician is well paying. I think it pays like crap for what it does to your body. I am saying shop owners have increased prices a ton over the years and it does not seem these benefits have made their way to their employees. But I do not know how to figure probability of a business type through the decades.

You mention competition drives down prices but I find they do not because there is no easy way for a consumer to shop around for the best price. For one pretty much all shops these charge a fairly large diag fee. Some refundable and some are not so you are already in the hole for that diag fee.

Then you have to deal with shopping around and the only way to do that is pick up the phone. Then whatever shop you find might want to charge another diag fee because they can't trust whatever the other shop said. At the end of it all I have found prices to be pretty similar between shops. But once again what a repair costs is all over the place depending on what you are having done.

Transparency of prices is pretty big deal with anything in a free market. Its why dentistry and health care is out of control as well. Much more extreme than shops but needless to say there is no easy to shop around for a heart transplant.
Appreciate 2
Humdizzle1546.50
chassis564.00

      08-31-2020, 05:00 PM   #14
Our03z4
First Lieutenant
349
Rep
346
Posts

Drives: 2008 BMW Z4 3.0si Coupe
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: USA

iTrader: (0)

I love my main mechanic, charges $35 an hour and even picks up / drops off my cars. He even does great body work and paint. He isn't certified but is legit and can build a car from the ground up. I don't take some vehicles there that are too "advanced", he's more of a classics guy.

My BMW does get taken to an Indy shop and they charge $90 per hour, honestly I don't see much of a difference besides a nicer building and they have the required computers. Not too busy, only a day or so wait.

One of my other cars goes to another Indy shop (VW TDI) that charges $90 per hour and I wouldn't go anywhere else, top notch, they Always have a minimum 2 week wait. So lucrative for them it is!

When you have 10 cars you have to find the best people and deals for the task at hand...or get rid of the cars

I see plenty of places come and go, all comes down to the job you do, don't even think price matters all that much. I charge on the high end with my companies and we turn work away non stop.
Appreciate 0
      09-01-2020, 04:45 AM   #15
Soul_Glo
Major General
Soul_Glo's Avatar
No_Country
6503
Rep
6,979
Posts

Drives: 320d G20
Join Date: May 2013
Location: X

iTrader: (1)

I think it's about to become less lucrative. With electric cars on the horizon and peaking in popularity there is not much to be done maintenance wise. You read about i3s making it past 100k miles on the original brakes.
__________________
Just let your soul glo...
Appreciate 1
c0nrad68.50

      09-01-2020, 07:54 AM   #16
Alfisti
Lieutenant Colonel
1488
Rep
1,584
Posts

Drives: 2013 X3
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Toronto, Canada

iTrader: (0)

Lbour rates have gone bonkers in the last 10 years. I remember they were at $75 a while back and have doubled.
Appreciate 0
      09-01-2020, 09:36 AM   #17
F32Fleet
Major General
F32Fleet's Avatar
United_States
2439
Rep
9,044
Posts

Drives: 2015 435i
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Southeastern US

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
I hung around a good friend that was a ASE Master Tech and started his own shop. I got to see all the behind the scenes details. Your post is missing a ton of other variables a shop owner has to deal with. You've missed the hazmat fees he has to pay the county for running his shop and all the fees he has to pay to properly dispose of said hazmats. You missed the liability insurance which was eating up my friend's profits alive every month. You've missed the expensive software updates he had to pay every year for things such as his Snap On Shop Key electronic shop manuals and his Snap On Modus scanner. When he took on a second mechanic, to attract good talent, he had to provide some level of benefits. Then there are the come backs that some times was due to defective parts or just bad luck. He had to absorb those costs. His lifts required periodic maintenance along with his alignment rack. He also had to periodically go back to school to learn all the newer stuff to stay current with what is out there on the market. He took in jobs from the local Ford dealership that they didn't want to do as it involved electrical troubleshooting. He was good at it and could knock it out in a reasonable amount of time. Mechanics that can't get the job done in what is stated as book time will lose money. This is why I have a lot of latitude with what shops charge as I know what goes into that estimate. Of course I will try to get the best deal I can but I won't expect them to do it for free either.

Everyone gripes about what these guys charge yet I don't see many of these complainers doing it themselves.
+1. Some 20 yrs ago I was pouring over the financials of a Meneke shop owner. It was a well known and busy location. The owner pulled down $45k/yr. His wife worked the front desk, he had 4 bays and 2-3 techs.

Then you have guys today who established a niche. ex, "The Car Wizard" and "Ninja" in the Midwest.
__________________
"Drive more, worry less. "

435i, MPPK, MPE, M-Sport Line
Appreciate 0
      09-01-2020, 09:41 AM   #18
F32Fleet
Major General
F32Fleet's Avatar
United_States
2439
Rep
9,044
Posts

Drives: 2015 435i
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Southeastern US

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti View Post
Lbour rates have gone bonkers in the last 10 years. I remember they were at $75 a while back and have doubled.
Yep. I've heard Porsche etca are over $200/hr.


Personally I would not get into this industry because on the manufacturer side the diagnostic software and tools are expensive and on the other side car owners are generally short on cash so you end up doing just enough to get a customers car on the road
__________________
"Drive more, worry less. "

435i, MPPK, MPE, M-Sport Line
Appreciate 0
      09-01-2020, 09:48 AM   #19
rcracin
Captain
502
Rep
904
Posts

Drives: M3
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: NYC

iTrader: (3)

You have a select few who make it, but most shops either fail or aren't very profitable. It sucks once retirement time comes around.

A handful of successful people I know are doing it on top of their day jobs. Low overhead and they take on high margin jobs. You don’t go to them to get your oil changed.
Appreciate 0
      09-01-2020, 10:38 AM   #20
G35POPPEDMYCHERRY
Colonel
G35POPPEDMYCHERRY's Avatar
No_Country
2808
Rep
2,981
Posts

Drives: Totaled Toyota Celica :((
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Trenton, NJ

iTrader: (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Humdizzle View Post
lots of shops making crazy money on crankhubs and rod bearing type stuff for M3s.

Find a popular guy on IG with an f80, give them a free crankhub replacement, have them make up story about how the car was about to explode without the CH/Rod bearing fix... And watch the masses pile in to have work done.


the marketing is everywhere.
Appreciate 0
      09-01-2020, 10:50 AM   #21
pasta
Private
pasta's Avatar
Canada
68
Rep
60
Posts

Drives: F82 M4 | E92 335i
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada

iTrader: (0)

With electric becoming the future, I think it's going to be lucrative for a select few and all others will drop off.
__________________

F82 ///M4 | E92 335i | Ducati 959 Panigale
E30 325i [Sold]
Appreciate 0
      09-01-2020, 12:02 PM   #22
Smgs1992
Captain
363
Rep
668
Posts

Drives: 2007 bmw 335i
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Cincinnati ohio

iTrader: (0)

In my opinion it depends on what you work on and your reputation. I know many shops around me are making a modest living at best. Then other euro specific shops like the one i always go to who own a hellcat redeye, X5M and 911 GT3 among many other lesser cars.
__________________
07 E92 335i 6MT, MMP inlets, DCI, VRSF 7.5 competition intercooler, VRSF catless downpipes, VRSF chargepipe, 335is clutch, Vader Solutions stage 2 LPFP, MHD stage 2+, Hawk HPS 5.0 pads, R1 Concepts drilled slotted rotors, TSW Nurburgring 19x8 19x9.5
Appreciate 0
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:34 AM.




5post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST