$35 for battery installation? What gives?

batteries, garage policies
Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a 1995 Chrysler Cirrus. I went to the dealer to have a new battery
installed. The price was $69 plus $35 for installation. According to the
owner's manual, this is a very easy job. Is such an installation fee common
practice. Or, as you so often say, did the guy just have a boat payment
coming due? -- Merl

TOM: It sounds like it's on the up and up to me, Merl. And I'll tell you
why. Even though putting in a new battery is a five minute job, the
"installation" fee is more likely the labor for testing the charging system.

RAY: Right. You wouldn't want to install a new battery without checking the
charging system first. If the battery died because your alternator is
fried, your belt is loose or because there's a current drain somewhere,
you'll just kill the brand-new battery, too. So it's important to charge up
the old battery and run the tests before slapping the new one in there.

TOM: So I don't think this is a BPD (boat payment due) case, Merl. What
they probably charged you for was "testing and installation," not just
Tags (Browse All)
batteries, garage policies

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login / Signup
Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic

Promo tile

Rocket Fuel