1, Inspect your brakes every year or 12,000 miles, if you do this you will catch minor brake problems problems before they become major repairs. You will not need brakes every 12,000 miles but the technician can tell you if you will need brakes before the next inspection interval. Brake Centers offers free no obligation inspections there are others that do so as well, be sure to ask if the inspection is free with no strings attached and that you will be allowed to leave without cost if you choose.
2, Check with your Better Business Bureau BBB to see what the shops rating is that is doing your brake inspection. Also check online for company complaints. Enter the company name that you are using and the word “complaints”. You will be astonished as to how many brake complaints a lot of companies rack up. If the repair shop has a low BBB rating or if there are many online complaints, stay clear of that shop. Look for a true brake specialist with a good reputation if there is one in your area.
3, Be sure that the shop checks all four wheels. Shops have a tendency of checking front brakes only and ignoring the rear brakes especially if the rear brakes are drum brakes because it takes time to remove the drums. This practice many times results in the customer wearing out the brakes to the point where many other brake parts are needed including brake drums, wheel cylinders and brake springs along with the brake linings. Shops that do not do a proper inspection before they quote a price on brakes are also notorious for quoting a price for a repair only to call the customer back to say more work is needed later at a substantially increased price.
4, Be sure to ask questions about the price. How did the shop arrive at the price? Ask for a detailed breakdown. Do they charge everyone fairly or do they charge woman more as studies have shown. Always ask if there are specials or savings being offered at the time. Ask if the company offers a price guarantee.
5, Ask if there are repair options. Are the repairs offered “Needed repairs” or “Suggested repairs”? Ask if the work is needed right away. Ask if you can do partial work, front brakes today and rear brakes in the future.
6, If you have any questions as to whether parts offered or suggested are needed ask the shop to put the vehicle back together and get a second opinion. This is why you need to be sure that the inspection is free without obligation upfront.
7, If disc brake rotors are being machined ask how much it would cost to replace the rotors. In many cases you can buy new rotors for the cost of the labor to machine them. Many times machined rotors come back with problems because they are now thinner and ultimately have to be replaced anyway. The money that you spent on machining was completely wasted.
8, How experienced is the technician that is working on your vehicle? How long have they been working for the company? Are they being supervised properly so that it is assured that the job is done correctly?
9, Be sure that you are getting at least a 12 month 12,000 mile unconditional brake warranty. Many warranties cover parts only. Many times if there is a further problem later with the brakes other brake components are blamed. Example, “your brake pads that you paid for wore out because your brake caliper failed” or your rotors that you paid for failed because your brake hoses are restricted, therefore your warranty is void“. Or “we feel that you have operated your vehicle under severe conditions so we can not warranty the repair“. The list of why they can’t warranty their work goes on and on. Again ask for an unconditional parts and labor warranty and be sure it is put in writing. This will save you a lot of money in the long run.
10, Make good choices when it comes to your brakes and the company you choose to replace them and you can save thousands of dollars over the years, have less headaches and feel confident that your brakes will work properly when you need them.
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