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Q: Radiator replacement costs 1998 Toyota Camry

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My radiator got a crack on the top plastic portion and started to leak coolant. On Google, I was able to find many DIY tips for the radiator replacement for Camry 98, which would cost under $100 for the part. Because the leakage seemed severe and urgent, I decided to bring my car to a local repair shop, instead of fixing it by DIY. The mechanic told me that it is not recommended to replace the radiator only, and I had to have the hoses, thermostat housing and thermostat replaced, along with the radiator. In the end, they charged me $473.86 for parts and $286.90 for labor, which was far higher than I originally expected. So, I searched for the parts on NAPA based on the part numbers on their invoice, and found that the NAPA price is around $200 in total. I understand there can be a price mark-up for parts by the repair shop, but it seems too excessive to me, because the mark-up ratio is over 100%. Was this normal mark-up ratio, or was I ripped off?

My car has 143070 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: As you may already know or have experienced...

As you may already know or have experienced, labor and part quotes on your vehicle can vary quite a bit depending on where you go and the mechanic doing the estimate. The reason for this is that different mechanics have different experience levels. Sometimes they tend to quote based upon their ability to get those parts at their price - which varies by shop. Labor quotes can also vary depending on the skill level of the mechanic, as it may take one mechanic longer than another to complete a specific job. If you want to look further into this, you could always receive a quote from YourMechanic to compare the costs for a radiator replacement, radiator hose, and thermostat.

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