Ask the Brake Expert
Q: I was charged $800.00 for front brakes at another shop. Was I taken advantage of?
A: Auto Repair Rip Off? Maybe Not…
Although the price on the surface seems to be high… It would be difficult to go back in time and see the condition of your brake system prior to the repair but I can offer some insight as to how the price that you paid could have been legitimate and just as part of a proper and safe brake repair. And if the price is indeed legitimate you may be tarnishing the name of an honest, hard working man offering a professional service and trying to make a living.
The brake system is made up of more than the friction materials (Brake pads and brake shoes) in fact there are many components that must be checked including, the master cylinder, wheel cylinders, calipers, brake lines and hoses that can all leak resulting in brake failure. Rotors and drums can cause brake pulsation, vibrations and poor stopping conditions. There are many other brake components including the ABS system within the brake system. If the brake technician fails to check these components they are not doing their job right and may be allowing you to drive a vehicle that is unsafe for the road. The right thing to do is to check the brake system in its entirety, report back to the customer and let the customer decide how they would like to repair their vehicle.
As always, if you are not sure of the brake price given, get a second opinion. If you want a better idea as to what the cost of the brake repair should be check out the “Brake Cost Estimator” on the Brake Centers of America website http://brakecenters.com/brakecostestimator.html. Match up the brake components replaced with the prices on the brake estimator. This is only a guide, keep in mind that as a brake specialty shop our high volume prices will be about 25% lower than competitor’s prices in most cases.
Although we cannot go back and check the brake parts that were replaced in your case let’s hope that the shop was doing their job properly and sold you only the brake parts that were needed for a proper repair and charged you appropriately for that repair.
Brake Centers of America operates brake specialty shops in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, Connecticut. You may also respond directly to this post by contacting Bill Pelletier, President, Brake Centers of America e-mail BrakesUSA@aol.com or on website www.BrakeCenters.com.