Cost for full brake job?

Joined
Jul 13, 2018
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65
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Tulsa Oklahoma
So my wife’s friend had the shimmy associated with warped rotors and took it to a shop, they quoted $2,000 for a ”full brake job” I bought all new pads, rotors, and drums and did a brake bleed, it’s a Nissan versa so nothing fancy. Did it for a bit over $200. Is such a high charge the norm for a full brake job or were they just trying to scam a lady who knows nothing about cars out of a lot of money? The brakes are working great now so I cant imagine what else they wanted to do.
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
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14,930
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ROCHESTER, NY
They were probably quoting the cost of(LOADED) front pads, rotors and front calipers and rear shoes, drums and wheel cylinders w/spring hardware and a brake bleed. In which you don't alway need all of those extra parts But still, $2000 is a joke IMO. I could probably see $1K+ but not $2K. :unsure:

Yeah, I could do most of my cars the way you(JAYMIE) did for about $200.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2017
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WA
I took a 3 or 4 years old car that only needed brake pads to Les Schwab and they wanted to change everything (rotors, calipers, etc.) for $1200. That was the only way they could "guarantee" the work by changing everything. This was about 12 years ago.
I told my girl friend at the time to go to another shop and iirc she paid $200 or less.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
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MO, USA
I think the term "full brake job is confusing", personally i hate "pad slap" but between them it's lots of money
 
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Mar 30, 2015
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Lake Havasu City, Arizona
I took a 3 or 4 years old car that only needed brake pads to Les Schwab and they wanted to change everything (rotors, calipers, etc.) for $1200. That was the only way they could "guarantee" the work by changing everything. This was about 12 years ago.
I told my girl friend at the time to go to another shop and iirc she paid $200 or less.

This is a common ploy by chain brake places like, "Just Brakes". They advertise a cheap, ($99.00) "brake job" on the sign out front to get you in the door. Then, as soon as they get your car up on the rack and get the wheels off, right away they start in with the whole, "you need this and you need that" routine.

If you're the acceptable type, they'll upsell you every single brake part on your car. They have one goal, to make as much money replacing as many parts on your vehicle, pertaining to your brake system as humanly possible.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
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Get some other estimates. That's way too high. Just remember, you won't get a firm price until they get started, a high preliminary quote will cover their arsses
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
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ROCHESTER, NY
Yeah, dealers and/or other service shops(Firestone, Good/Year, Monroe, MIDAS, MAVIS, SEARS:rolleyes:) will always want to replace everything possible since they have to remove those parts. So they feel that they should just replace them. If they have to take it off, they might just as well put on a new one.

I only replace what is needed and I've kept my vehicle well into their teens in my salt ridden state of NY. I mean, I may replace a particular part(s) due to age or it just looks suspect, but not if it really doesn't need to be replaced.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2020
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107
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RI USA
Up here in the Northeast, I saw my rear pads were worn down when I changed over my winter tires. Everything was so rusty, I decided I didn’t want to deal with it. Found a local shop to do new rotors, pads, and hdw for $300. When I priced out the parts, decent rotors were $90 each and ceramic pads around $80. So it was well worth having the shop do it . They used rotors with coated hats and I can see that they replaced all the hardware, seems like a job well done.
I felt it was worth the price for me not to deal with all the rusty fasteners.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
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1,016
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VA
I'm about to change the rear brakes on the Wife's 14 Armada, they are the originals at 106K but the pads are worn down. I bought all the parts on RA yesterday for 134.31 to my door as the "kit" which comes with new rotors/pads/hardware/shims/lub.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2002
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9,044
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MI
As Donald reminded us, the OP did it himself for about $200. For others, try to find a shop that you can develop a trusting relationship with and that charges decent prices. Sadly, many shops have price structures similar to hospitals. As DIYers we need to remember to not compare our inexpensive results to shop charges. Shops have huge investments in equipment, data upgrades, education, overhead (insurance, certifications, utilities, taxes, environmental fees, etc.). This goes for all trades. I wish a better middle ground existed. Old man captain obvious advice finished, LOL.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
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27,969
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Near the beach in Delaware
Up here in the Northeast, I saw my rear pads were worn down when I changed over my winter tires. Everything was so rusty, I decided I didn’t want to deal with it. Found a local shop to do new rotors, pads, and hdw for $300. When I priced out the parts, decent rotors were $90 each and ceramic pads around $80. So it was well worth having the shop do it . They used rotors with coated hats and I can see that they replaced all the hardware, seems like a job well done.
I felt it was worth the price for me not to deal with all the rusty fasteners.
After 68 years in the northeast I know about the rustbelt. And more recently the salt brine being sprayed that is worse than rock salt.

I don't see a big issue doing rear brakes even in the rust belt. The caliper bolts are probably not that rusty and will come off. You replace the SS clips. Biggest problem is getting the rotors off. My Subaru has threaded holes for 2 bolts you put in to force the rotor off. In other cases you need a BFH. But then how much does a shop pay attention to detail. South Main Auto sandblasts the area under the SS clips, does every shop do that? Pull the pins, thoroughly clean the pin, holes and boots. Replace pins if any rust, no wire brushing. Replace boot if deteriorated. Clean all the rust off the hub, apply Muscle Grease. Use Sil-glide grease on pin and boot (no boot swelling).

For example, if there is rust on the pin, that means the pin should be replaced not wire brushed. Will a shop hold up work on the vehicle to wait for NAPA to deliver new pins? If you are doing it yourself, you can probably wait. (Unless you absolutely need the vehicle). Even if you have to wire brush rust off the pins to get vehicle usable, you know the issue and can order pins and then when time available just replace the pins.
 
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Joined
Aug 19, 2010
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Champlain/Hudson Valley
You're all looking at the nuts & bolts of a brake job and retail garage business. One guy sees lawyers in his soup.
Anybody consider just plain price gouging? I feel all tradesmen are in a position to make up darn near any number they want.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
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27,969
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Near the beach in Delaware
You're all looking at the nuts & bolts of a brake job and retail garage business. One guy sees lawyers in his soup.
Anybody consider just plain price gouging? I feel all tradesmen are in a position to make up darn near any number they want.

That is why the best way forward is to have a relationship with a INDY shop. Find one who will do the work at a reasonable price and not a place that charges extra because his son needs braces.
 

D60

Joined
Nov 6, 2017
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1,566
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Colo
There's so many variables but just remember comparing Joe DIY who can take his time to find the best price for parts online and then wait for shipping is much different than taking it to a shop who will (have to) source the parts locally.

It's worlds apart from a Versa (note my first sentence about VARIABLES) but I just did an '07 Ram 2500 rear and parts locally at AutoZone were ~$500:
-coated rotors $190 ea
-DL Gold semi-metallic pads ~$60
- 4 new slider pins and boots: don't remember

Now, most bigger shops are likely getting better pricing on an AZ wholesale account (VARIABLES) but then they're marking that pricing up probably 30%-100% (VARIABLES)

I looked at RA and I could have got an entire PowerStop kit for literally 50% of AZ (I doubt that included pins or pin boots) but could not wait for shipping nor could the vehicle owner. And, yes, FedEx Gnd shipping was quite reasonable, around $32 IIRC (I mocked up the cart for giggles)

NOW, any bigger shop would have almost surely insisted on doing the calipers on this truck because there was some uneven pad wear. So, take the already high prices of pads, rotors & hardware and add in 2 new calipers. Add in caliper brackets if you're in the rust belt. Then labor of a brake bleed (yes, yes best practice anyhow). Throw in some shop fees (shop towels and brake cleaner ain't free), disposal fees for old fluid, ya gotta bill for the new fluid, etc and yeah, it gets expensive in a hurry.

Again I realize a diesel 3/4t is in a different league from a Versa, but the point is variables in pricing from local to online, the time value of money, and accounting for EVERY cost associated with the job. And yeah, this is why DIY is great. If you don't want to pay someone to do it, do it yourself.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
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8,329
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Ohio
The price quoted was their way of saying "we're not interested" in the job. Maybe they're 150% booked, maybe they're short-staffed... Who knows. I'm confident it's not a real price though, just a "go away" price. Guarantee you this though, if the customer agreed to the price, they'd take the job !!
 
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