Does it cost the same to change a starter solenoid as to change a starter motor? on 2001 Subaru Outback

My auto shop wants to charge me $624, which include a $75 charge to test the system. Does this sound like a fair price? Sorry... I'm a bit naive when it comes to the car's internal workings! Thanks.

by in Mountain View, CA on July 13, 2011
2 answers 2 comments
ANSWER by on July 13, 2011
Most good shops charge their customers for diagnostics when it does not get them any closer to removing the part that is determined to be defective. Their technician has to be paid for all the time he has on the vehicle. If it takes him 1 hour to determine that the solenoid has failed he still needs the 1 1/2 hours to replace and road test. A Denso starter (best) is $350.00 plus 1.5 hours to replace. Might be a little high, ask them to explain the charges.
COMMENT by on July 13, 2011
Thanks for your quick response. I'll definitely ask the shop to explain the charges before I proceed. Very interesting, though. When I dropped the car off at the shop, the technician seemed to understand exactly what the problem was after I described it. ("Simply a loud CLICK sound when turning the key in the ignition," I said.) Hmmmmm...
ANSWER by on July 13, 2011
There was time when most shops did not charge for diagnostic time/work. Now days it really is part of the repair. Think about for a moment...how do you know what to replace if you do not do any testing? Gary Pacific Auto Repari
COMMENT by on July 13, 2011
I suppose you're right, Gary. Thanks for the advice! ~ Laura