When Did (Car) Brake Jobs Become So Expensive?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by RJM62, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    I bought a 3 ton jack that does the trick quickly for wheel changes. 60 seconds to lift a corner is certainly quite doable without much exertion. Probably a stretch though to get all the wheels off in 30 seconds. If I had torqued them myself, maybe in a couple of minutes. I use a hand torque wrench to put them on properly. The shop guys go to town though with their g-d impact wrenches. :mad:)

    However, I wouldn't trust myself enough to properly get it safely on stands where I would feel comfortable working under it, though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  2. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I just got an email from Rock Auto and a text message from USPS that the brakes are waiting for me at the post office. Not too shabby considering that I ordered them Sunday and used the cheapest shipping they had.

    Rich
     
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  3. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    1 inch of black plastic tape covers the check engine light. Problem solved. Or, google "MIL Eliminator".

    The catalytic converter diagnostic is the least reliable of all the OBD-II monitors.
     
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  4. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think it's the same rationale that has my electric vehicle registration rates soaring -- because of insufficient tax collected.

    I've bought a couple of new cars in the last decade. I don't remember touching the brakes on any of them before 80K on the odo. I assume fewer dealer brake jobs = higher dealer brake job pricing. I mean... why would you price it on the actual labor and parts used? :eek:
     
  5. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    False alarm. They split the order and sent the cabin air filter separately. They're estimating the brakes for tomorrow. Still not too shabby.

    This is the cabin air filter at six months.

    cabin-air-filter.jpg

    So much for the country air being clean.

    Rich
     
  6. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    Amazon does very well too, and many times is cheaper if you are a prime member. I always compare item plus shipping to prime. The big plus though is ease of returns. I swear, at least 15% of stuff I order is not as described for some reason. Amazon makes return and refund a no-brainer. More than once they made the refund and told me to not bother with return shipment.
    BTW, anybody need a voltage regulator for a Morris Minor?
     
  7. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    BTW, best tool for removing a stuck drum or rotor is an acetelyn or MAPP gas torch. Heat up one spot until the steel expands and it'll pop right off.
     
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  8. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    They bill the hours that it says it should take, sometimes you win, often youu lose.
     
  9. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Not so great of a strategy if you live somewhere where they read the computer once a year before registration.

    Drive dirt roads?
     
  10. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    ^This is me. I used to have an old guy who was the former mechanic where I worked who would do the work on the side for 10 or so bucks an hour. I always paid him more but he did good work so long as you were not in a hurry. For 10 or 20 bucks an hour I wont do it my self but now that he is not doing side work anymore and I am way too cheap to pay someone to do what I can do. I do understand more and more that my time has value but being a person who works in the digital world all day the analog stuff can be therapeutic which is why I also volunteer to wrench on warbirds on the weekends.

    I have most of the tools and Youtube is super helpful. I am pretty mechanically inclined so probably don't need YT all that much but it often prevents the gotchas and you can pick up some great tips and shortcuts. I watch a lot of car repair stuff even if it isn't something I am doing just to learn some of the tricks.

    I have 2002 Silverado with 215K on it and in the last couple years. I have done intake manifold gasket and knock sensors while I was in there, valve stem seals on one side , patched rusty fuel lines, brakes, rotors and a few calipers too, two front wheel bearings, several rusted brake lines, power steering line, power steering cooler, alternator, window regulator, tie rod ends and air conditioner tensioner pulley. I think that is just about everything sounds like a lot but still way less than a truck payment so long as this rusted hulk keeps passing inspection and when I drive it through the woods during hunting season I just don't care.

    Also have a 2008 Jeep Cherokee 112K. It is a long story but I bought this car for a dollar from a friends company. It had a number of issues when I got it. I have done the rear brakes and e-brakes, speed sensor, starter, drive shaft (because Jeep in their infinite wisdom welds the U-joints in the original:mad:). Rear wiper needed to be replaced and a TON of cleaning like hours and hours and hours. It looks really good now. It also had a tire that had an aneurysm and blew so after considering the tread that was left and being full time all wheel I opted for new tires. I still need to repair the cruise control and needs the front fenders repaired or replaced. With all that still way ahead of the game on this car and like the Silverado I plan on running it until it won't run anymore.

    As for parts it depends on who has the best price. You can almost always get a 25% off from Advanced auto I check Auto Zone and Napa but they rarely compete. Rock Auto is decent. Amazon usually is competitive and Prime shipping helps. I also use Summit Racing quite a bit their prices are decent and their shipping is amazing. Over $99 is free and for me it is almost always next day.
     
  11. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    At about 65,000 miles, my wife's Explorer needed brakes, especially on the rear. The rears got their rotors replaced, the fronts just got turned. It was $400 for the rears and $200 for the fronts.

    I was going to do it myself, but Ford had started using these small diameter high strength bolts to hold the calipers in place, and one of them was obstructed by the parking brake cable so I could only get an open end wrench on them. No way that was going to work, I would have needed some sort of crowfoot to get it off, so that's why it got farmed out.

    That came with a lifetime warrantee. I don't know that we will have that car until the brakes need redoing, the Explorer is fairly easy on brakes and tires. unlike the Odyssey that preceded it. That thing ate front brakes for breakfast, with a side of tires. When we traded it with 90,000 miles on it, I had replaced the front pads three times, including one rotor turning and two rotor replacements. I also think that if you didn't rotate the tires, the fronts would have probably have needed replacement at 15,000 miles.

    My car is a hybrid, has 70,000 miles on it, and very little wear on the brakes. I'd guess the fronts will go 130,000 - 150,000 miles before it needs pads, and the rears may well last until the car is scrapped.
     
  12. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Wont pass inspection here
     
  13. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bummer.
     
  14. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Pep Boys has a sale on OBD2 scanners that will clear the check engine light for $19.99

    Unfortunately, that act also clears the I/M readiness monitors so if your inspector hooks up to the DLC then you'll have to go through the drive cycles and hope the MIL doesn't pop again.
     
  15. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I do have Prime. I usually compare Amazon and Rock Auto for car parts in general. For this order, Rock Auto was the winner, even with the shipping. But if I wanted guaranteed delivery a couple of days sooner, Amazon would have been the winner. Quality of service-wise, I've never had a problem with either company.

    Rich
     
  16. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    parts.com is a good one to look at for decent prices on factory OEM stuff.
     
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  17. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Indeed.
     
  18. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Duly noted. Thanks.

    Rich
     
  19. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Hence the very dirty cabin filter!
     
  20. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    For me, there's also the element of it being different from what I do for a living. You can only stare at screens so long before you want to do something else. Wrenching on stuff is a welcome change, so even though I'm spending theoretically billable time doing it, it's more like recreation than work.

    Advance Auto automatically gives 10 percent veteran discounts if you're in their system. They ask for proof the first time and automatically subtract 10 percent thereafter. They also have better inventory than most other stores around here. But they're more than 50 miles away, so unless I have some other reason to go out that way or I need the part right now, it's easier to buy online.

    NAPA can get almost any part to my "local" store (about 30 miles away) by the next morning if I order before noon, but their prices aren't very competitive.

    Rich
     
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  21. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    10-12 years ago I remember a coworker paying $400 for new brakes on his Yukon all around. You figure 10 years of inflation combined with the continuing decline of good auto shops, I think paying $400 for rears only sounds about right. @jesse was correct that a shop will only want to use good quality parts so that you don't come back complaining "That crap you put on only lasted me a month!" If I was changing your brakes I would charge about the same.

    Rich, you're perfectly capable. Do it yourself and save a bunch of money.
     
  22. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Will pass inspection here as there is no inspections of any kind, not even after an accident unless you look like you can afford very high fines. And there are some really crappy cars on the road here.
     
  23. cessna182b

    cessna182b Line Up and Wait

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    Shops charge rates like you mention because they can get away with it - too many customers who don't think they have a choice. I have done many brake jobs
    myself - and still do. For more complex work my solution is to look for a capable Mobile Mechanic (they exist). Awhile back I had one such do a complete front-end
    rebuild on an old T-Bird for around $400 (plus parts). Shops quoted me upwards of $1500 (more than the car is worth, IMHO). Also, be sure you shop around for
    parts. I found front Rotors for the same car for $11 or so each - shipping included (from Amazon). The new ones work just fine. My mechanic told me where to
    get the best deal on Front-End Rebuild Kits (Rock Auto) - and he was right!

    Dave
     
  24. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    I'm a cheapskate, so I make my own cabin air filters, by using scissors to cut a 20 X 25 pleated furnace filter into smaller rectangles. That way, it costs me about $1 to change the cabin air filter. This works well in a Toyota Sienna (piece of cake, to change this), but not in a Mazda 3.
     
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  25. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer En-Route

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    AutoZone will lend you this tool for free. Their loaner program is wonderful...I've used their spring compressor for changing out MacPherson struts.
     
  26. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Hard to believe. Those '70s Fiats with paper thin sheet metal didn't weigh anything. And moments after leaving the car lot they started to rust away, so the slight load on the brakes rapidly declined even further. :rolleyes:
     
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  27. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

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    Never had an issue using the needle nose trick..
    Pretty easy. Did rears on my pops Impala- it had a drum in the rotor for a parking brake shoe-that was easiest rears I’ve ever done- disconnected it :)

    When I can’t order parts I go to NAPA, locally owned and they know their stuff and care. Has also helped me a lot with paint for the bird and various hangar supplies...

    While we’re talking cars any of you with a 99-07 GM 4x4 anything full sized- google pump rub and fix it before it gets ya! Easy fix besides dropping transfer case but two guys can do it without special equipment. The plate to fix it is like $30... better than a blown t case! I had mine apart for the seal but pump rub was going on and was a good way through the bell housing... once it goes you won’t know it till ur Case is shredded...
     
  28. Tbag

    Tbag Filing Flight Plan

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    This is the truth. I own a hybrid and electric car repair shop. Most modern Toyota hybrids go over 150,000 miles on the original brakes.

    When lights come on the dashboard there's not much that you can do with an OBD2 scanner on a hybrid. We need specialized equipment and specialized training. Because I'm extremely concerned with our reputation I also pay very well and hire the best staff that I can get. Our shop rate is $120 an hour. Some people might say that we are ripping people off, but I challenge anyone to try to run a business in an expensive West coast City to try and be profitable running a shop. Rent, payroll, tariffs driving up the cost of brake rotors 25%, etc.

    Our average brake job (we do service regular Toyotas as well as hybrids) is drum roll......

    $400.

    It's just what it is. If you don't want to pay somebody to fix your car do it yourself. Just wait till you have the calipers off and you open the driver's door on a Prius. The electric brake system primes the front brakes and if they are off of the rotors or the pads are out the piston gets shot out of the caliper. Cars are rapidly getting incredibly complicated and people complain about labor rates. It takes a highly skilled professional to work on modern cars when they do break.

    Electric airplanes will be coming soon enough. Then people will complain about the A&Ps charging rates comparable to ours because they're going to have to train and buy specialized equipment. Meanwhile they won't have to buy 100LL, worry about mags, and fly for $8 an hour operating costs.

    Larry and Joe fixing stuff in the shed works sometimes, but oftentimes it doesn't anymore.

    Just my .02
     
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  29. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    IMHO, NAPA parts seem to be of much higher quality than the stuff sold at Auto Zone and Advanced Auto. Most of their stuff seems to be cheap Chinese crap.
     
  30. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Agree I have used a lot of their loaner tools.

    This depends, if it is new or remanufactured a lot of the reman stuff is all done by the same 2 or 3 shops and just labeled differently.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  31. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Do people really think that $400 is too much to ask for a quality brake job? With all the expenses, regulations, liabilities, frustrations, employee benefits and other costs involved in running a business, do you really expect them to take on a job like that for the price of the parts and a case of beer (like I used to do for friends in college)?
     
  32. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    would depend on what is being done. Just pads and maybe rotor r&r? caliper work also?
    Simple car or my 1 ton dually rears?

    Personally I think it is too much for routine brake work. I can do it myself typically in less time than it would take to make an appointment and deliver the car to the repair shop. so that influences my decision tree. for jobs I can't do, or don't want to do, I have a quality 1 man shop owner around the corner who is willing to pick up and drop off my car at my home. He is willing to use my parts and very reasonable. so, that influences my decisions also.

    of course the market speaks. Once it is too much for enough people demand will decrease.
     
  33. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It also works the other way. If enough people are willing to pay that, then the price will go up until the demand stabilizes. And these days, way too many people have to decide whether to pay up or stop driving (safely). What percentage of the population today do you think really has the ability and/or inclination to do their own brake job? I'm perfectly capable of doing my own. I just don't want to. I've got a garage full of tools that I bought for a specific job and only used them once or twice.
     
  34. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    It is what the market will bear so no $400 isn't that bad. Most people don't have the knowledge or skill to do it so they just pay. Cars are becoming more complex and even a brake job can get complicated if you have an electronic emergency brake (on some cars it requires a diagnostic tool/scanner) or if for some reason you need to cycle the ABS pump to bleed it. Your simple ODBII reader isn't going to do that. Most shade tree mechanics are not going to want to shell out the money for a scanner that can.
     
  35. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hook up a laptop, tell the car to retract the parking brake cylinders. Reset then when you're done. Yep, brutal.

    Software and cables are the first thing I get for any car/motorcycle I own. Saves me thousands.

    Until my current car (which came with a very good warranty) my rule has always been "no one touches my car with a wrench but me". That includes internal engine repairs.

    I still do my own oil changes, 30k, 60k services. The old "you can't work on your own cars anymore" is a myth. They'll even tell you what the problem is if you know how to ask nice.
     
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  36. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    No, it's not a myth. In most cases, it is totally true.
     
  37. SoonerAviator

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    Agreed, although on modern cars (DOHC/direct injection/turbos) I generally leave the internal engine and transmission stuff to the pros. I'll replace a turbo or do a 120K timing belt service, but I don't have the time or confidence in pulling heads off or fixing worn synchros. Pushrod V8/OHC Inline? Sure, I'll dig into it and enjoy it.
     
  38. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    If your into this kind of thing watch some of this guys videos they are great. Guy is a riot and he takes on a kind of Red Greenish style in his videos. Gets old cars running for fun. Back when cars were simpler.

     
  39. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Cleared for Takeoff

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    So I'm guessing you would have a problem with the $200 oil changes over here in Europe? Sickens me.
     
  40. Clip4

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    Make sure you add the time to research the best price, order, and drive to the post office to your time to compete the brake job.