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Old 04-15-2011, 08:11 AM   #1
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$600 brake job


If gas prices won't kill you maintainence costs will, I'm on my 3rd set of brakes on my cruiser with 140,000 miles, the first one according to my records cost me $350 second $475 now last week $600.......I did shop around and it seems every one is in the same ball park, I guess they way they make rotors now you can't grind em down as much.....I think mechanics are in the same salary bracket as doctors now. LOL...
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:43 AM   #2
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$600 brake job


Since this is a DIY forum I'll throw this out there...on modern cars it's very easy to do a very thorough and safe brake job for most people who are somewhat mechanically inclined and have the correct tools. This is especially true of vehicles with disc brakes on both the front and rear wheels.
It's within most people's ability to change drums and shoes as well, but it is somewhat more time consuming than disk pads and rotors and requires a few more specialized tools and it helps to have some experience.
On some vehicles it is cost prohibitive to have the rotors turned because a new set of rotors usually costs anywhere from $20.00 to $40.00 each, whereas to have the rotors turned and trued the cost is usually in the range of $13.00 to $20.00 each. It's also very important for the life of the new pads that the rotors are turned correctly (which isn't a job for someone inexperienced).
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:17 AM   #3
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$600 brake job


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If gas prices won't kill you maintainence costs will, I'm on my 3rd set of brakes on my cruiser with 140,000 miles, the first one according to my records cost me $350 second $475 now last week $600.......I did shop around and it seems every one is in the same ball park, I guess they way they make rotors now you can't grind em down as much.....I think mechanics are in the same salary bracket as doctors now. LOL...
$600? What they heck did they do? Did they replace everything, both front and back? Did they replace all the rotors/drums?

Brake Repair Shops are notorious for screwing people over. Most likely, these guys charged you exorbitant fees for unnecessary work.

I'm not sure what your vehicle is, but I've changed out hundreds of sets of brakes for people over the years. Any more, most "middle of the road" brake pad sets cost around $30. Most new rotors cost $30 - $50 each.

Also, as fabrk8r said, it's relatively easy to change out front brake pads. And rear brake pads/drums rarely wear out. In fact, at 140,000 miles you should still be on your original set.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:34 AM   #4
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$600 brake job


it was both front and back, rotors and pads, I called 4 shops all were within the same range..........are you saying that your original brakes should last 140,000 miles? your kidding right

Last edited by turbomangt; 04-15-2011 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:41 AM   #5
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$600 brake job


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it was both front and back, rotors and pads, I called 4 shops all were within the same range..........are you saying that your original brakes should last 140,000 miles? your kidding right
REAR brakes. And no, I'm not kidding. Many cars run their entire lives without needing the rear brake pads/shoes replaced. Granted, there are a lot of variables - not the least of which is what kind of driving you're doing.

And I suppose the $600 is "within reason" considering that the parts were probably a total of $350 (Your price, not their price. Their price would be half that.). Also, the cost of labor varies widely, depending on where you live.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:50 AM   #6
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$600 brake job


is this drum brakes you are talking about? mine are disc on all four
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:46 AM   #7
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$600 brake job


In most cases approximately 75% of the braking (and therefore the wear) is accomplished with the front brakes. On cars with front discs and rear drums your could sometimes change the front pads twice, maybe three times, before the rear shoes would have to be replaced.

With newer 4 wheel disc brake vehicles the rear pads are much smaller and thinner which makes them wear at about the same rate as the front pads.
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:50 AM   #8
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$600 brake job


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In most cases approximately 75% of the braking (and therefore the wear) is accomplished with the front brakes. On cars with front discs and rear drums your could sometimes change the front pads twice, maybe three times, before the rear shoes would have to be replaced.

With newer 4 wheel disc brake vehicles the rear pads are much smaller and thinner which makes them wear at about the same rate as the front pads.
Right. But even with rear disc brakes, the majority of the braking is done by the front brakes. Probably more of a 60/40 thing, I suppose.

Also, the quality of pads & shoes varies widely - as do the prices. Don't expect much life out of the $14.99 set of brake pads.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:13 AM   #9
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$600 brake job


It's gotten much harder to DIY your car repair jobs over the years. Hell, my 3-Series doesn't even have a dipstick anymore, it has a submenu on the computer that tells you the oil level.

Throughout all of this, brakes have remained remarkably unchanged. ABS sensors, pad wear sensors all that good stuff - it just unplugs and the brake job consists of what it has always consisted of. I have always done brakes myself because it's one of those things that just seems to be priced so high for what it really is.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:27 PM   #10
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$600 brake job


My Sprinter brake parts cost $575, plus $380 for labor, total $955.00 But, I got 40,000 on the Mercedes parts and 80,000 on the after market parts. Dodge would have charged more and the quality would have been less. You got off cheap.

Mechanics like brake jobs, they can beat flat rate by lots. We loved brake jobs.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:58 PM   #11
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$600 brake job


I was a Toyota Certified mechanic at one time. At $600 for a complete brake job which will take maybe an hour, parts cost about $100, profit is $500. Nice racket. If you had 8 sets a day to do, $4000 labor. Mechanic makes $500-$600 a day, shop makes $3400-$3500 a day.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:22 PM   #12
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$600 brake job


even top tier mechanics "for hire" are salaried at maybe $45 an hr. maybe some incentives. that's 8 x $45=$340.
maybe a private mech can make $500 a day, but he'll be up his eyeballs in lease, insurance, parts, taxes, etc, etc... i am yet to see a rich mech.

anyhow..

very good quality front rotors are $70 each, pads front end good quality $40, rear rotors will be slightly more as they may house parking brakes. plus, another $40 for set of pads. looking at around close to $500 in quality parts only, plus about 1.5 hr labor.

yes, i can buy cheap-o rotors front for $20 each, they will warp in about 1000 miles.

i guess, i was waaaaay too optimistic about what mechs make. median gross salary is $51000; best are in only $71 000 range; that's $35 an hr folks

http://swz.salary.com/SalaryWizard/A...eattle-WA.aspx

automotive mechanic I median average salary slightly above $30 000 year.

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Old 04-17-2011, 11:18 PM   #13
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$600 brake job


I like to be a DIYer. but there is a practical limit.

For cars, find a knowledgeable local mechanic with tools and an adequate shop. I was able to find one.

My wife and I have very similar cars (1999 Jimmy -150,000 miles and 2000 Blazer - 95,00 miles - both with 4WD). She is very independent and went to a "chain" shop for a major tune up (the typical 100,00 mile procedure). -It was $900 and a month or two later I had the same job for $600 from a local mechanic (4 bays, 1 or 2 helpers). After that comparison, there was no question. He did not say when it would be done (no hurry) and delivered my Jimmy at 9:00 PM and asked if I could give him a ride back to the shop, which was 4 blocks away. - After that. the was no choice where to go.

I go in and and tell him what I want done and he will tell me if it is not really necessary, but he remembers. He is not always on time (same day) or will be prompt if he is told it is important. Often he will say something is not necessary, but he will do it later it it happens to fit into what needs to be done. His mark-up on good parts is reasonable and not a big profit center. I use Mobil 1 oil because my Jimmy is bullet prof and was previously owned by GM and maintained at GM strictly according to the records I got with 25,000 miles on the odometer. When I said I wanted to continue using Mobil 1. He said "Just to to Walmart and buy a jug of it, since that is what I do for my 1962 Corvette". Since I supplied the oil, it was $8 or $10 for a change and lube. - He does not wan to bother with stocking the unique products, but he does "adopt" a car.

I would gladly pay more, but he may be insulted, so we always give him a few fruit cakes for the holidays and my wife refers to him as Dr. Eddie and he is reliable and trustworthy. - I don't know what to do if I moved.

Dick
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:57 AM   #14
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$600 brake job


Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
even top tier mechanics "for hire" are salaried at maybe $45 an hr. maybe some incentives. that's 8 x $45=$340.
maybe a private mech can make $500 a day, but he'll be up his eyeballs in lease, insurance, parts, taxes, etc, etc... i am yet to see a rich mech.

anyhow..

very good quality front rotors are $70 each, pads front end good quality $40, rear rotors will be slightly more as they may house parking brakes. plus, another $40 for set of pads. looking at around close to $500 in quality parts only, plus about 1.5 hr labor.

yes, i can buy cheap-o rotors front for $20 each, they will warp in about 1000 miles.

i guess, i was waaaaay too optimistic about what mechs make. median gross salary is $51000; best are in only $71 000 range; that's $35 an hr folks

http://swz.salary.com/SalaryWizard/A...eattle-WA.aspx

automotive mechanic I median average salary slightly above $30 000 year.
Mechanics don't get paid by the hour, it's by the book hour. Dealer mechanics here make $65 AN HOUR. When I was still doing it, for example, it took 2 hours to change a head, but I got paid 6.2 book hours.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:06 AM   #15
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$600 brake job


I paid about $440 in parts and shipping for my wife's Suby Forester. That was for 4 rotors and the pads. $600 including labor is in line these days.
OEM parts are expensive. I tried aftermarket parts (about $250 in parts) and that was a mistake because of poor braking performance. Subarus are picky with parts. I imagine that for $600, your mechanic is using OEM parts for your Cruiser.
Also another thought, ABS is hard on rear brakes and a lot of times the rear wear out first.
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Last edited by Clutchcargo; 04-18-2011 at 09:09 AM.
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